Coming Soon: Channel Vendor Peer Groups
Arlin Sorensen, the founder of HTG Peer Groups, never stops building partner networks across the IT channel. His next effort involves the HTG Vendor Peer Group — which will help hardware and software companies to learn from one another while getting a better understanding of VARs and managed services providers. Here’s the scoop.
When reached over email, Sorensen confirmed plans for the vendor peer group, which is set to launch its first meeting June 8-9 in Denver. “The concept is simple,” Sorensen wrote in email. “It is open to sponsors in our program to help them get a deeper understanding of what our members do to equip them to interact more effectively.”
Hmmm… let’s rewind a bit. For those who aren’t familiar with HTG Peer Groups, the organization allows VARs and MSPs from different regions to meet behind closed doors, share and compare financial records, brainstorm new business initiatives, and pursue a better life-work balance.
Adds Sorensen: “We want to educate vendors how HTG members operate and the framework of our program; what better way than immerse them in their own group and create the go-giver mentality among them.”
When the vendor group meets, the agenda will include goal setting, accountability and execution requirements, and best practice sharing. The vendor peer group will meet quarterly for at least a year before Sorensen works with the group to decide next steps.
Sorensen didn’t disclose a list of vendor peer group members, but it sounds like such companies as Lenovo, Microsoft, Xerox and Zenith Infotech (among others) plan to potentially participate, The VAR Guy hears. Our resident blogger also is checking to see if ConnectWise plans to join the group; HTG Peer Groups has largely standardized on the ConnectWise PSA (professional services automation) platform.
Peer Groups: Still Thriving?
Sorensen and HTG certainly aren’t alone in the peer group market.
Other popular peer group organizers include True Profit Groups (anybody got an updated URL for them?), Service Leadership Executive Peer Groups, 4 Profit, Taylor Business Group and Transformation Strategies. Also of note, organizations like 1nService help regional VARs to partner up and gain national and international scale.
Still, not all peer groups thrive. The VAR Guy has heard from multiple solutions providers that joined peer groups only to discover high turnover and low interaction among the group members.
But back to the story at hand: The VAR Guy will be watching to see if HTG’s latest peer group model — the Vendor Peer Group — gains critical mass.