The ASCII Group's 2014 Summit Series Finale: What Channel Partners Can Expect

The ASCII Group is concluding its 2014 Summit Series next week in Atlantic City, with the hopes of attracting between 150 and 175 solution providers primarily focused on the SMB market. Here's the scoop.

CJ Arlotta, Associate Editor

October 21, 2014

3 Min Read
The ASCII Group President Jerry Koutavas
The ASCII Group President Jerry Koutavas.

The ASCII Group is concluding its 2014 Summit Series this week in Atlantic City, with the hopes of attracting between 150 and 175 solution providers primarily focused on the SMB market.

The IT community group’s tour was designed to bring marketing and sales tips to the doorsteps of MSPs. This year’s summit series, which began in late February, hit several regional markets throughout the United States.

Additionally, The ASCII Group will be holding its annual ASCII Cup Party next Thursday — so be ready to party before you leave the event. If you’re the kind of person who prefers alcohol out of a cup, you might want to give this a try.

Jerry Koutavas, president at The ASCII Group, spoke with MSPmentor about what the IT community group has planned for the channel at the last stop on its eight-city tour.

Here’s MSPmentor’s full interview with Koutavas.

CJ Arlotta: What does ASCII Group have in store for partners at this week’s summit?

Jerry Koutavas: With the networking and partnerships aside, we have a group of educational speakers that are helping attendees better understand the market and their customers. The content is focused on highlighting market trends in terms of revenue opportunities, strategies on how to best retain customers, in addition to understanding sales and marketing techniques by the leading authority on neuro-marketing. There is a lot of actionable information that is being delivered.

CJ: What makes next week’s conference different than other conferences in the channel?

JK: We pride ourselves on selecting content that furthers the ability for managed service providers to look into their business and make improvements. The regional aspect of the event allows companies with little time to meet with key executives within the vendor community and discover hidden revenue opportunities that may have been missed through regular communication efforts.  The attendees are engaged and understand that the goal is to move the needle forward — all without an upfront cost for MSPs to attend.

CJ: What are some key trends channel partners should pay close attention to at the conference?

JK: As IT services are increasingly portrayed as a commodity in today’s market, there is no time for complacency. Companies need to continually better themselves operationally from marketing to service delivery to finance. We do see a message getting lost in terms of marketing.  At the end of the day, are you the best at what you do — then make sure from top to bottom the market and your customers know it and don’t forget it.

CJ: What kind of a platform does the ASCII Group provide to the channel?

JK: The ASCII Group is a community of like-minded individuals. We are their (solution providers) advocate in the industry and with our partners. There is power in community!

CJ: What is one of the top challenges channel partners are facing today?

JK: Outside of the normal issues that have not diminished from lead generation to staffing concerns, a specific discussion on the state of the market is being held with ASCII members in a separate meeting prior to the event. Internally we are seeing an increase in channel conflict. Just this week we trying to resolve two issues with known channel companies taking business direct from their partner base.

Follow CJ Arlotta on Twitter @cjarlotta and Google+ for further updates on the story above — or if you just want to say hello.

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About the Author(s)

CJ Arlotta

Associate Editor, Nine Lives Media, a division of Penton Media

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