Channel Coaches Gather at CompTIA Breakaway
CompTIA CEO Todd Thibodeaux and Service Leadership’s Paul Dippell are hosting a channel coaches gathering here at CompTIA Breakaway in San Antonio, Texas. Although the meeting is closed-door, the agenda provides some clues about how coaches may ultimately work with VARs and managed services providers over the long haul. So who will be in the room and what’s on the agenda? Here’s a look at the gathering — from outside the room.
According to an email from Dippell to attendees, the agenda explores challenges, opportunities and the evolving IT landscape for channel coaches. And Dippell loosely defines coaches as fitting into the following areas:
- Management consultants
- Trainers and speakers
- Peer group operators
- Subscription best practices sellers
- M&A firms
Key areas of coaching expertise:
- Sales and marketing
- Service and operations
- Human resources
Opportunities and Challenges
CompTIA and the coaches are scheduled to explore how CompTIA can potentially help coaches to raise their visibility. Among the challenges facing channel coaches, according to the event email invite:
“1. Large untapped market for our services: lots of SPs (service providers and solutions providers), many of whom need help but too few of whom actually reach out for it.”
“2. Burgeoning number of consultants and coaches, which is, I think a good thing if quality can be kept up.”
“3. Multitude of reasons why SPs don’t get more help but I think it’s fair to say at least some hold back because:
- Don’t know any consultants,
- Don’t know where to find them,
- Don’t know how to qualify the consultant or themselves for the engagement”
With these challenges and opportunities in mined, CompTIA could emerge as “a logical place that SPs might find consultants and consultants might find SPs.” Moreover, Frank Coker of CoreConnex and Dippell have “already been working on some consultant-marketplace ideas,” according to the invite.
Longer term, “There may or may not be room for consultant certification, some sort of marketplace perhaps. These probably mean some sort of taxonomy for identifying the types of work or offerings, resources for consultants, and so on.
Potential Coaching Session Attendees
So, who’s in the house? Coaches and channel pundits that confirmed plans to attend the gathering include:
- John Austin, president, Austin Dale Group, Inc.
- Bill Brandt, managing partner, SWOT Management Group
- Frank Coker, CEO, CoreConnex, Inc.
- Paul Dippell, CEO, Service Leadership, Inc.
- Lori Garrison, client advisor, Service Leadership, Inc.
- Michael Halperin, managing partner, Cogent Growth Partners
- Dale Johnson, president and CEO, TAG National
- Jeff Johnson, staff coach/master mentor, Technology Marketing Toolkit, Inc.
- Larry Kesslin, president, 4-Profit LLC
- John Kilian, president, AntFarm Inc.
- Tony Lael, executive VP, CoreConnex, Inc.
- Andrew Morgan, director of business development, TruMethods
- Ryan Morris, principal consultant, Morris Management Partners, Inc.
- Brian O’Connell, senior vice president, Service Leadership, Inc.
- Jay Rosenfeld, president, principal consultant, Crescent Solutions LLC
- David Russell, president, Manage to Win
- David Schafran, president, Transformation Strategies
- Larry Schulze, Co-founder and principal consultant, The Taylor Business Group
- Elaine Schulze, Co-founder, The Taylor Business Group
- Scott Scrogin, president, HTG Peer Groups
- Teresea Sears, director, member education, CompTIA
- Stuart Selbst, president/CEO, Stuart Selbst Consulting
- George Sierchio, business coach Action Business Partners, Inc.
- Kirk Smallwood, VP, strategic relationships, CompTIA
- Arlin Sorensen, CEO and chairman, Heartland Technology Solutions
- Annette Taber, VP of channel strategies, CompTIA
- Todd Thibodeaux, president and CEO, CompTIA
- Ken Thoreson, president, Acumen Management Group, LTD
- Ken Wasmer, CEO, Wasmer Business Solutions
So, what will be the outcome of the coaches gathering? Too early for The VAR Guy to say. But he’ll be reaching out to the appropriate sources to learn more…