Well other than the start of the Alphabet, kids’ nursery rhymes and the title to a Jackson 5 song it’s my new company 🙂 It also stands for:
I officially left my last post at the end of January and had always intended to spend some time at home, with no pressures hanging over me and enjoying doing some work in a gym I co-own. Other guys generally run the gym for me, so it was great to put some effort into that which is so different from the IT industry. Its quite hard work dealing with the consumer but really good fun and was exactly what was needed. Incidentally it’s not quite so much fun now since we had to lock it down but it’s forced us to take the gym/training online and to be honest I think the guys in the gym daily would have struggled doing that if I was in full time employment so I was able to offer some genuine value to the team and use my experience, maybe that’s a little bit of fate?
ABCD came around as I have acted as a consultant for around 10 years now on and off. Advising investors around how technologies are adopted and speaking to “starts up” organisations on the options available for them around channel strategies, as we know there are many ways to skin a cat and sometimes the American view of a channel is a little different to the UK.
Having spent most of my adult life working in and around distribution you know most of the players in our space. I guess like any company everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and now being outside of Alpha and speaking to some organisations that were previously competition I had no bias towards them.
So much so one of the companies I was working with was looking for a distributor and I made an introduction to a former competitor and they will be launching that product together late May/early June.
Another vendor I was “advising” was looking to work their opportunities via 4 or 5 partners, they are not what you would call a full channel play but know as their business grows, they will need to build a scalable model.
I made a handful of introductions to partners I felt could add this solution to their portfolio, not everyone felt it was for them but 2 did with a 3rd sat on the fence, low and behold it was the embryonic start of their channel.
This said vendor then asked if I would be interested in staying on board through their journey acting on their behalf. I was seriously considering this when another organization approached me to do something very similar over a short period of time. The dilemma!!!
Both vendors have already won business locally, they have local feet on the street and I figured I could help them both, what they actually needed what local experience of the partner community and a guiding hand when you are transitioning from a single tier or direct model to a two tier model.
“Hang on a minute, I can do that” I thought!!
Whilst this was taking place, I had a French vendor approach me for some guidance and they wanted a Distributor and Resellers, in truth, they are 12-18 months away from needing a channel, they needed some end user traction before they went down this route. What I didn’t realise is they thought this too!!! However, two of the distributors they were talking to were asking them to spend big on channel marketing and incentives etc and it was all wrong!! Inadvertently I gave them their strategy for the next year or so even though there is nothing in it for ABCD at this stage. At least they didn’t make a costly mistake going down the distribution route at this stage.
Those that have worked with me know I believe in being honest with people, even if you don’t like what I say today I won’t fall out with you. My first Sales Director in this Industry Jonny Ellis said
“Walshy Lad, always live to fight another day”
and those words have stayed with me ever since.
Look at the good people in our industry, I’ve worked with some of the best, they have stood the test of time. On the flip side look at some of those with a bad reputation. It proceeds them and 9 times from 10 I believe it’s because they have put their own needs before those of their partnerships whether that’s a vendor or a reseller. People don’t forget.
So, this is a long way of saying ABCD was never planned to grow like this, I was going to do nothing more than consultancy (which will still carry on) and offer honest advice and introductions where appropriate, but I will be picking up with these two vendors from the start of May.
To say I am excited is an understatement, but I know starting any new venture in the current climate is going to be hard, but I will make it. work, I have done it before, just not entirely on my own!!
There are a few people involved in this behind the scenes, people I trust, and respect and they will be working alongside me going forward. What the team all bring with them however is
So, when you sit down and question what your channel strategy should be for 2021, come and speak to myself and the team. ABCD may not be the right vessel for you to work with but if we are not, we will certainly give you our opinion on who is.
Thanks for reading this far…. I’ll be a little more vocal on LinkedIn now I am back in the fold and look forward speaking soon