Artale chats about how the channel is thriving, expanding and evolving rapidly, and what factors contribute to that.

Allison Francis

November 11, 2020

3 Min Read
Top Gun 51 Profile: Spectrotel’s Ross Artale on the Thriving Channel

Ross Artale, president and COO of SpectroTel, has worked hard to build the telecommunications provider around the channel. An active advocate for the channel, Artale has proven to be a visionary leader. During his nearly 30 years of telecommunications experience, he has built a record of creating best-in-class service organizations. He joined Spectrotel as vice president of operations in 2007, and was promoted to COO in 2012. He was named president the following year.

Artale has led the transformation of Spectrotel from a regional CLEC to a national next-generation integrated solutions provider and MSP, quadrupling the company’s revenue during his tenure. He is responsible for managing and leading all day-to-day operations including sales, product management, marketing, network operations, engineering and IT. 


Spectrotel’s Ross Artale

We sat down with Artale to dig a little deeper into what makes him such an inspiring and driven channel leader.

Channel Futures: What attributes do you think next-gen channel leaders must have? 

Ross Artale: We live in a digital world and next-gen channel managers ought to be comfortable evangelizing their messaging on social media and developing video content to drive marketing enablement for the channel. In addition, it is critical to keep up with the rapid technology changes that the Fourth Industrial Revolution will bring the channel and the world in the next five years.

CF: Your profile says that you have built SpectroTel around the channel and for the channel. Can you expand upon that? 

RA: Our distribution is 100% channel-based. We do not have a direct sales force, so there is zero channel conflict. We’ve always understood that business from the channel has to be earned. If we, as a telecommunications provider, execute and provide great service, the channel will reward us with growth. If not, there are hundreds of other options out there for partners. That philosophy has served us well and always keeps us on our toes.

Zoom’s Laura Padilla is part of Channel Partners/Channel Futures’ 2020 Top Gun 51. This program recognizes today’s channel executives who build and execute channel programs that drive partner, customer and supplier success. See the full list.

CF: If you had to sum up the current channel ecosystem in a few sentences, what would you say? 

RA: The ecosystem is thriving, expanding and evolving rapidly as the adoption of and convergence of digital transformation, cloud, security, hardware, and associated services expand the distribution to a limitless highway of opportunity. 

CF: What is one thing that people commonly misunderstand about the channel? 

RA: We often see people in the channel as the most successful sales people. In reality, the channel has some of the most amazing and creative entrepreneurs and business owners.

CF: If you could give one piece of advice to partners, what would it be? 

RA: Invest in your back office. The most successful partners have the commonality of robust back offices (support, project management, etc.). 

CF: What do you think Spectrotel and other vendors should be doing that maybe they/you aren’t? 

RA: There is so much price compression. It’s very much a race to zero. At some point as an industry we have to demonstrate the value of our service and support and hold the line on pricing.  

CF: Any other thoughts on this award? 

RA: I’m very thankful for my team of all-stars at Spectrotel who ultimately deserve recognition for this prestigious award.

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About the Author(s)

Allison Francis

Allison Francis is a writer, public relations and marketing communications professional with experience working with clients in industries such as business technology, telecommunications, health care, education, the trade show and meetings industry, travel/tourism, hospitality, consumer packaged goods and food/beverage. She specializes in working with B2B technology companies involved in hyperconverged infrastructure, managed IT services, business process outsourcing, cloud management and customer experience technologies. Allison holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations and marketing from Drake University. An Iowa native, she resides in Denver, Colorado.

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