Peer-to-Peer Blog: Should I Attend the Channel Partners Show?

This might be the best time ever to get into the channel.

Channel Partners

March 7, 2011

2 Min Read
Peer-to-Peer Blog: Should I Attend the Channel Partners Show?

By J.R. Cook, Vice President Agent Channel, EarthLink Business

Should I attend Channel Partner Show? That was a question I read on a blog the other day. I have to be honest with you, in past years I would have not responded. I could not have in good faith recommended someone look at the channel for their future, as a way to take care of their family. Back then, I had two questions:



  1. Was the channel going to remain a viable business in telecom?

  2. Was it the right time to get started had that shipped already sailed?

I asked these questions because when I first got into the telecom business I started on the pay-phone side, and I saw a lot of people, who got into the business late, get hurt.

Today, I can honestly say that I do not know if there has ever been a better time to get into the channel. While there is no doubt that technology will continue to change, the channel will remain an irreplaceable part of the future of communications. I believe more than ever, customers are looking for that neutral third party to review the options available and to take advantage of the extra level of support that an agent brings to the value proposition.

I am also impressed with the evolution of the Channel Partners Conference & Expo from an excuse to get to Vegas and get a carrier to take you out to dinner, to non-stop meetings and educational programs. I am so excited to see that the Channel Partners Advisory Board is including a Telecom Agency 101 section to welcome and, more importantly, educate agents considering our industry.

I guess that was a long way of saying ABSOLUTELY, YOU SHOULD ATTEND!

J.R. Cook is the vice president of alternate channels for

EarthLink Business
. Cook Joined EarthLink Business in 2009, when it was known as New Edge Networks, as the first vice president with sole responsibility for the companys agent channel. With more than 13 years of experience managing channel partner relationships, Cook leads the formation of a dedicated agent channel by fostering powerful relationships and placing importance on growth from agent partnerships. Prior to joining New Edge Networks, Cook was vice president of premier accounts for TelePacific Communications after working as a director in its Telepartner channel. He was also key in building the agent channel for Mpower Communications, which was acquired by TelePacific in 2006. He also is a member of the 2010-11 PHONE+ /Channel Partners Conference & Expo Advisory Board.

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