Channel Partners News - Coming to Vegas is No Gamble

March 1, 2005

3 Min Read
Channel Partners News - Coming to Vegas is No Gamble

By Tara Seals

Coming to Vegas is No Gamble

By Tara Seals

The Channel
Partners Conference & Expo is bringing together a diverse mix of
suppliers to the expo hall this year, ranging from the tried and true to those
offering exciting new services. To make things even better, conference
organizers have built in networking events to help you make the most of the
braintrust gathered in the room. Build relationships, cut deals and catch up
with peers and go home richer than you were. This is an instance where what
happens in Vegas, stays with your business.

The expo hall floor will be packed this year with representatives from
top-tier providers like Sprint Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc., along with
smaller niche players like Splice Communications, a wholesale service provider
specializing in IP transit, local access, private lines and colocation.

A look at the sponsors shows the breadth of support from the industry from
carriers, resellers, master agents and other service providers: ACC Business,
American Telesis Inc., ATN, BellSouth Corp., BridgeCom, Broadview Networks,
Covad Communications Group, Ernest Group, Global Crossing, InfoHighway
Communications, Intelisys, InterCall, McGraw, Mpower Communications, New Edge
Networks, Opex Communications Inc., PAETEC, Pioneer Telephone, Primus, Qwest
Communications International Inc., SAVVIS, Sprint, TMC, TNCI, Venicom and
Wholesale Carrier Services.

A few fresh opportunities are represented in the hall. Alternative Utility
Services Inc. brokers gas and electric in all deregulated markets and offers an
agent program structured on residual commissions. 8×8 Inc., which markets
Packet8 broadband VoIP, will be signing up agents, thanks to an agreement with
Trapeze Communications, which will function as 8X8s distribution arm. Through
Trapeze, the broadband phone service can be sold to consumers through direct
sales organizations, network and multilevel marketing firms, affiliates and
affinity partners.

An affinity opportunity presents itself with The American Small Business
Travelers Alliance (ASBTA), a national, nonprofit travel organization that
serves small business travelers by providing helpful information about resources
and services, savings on fares and accommodations, and technology designed to
improve and enhance the travel experience. To achieve its mission, ASBTA works
closely with airlines, lodging, car rental companies, travel agencies and other
companies that serve small business travelers.

An association of a different stripe is The Information Technology Solution
Providers Alliance (ITSPA), an organization dedicated to helping SMBs adopt
technology and grow by using local solution providers to solve business
challenges. It represents many VARs.

Along with the networking comes fun. Incentives and prizes will be standard
fare on the show floor. For instance, master agency World Telecom Group (WTG)
will be signing up agents for its third annual Tee & Sea networking event in
Southern California, which includes an open house, happy hour on the beach, an
afternoon of yacht cruising on the Santa Monica Bay and a golf tournament at one
of the areas top courses. Meanwhile, McGraw Communications, a CLEC with an
agent program, is planning a Presidents Club incentive program trip for the
top producers of 2005 by rewarding them with an excursion to Cabo San Lucas,
Mexico in April 2006.

Finally, social opportunities are sewn into the fabric of the show.
Continental breakfasts provide opportunities to get a good start and chat over
coffee, and the opening night reception is sure to be sparkling. A plethora of
parties hosted by various companies always rounds out the second day, when
exhibits close at 6 p.m., so be sure and bring your scheduling software to make
sure you can fit them all in.

Bottom line, if theres anywhere that the channel industry gathers in
force, this is it. Attendees can take away valuable contacts and information
that will last long after the lights of the Strip fade from memory.

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