Welcome to the New Roaring 20s: A look at the Coming Year and Decade

Craig Schlagbaum, Vice President and Channel Chief of Indirect Channels at Comcast Business

The decade of the 1920s, well-known as the “Roaring 20s,” was a time of significant economic growth spurred by social and cultural changes. It was a time of jazz bands, bootleggers and raccoon coats…and a time of great innovation. Think of the creation of automobiles, phones, movies, radio, and appliances. The Roaring 20s ushered in a more consumer-focused society. It was not unlike what we have come to expect from new inventions and technology that can make our lives better and more efficient and productive.

And while the last decade certainly had amazing technology innovations like the advent of the cloud, SDN, UCaaS, I believe this upcoming one will even go beyond that. And there will be more growth opportunities and new revenue streams for our partners as well.  Think of it as the Roaring 20s of our Century.

To capitalize on this transition, partners must understand that in the I/T world there are two core elements to build solutions with:

  • Applications and the cloud infrastructure they reside in
  • Data connectivity and the networks that carry the bits

Partners that roar through this next decade will be the ones that are able to cover the spectrum of ALL solutions that a customer may needs: data connectivity, desktop productivity apps, Security, SDN, UCaaS, IoT, and more.

To ensure that our partners are continuing to grow, we remain focused on giving them the best possible experience with us that we can. To accomplish that we are focused on a few key areas in 2020:

  1. In 2019, we saw great initial sales success with our partners with our ActiveCoreSM SDN platform and we will soon have Unified Threat Management as well on ActiveCore.  We received recognition and awards from our partners and industry watchers, including being named again by CRN for having the #1 Channel Program in Network Connectivity services.  And we conducted over 200 different partner events around the nation with many focused on ActiveCore and its many service options. And we will do it again in 2020 to help drive even more demand and awareness. Indeed, we see the world of apps quickly colliding with the world of data to be almost indistinguishable. What that will mean to partners is they will need to get out of their historical comfort zones and move towards new areas that their customers will demand from them including O365, Teams, AWS, Security, and many more offerings that they will need to operate their businesses.
  2. Our internal mantra for the past year that drove our team was “Px-19” or Partner Experience 2019. Now we are moving on to Px-20 to do it even better this year. After all, we know that the growth we expect and require will only come if we do right by our partners in their experience of doing business with us every day. Look for more details on this in the coming weeks.
  3. We just launched a new model for sales and support for our partners where our Inside Partners Sales Managers (IPSMs) are now teamed up with the same shared quota as our outside field-based Partner Sales Managers. We believe this will assist all of our partners across the nation more than ever before to have a better experience with us. We are already seeing great dividends from this change and we believe our partners will too.
  4. We will begin to see the first phases of our multi-year Orion back office consolidation project come to fruition. This will make it easier to do business with Comcast Business. But it will also pave the way to help partners create more solutions by adding together combinations of our offerings and others in order to meet customer demands.

We believe this new decade will usher in some of the most profound changes ever in our channel’s history. And as partners mature, new younger channel experts will jump into our space and help propel this industry to even higher heights. We see a world where the “channel”,  as we have called it in telco and I/T, will be essentially one and the same. That will mean an indirect sales force for service providers that numbers 10 times the size of the current channel we have today, and that will be explosive.

So, let’s turn on the jazz, break out our racoon coats and gear up for the new Roaring 20s. It’s going to be a crazy ride!