I had a chance to sit with Tom Miller (in the photo above on the left – that’s me on the right) who has recently taken on the role of Channel Operations for Sage. He comes to Sage from Microsoft (and previously Great Plains). Tom reports to Jodi Uecker-Rust and is charged with developing policy for Sage’s extensive US channel.
During my discussions I was impressed by Tom’s understanding that the Sage Channel is, in effect, a customer of Sage and that plans are in place to developer even better programs.
Certainly we’ve already seen some effect from the programs.
In New York City recently we attended a free two day SQL training class sponsored by Sage and directed at the channel. In April we’ll be in New York City for two days of back to back training by Ed Kless on consulting skills and Rob Johnson on sales skills.
Standing by themselves free classes aren’t impressive. Lots of companies sponsor free training.
What’s impressive is that Rob and Ed are able to take mundane subjects and turn them into highly participatory sessions – with little restriction on content. If the class wants to talk about an issue of importance – both Ed and Rob are allowed to facilitate the discussion but there doesn’t seem to be any mandate that they tout a particular Sage policy. The result is far greater collaboration and idea sharing that you typically see at a channel event.
Here’s the press release announcing Tom Miller ad Channel Chief from CRN (Computer Reseller New):
Sage today announced that Tom Miller has been named a 2010 Channel Chief by Everything Channel’s CRN. Channel Chiefs are leaders in creating effective channel programs for solution providers. Everything Channel describes Channel Chiefs as those who consistently defend, promote and execute effective channel partner programs and strategies.
Miller’s selection as a 2010 Channel Chief recognizes his accomplishments in creating and developing programs that foster greater success within the Sage channel. Miller spearheads the Sage Business Solutions channel management team, which was created to focus Sage resources on driving effective business partner programs. Recently created under Miller’s guidance is the Sage Partner Advantage Competitive Series where partners receive education, training and tools to more effectively compete against specific competitors. Also created, the new Sage Partner Advantage Field Based Sales and Consulting Skills Workshops offer business partners more flexible options for education and training and complement existing programs with newly developed content and skills refresher courses.
Miller also has brought focused methodologies to the forefront of Sage’s efforts to capitalize on business opportunities. The Partner Distribution Optimization Tool and the New Customer Market Opportunity Tool leverage methodologies that pinpoint growth opportunities for Sage business partners. These tools help identify unrealized market opportunities from a geographic coverage and product-specific point of view and assist Sage partners to identify more specifically the business opportunities that exist market by market.
For the eighth consecutive year the Channel Chiefs were chosen based on Everything Channel’s editorial criteria including policy and program innovations made during the past year, the amount of revenue their company generates through partners, their willingness to speak out publicly on behalf of the channel, and the number of years they have dedicated to channel activities.
“Our whole focus is on understanding our partners and learning what we can do to make them more effective,” said Sage Vice President, Channel Operations Tom Miller. “Sage is successful when our partners are successful, and I’m very pleased to be recognized by CRN for our efforts at achieving mutual success.”
“Being named a Channel Chief is one of the most prestigious honors in the IT industry. This year’s Channel Chiefs offer tremendous insight into the who’s who of the Channel,” said Kelley Damore, VP, Editorial Director, Everything Channel. “Top channel executives consistently ensure that the Channel’s voice is heard when strategic decisions are being made and continually nurture mutually profitable relationships. We applaud the 2010 Channel Chiefs for their successful partner programs and strategies.”
For additional information on the CRN Channel Chief list, visit www.channelweb.com. The Channel Chief list was published in the February 22, 2010 issue.
About Sage North America
Sage North America is part of The Sage Group plc, a leading global supplier of business management software and services. Sage North America employs more than 4,100 people and supports nearly 2.9 million small and medium-size business customers. The Sage Group plc, formed in 1981, was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1989 and now employs 14,500 people and supports 5.8 million customers worldwide. For more information, please visit the Web site at www.sagenorthamerica.com or call 866-308-2378.
About Everything Channel (www.everythingchannel.com, www.channelweb.com)
Everything Channel, headquartered in Framingham, MA, is a technology marketing and sales solutions company. Through its “Complete Technology Channel Solution,” Everything Channel offers the right business tools to accelerate technology sales. From branding and recruiting to marketing and sales, Everything Channel offers technology marketers the unmatched breadth and depth of global brands and market intelligence combined with unparalleled audience loyalty and credibility serving all technology sales channels through an extensive database. Everything Channel provides innovative field sales and marketing solutions to the sellers of technology to achieve measurable and significant results.
About United Business Media Limited
The parent company of Everything Channel, UBM (UBM.L) focuses on two principal activities: worldwide information distribution, targeting and monitoring; and, the development and monetisation of B2B communities and markets. UBM’s businesses inform markets and serve professional commercial communities—from doctors to game developers, from journalists to jewelry traders, from farmers to pharmacists—with integrated events, online, print and business information products. Our 6,500 staff in more than 30 countries are organised into specialist teams that serve these communities, bringing buyers and sellers together, helping them to do business and their markets to work effectively and efficiently. For more information, go to www.ubm.com.