Sunday, February 24, 2008

Partner Conferences

Today I am on the way to Las Vegas for the beginning of partner conference week. Sonicwall's conference begins today, and HP's starts tomorrow. Why they can't communicate enough to make sure they don't overlap is beyond me. But at least they are in the same town and I will catch pieces of both. I find these events very valuable - not because of the content so much - but because of the people. It is the single best place to gain access to key executives and the best of their partner base. There is no other place I know to visit with the cream of the crop for these vendors. They don't invite every partner, they invite those who are engaged and performing. So I love being able to network and meet up with partners who are not worried about how they get a discount on this sku or a few dollars of MDF for a lunch and learn. These are typically partners with a plan and folks who have been making it happen. If they weren't they wouldn't be there. That said - it you are in Vegas for either of those events let me know. I would love to catch up with you and see what is happening in your world. I have a couple reporters looking to talk with some good partners as well.

I am really looking forward to hearing from Matt Mederios and Mark Hurd. What is said from the top does matter. A couple years ago when Mark came on as CEO of HP, I was so impressed I actually went home and bought some HP stock. That was a good decision (not quite as good as the Apple stock I bought but still good). Don't ever think that the vision and direction of a leader doesn't matter - certainly not a true leader. These two companies have true leadership at the top. That is one of the key reasons we partner with both of them. They also have some great additional leadership in key areas. I am especially excited to meet Adrian Jones this week from HP. He came into the HP organization to lead SPO and has been a huge help in correcting some of the issues their dealer authorization arm has caused. I love working with people who just make it happen and Adrian has been one of those folks at HP along with some of his reports. I am grateful to be able to work with people in large companies who still understand the importance of people. Same things goes for Sonicwall. Both companies have their issues, but at the end of the day they are approachable and willing to work at making things right.

Let me know if you will be in Vegas. See you there!

1 comment:

Stuart R. Crawford said...

Hi Arlin, greetings from Las Vegas...

What a beautiful resort SonicWALL picked this timie. I agree with your comments on the value of partner conferences. I use them to get new ideas (my Good Earth Cafe win came from Peak a few years ago) and to meet the key people in the organization.

I will see you on the grounds here in Vegas.

Stuart Crawford
Calgary, AB