My name’s Dan Baldwin and I’m the Executive Director of Telecom Association or (“TA”), a nonprofit professional membership organization that educates members about all the best practices used by buyers, sellers and providers of information & communications technology (“ICT”) managed services in a transparent and accountable marketplace.

Over the past 20+ years, TA operated under a “professional trade journal” model and primarily focused on teaching our solution provider “vendor” & distribution “sales partner” members ICT marketplace best practices – but always out of sight from the buyers of our solutions – you, the customer. That worked fine before ICT customers figured out how to Google “What’s SD-WAN and do I really need it?”

Before, the ICT vendors and their “sales partners” were on one side of the ICT transactions table and you, the customer, were on the other side. And while many sales partners will suggest to customers that they are actually on the customers’ side of the table, the language of the authorized sales partner agreement most distributors sign with providers suggest that the sales partner is actually legally obligated to watch out for the provider first – and the customer second.

Today, at least within Telecom Association, the ICT buyers are now considered “customer partners” in ICT transactions which puts them on equal footing with the ICT vendor’s “sales partners” who are earning monthly residual commissions (anywhere from 5% to 25%) from the ICT providers when a purchase is executed.

What’s all this mean? Well since you can Google your way to all the information you need to become an informed ICT buyer, TA says, “Hey, Google away – but we’re all cool now teaching you everything we know about buying & selling ICT – you’re going to know what we know!” This all may seem “a day late” (it is) but it’s definitely not “a dollar short” because if you know what we know about buying and selling this ICT stuff, you’ll be an equal partner at the transaction table, get a better deal on a solution that solves your problems – and, you’ll be a much better customer for the vendor in both the short and long run.

So for now all the CxO & IT director learning will happen right here on this blog so please bookmark it, visit daily and feel welcome – because “you’re one of us now!”

Author Dan Baldwin

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