Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Advisory Councils - Do They Matter?

I am in Orange County to meet as part of the HP SMB advisory council for a couple days. This is my first meeting with this group of great partners and HP execs. I do serve on a number of these groups in our industry, and have learned there is great value in participating in the process.

Companies like HP spend a ton of money to make this event happen. Not by paying for our travel - we do that ourselves - but by the people they make available and the time they invest. Not only do they lock into a room with us for a day - they have to deal with the outcomes that are discussed and go back and evaluate the feedback and put it into action where it fits. That is the difficult part - the execution. My experience with vendors are they really do want to know how to engage the channel more effectively. They all spend a lot of money building programs for our benefit, and it is in everyone's best interest to have those fine tuned as much as possible. It is no easy task and there are so many different variables that have to be considered.

My role is to serve as a representative for partners in the SMB space. So don't hesitate to send me things that you believe should be addressed. Obviously I am looking for positive ideas and suggestions that can improve things - not the complaining and negativity that we sometimes allow ourselves to fall into. No vendor is perfect - nor will they ever be - but I do know that many are listening like never before and we need to take advantage of the opportunity to shape the programs of tomorrow. So rather than talk about what should be - drop me a mail and let me take that to those who can make it reality. That is the kind of partnership that we all need to work toward. It is the good insight and suggestions that can really make life better for all of us in the channel. Let's make it happen!

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