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February 28, 2007
PHONE+ IS CELEBRATING YET ANOTHER milestone in 2007. Not only is it the magazines 20th birthday, but its trade show, the Channel Partners Conference & Expo, is turning 10. After a decade, the Channel Partners Conference & Expo remains the communications industrys only event exclusively for The Channel agents, VARs, systems integrators, interconnects, wireless dealers and consultants.
This achievement is a credit to the commitment of the thousands of participants attendees, speakers, exhibitors and sponsors alike, says PHONE+ Group Publisher Mike Saxby. This is your business and this is your show. We are proud of what you have created and we want to thank you.
Early on, PHONE+ found a home in the competitive long-distance and the resale community. By 1997, the resale market was going gangbusters and even expanding into data and local services. At the same time, the agent community started to grow as all the new competitors needed sales help. PHONE+ took them under its wing as well and even started a trade show, the AgENt Conference & Expo, just for them.
Admittedly, the agents were struggling to find their place an association or trade show where they could discuss their escalating concerns about this nascent business opportunity. With the help of many agents (Greg Praske, Bill Power, Mark Solomon, Paul Silicato, Rick Dellar, Rick Sheldon and Ted Schuman to name a few) PHONE+ started the event.
The Channel Partners Show was and is still the only telecom conference tailored to the indirect channel, says Ted Schuman, CEO of PlanetOne Communications Inc., noting in the mid-90s there was no forum of any kind specifically geared toward the interests of the channel. PHONE+ has been instrumental in promoting the channel for many years and my genuine respect, admiration and gratitude go out to their entire team for helping our channel gain integrity and credibility in the telecommunications industry.
Of course, the event is made possible not only by its champions, but its supporters exhibitors and sponsors. Over the years, the nature of the exhibitors has evolved to include providers of various stripes from longdistance and local service providers to managed service and wireless providers to vendors of convergence gear and mobile devices. Sure, there are new vendors every year, but some of them return every year with new and better offers for the channel.
TMC, which celebrates its 10th year in business in 2007, has exhibited at every Channel Partners Show since its inception. It keeps getting better, says Melissa Marsch-Baker, TMCs director of marketing. It provides agents with a great forum for developing new partnerships and learning about the latest telecom products.
PowerNet Global Communications also has been at every Channel Partners event since 1997. We keep coming back because the show continues to offer our company a way to find new agents and to reconnect with existing ones, says Michael McLelan, senior vice president of PowerNet Global Communications, which is celebrating its 15th year in business in 2007.
McLelan says both Channel Partners and PNG are survivors in the telecommunications business. We not only survived, we prospered and grew in spite of opposition, hardship or setbacks, he says, noting he expects both to continue based on the leadership and commitment of their employees.
And, lets not forget the support of the channel. In many ways, reaching this 10-year milestone is as much a result of the success of the channel as of anything else. If the Anniversary event the largest to date is any indication, there is a bright future ahead.
Join the Celebration!
Please join PHONE+ and the Channel Partners Conference & Expo staff, along with TMC Communications, at the PHONE+ and TMC booths for the 10th Anniversary Celebration at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. Be there on March 4 for cake and champagne!
Read more about:Agents
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