Sandler Partners National Summit

Business is often at the whim of the economy. Our executive panel breaks down the stage of uncertainty we are in today. In this stage customers often look to their Partners, and ours, for ways to develop efficiencies and cost savings to weather the storm or even become stronger. The Channel, our industry, and our community are uniquely positioned to serve this purpose, and benefit in the process.

Hosts Linzie Janis, and Sandler Partners Managing Partner, Alan Sandler were joined on stage by our executive panel: Chris Jones, AVP, AT&T; Jim Murphy, CEO, Broadvoice; Craig Schlagbaum, SVP, Comcast; Mike Kane, SVP, Dialpad; and Reggie Scales, SVP and GM, Vonage to discuss the big picture, and smaller more tactical issues. There were a variety of opinions, but the overall tone was positive, with regards to the outlook for the channel.

“If this is a full-blown recession,” started off Jim Murphy, “Then it’s the strangest one I’ve ever seen. The stock market is in the tank…there are layoffs…yet the job market is still tight, it’s hard to find good talent and the sales funnel is still full.”

“Every time I’ve seen (a recession) the Channel has become more valuable to companies and customers,” States Craig Schlagbaum. “They want to outsource a lot of their needs, particularly solving IT problems, and the less internal expenses they have the better. I think it’s an opportunity for everyone in this room.”

“What we’re doing internally, and what a lot of people are doing in their personal lives, is looking to see if they’re using money efficiently, and are they using it wisely,” adds Chris Jones. “Regardless of the experience we’re going through, in the technology world, there’s a huge opportunity to help people run their businesses more efficiently.”

“There will be a tightening,” continues Mike Kane, “But when you think of mission-critical applications that businesses need to be productive, to add top line revenue, consolidate vendors, and ultimately bring down their spend, it’s how it will go for all of us.”

“We’re seeing turbulent times, and all indicators will show we need to be prepared for even more,” concludes Reggie Scales. “This is a necessary conversation, and we need to be able to navigate through these turbulent times. We’re seeing compression in the market. We’re seeing prices come down. However, on the flip side, we’re seeing customers buy more technology…with the overall investment from customers remaining the same.”