Mitel BPC 2013 – Day 3 – A Partner’s Perspective

    Today we wrapped up the last of three days of the Mitel Business Partner Conference (BPC).  BPC 2013 will go down in the history books as one of the best yet.  There was no shortage of things to see and do.  From the key notes, to the breakout sessions to the hands-on labs – each session provided a large array of information to help Mitel’s authorizedPARTNERS be successful.  BPC couldn’t come at a better time of year.  With there being so many positive changes within Mitel in the last sixty to ninety days, BPC was held at a good time to bring everyone up to speed.

    20130627_085612Thursday morning started out with the general session and a great presentation by Forrester Research’s Kerry Bodine.  Kerry spent some time speaking about putting the customer at the centre of our businesses.  Based on Kerry’s book, Outside In, Kerry went on to discuss business has changed over the years.  Look at the way business has changed since the early 1900s, Kerry broke down what the business dominance was from each era.  This spanned from the age of manufacturingin the early 1900s to the age of distribution in the 1960s to the age of information in the 1990s to age of the customer in the 2010s.  At each juncture Kerry showed which companies were succeeding and why – like GM and Ford in the 1900s in the age of manufacturing.  With the age of the customer as our current dominance in business (2010s), Kerry showed us how we need to turn our business “outside in” and focus on the customer.  This was more than just your basic lesson in customer service.  In the ultra-connected world we live in, with social media, social networks and web access, it’s never been easier for customers to know more about the products and services than the sellers themselves.  Customers are ultra-educated on what they are looking to buy – including where to find the lowest price.  By putting the customer at the centre of our business and using a number of “self-reinforcing practices” that align employees, partners, processes, policies and technology around our customers, we deliver a great customer experience that is untouched by our competitors.  Today’s customer service is a lot more than just a smile and friendly attitude!  It’s about the customer experience.

    20130627_084217In addition to Kerry’s time on the stage, Mitel brought out a panel of three Mitel executives to talk about the future and how it includes the authorizedPARTNER channel.  On the stage was Jon Brinton (GM, Mitel Networks Service Group), Ron Wellard (EVP and GM, Mitel Communications Solutions) and Chris Courneya (VP and GM, Mitel Contact Centres).  These three gentlemen explained the overall product and solution roadmap ahead – including the full integration of PrairieFyre into Mitel.

    No matter which product or solution one looks at, Mitel’s focus is on delivering it all via the channel (authorizedPARTNERS).  From the traditional on premise-based software solution with IP phones, to a hosted/cloud-based offering, Mitel has a delivery method via its authorizedPARTNERS.  I was particularly impressed with MiCloud offering that will allow channel partners to deliver hosted solutions (including full contact centre management) to customers via a number of different methods – all dependent on how the authorizedPARTNER or end-user customer wants it delivered.  For example some authorizedPARTNERS may have the resources and wish to deliver a hosted model on their own using Mitel hardware and software.  This is kinda like a “Power by Mitel” type of offering for authorizedPARTNERS.  On the flip side, for other authorizedPARTNERS that want to offer a hosted solution, however don’t have the resources in-house, Mitel will work with the authorizedPARTNER to offer a hosted solution that includes everything from design and setup to reoccurring automatic monthly billing.  Mitel really has the all bases covered when it comes to a hosted voice solution with MiCloud.  It’s truly empowering when Mitel allows the channel to work the way they want.  It’s definitely not a “one size fits all,” which is great to see!

    IMG_8666At the end of the day, BPC 2013 came to a close with the authorizedPARTNERS Awards Gala.  The annual Awards Gala recognizes the authorizedPARTNERS that lead in terms of total annual sales.  In addition, this year there was a Mini Cooper give away!  For each sales person that went above their sales goals, they were given a ballet to be entered into the draw to win the Mini.  Three people were drawn from the ballet box and each was given a key to the Mini – only one would start the car.  Whoever held the key to start the car would take it home – and it’s truly theirs to keep forever – not just a lease for a year.  When it’s comes to Mitel – it’s the real deal!  In the end, Daniel Simon of Innovative Communications Systems had the winning key!  Congratulations to Daniel!

    As I said, this years’ BPC was one of the best yet and I’m glad I attended.  Its’ hard to find time to get away from the office, but was very much worth it.  I was also glad to see the amount of social engagement was way up this year on Twitter, Facebook and social blogs.  It’s great to see the conversations continue online – even after the event has officially ended.  Thanks to everyone who participated online with Twitter – it was lots of fun!

    I hope to see everyone next year at BPC 2014!  Until then, let’s stay connected on Twitter, Facebook, and Mitel’s blog (http://blog.mitel.com/).