AI in the collaborative space is not a new concept but its role and demand in the midst of a global pandemic have never been more relevant than today. However, having AI and having a strategy for how to use it and drive value, internally and externally, are two separate things. The term “garbage in garbage out” has never become more of an apt phrase than in relation to what data is driving this automated intelligence. Companies must adapt quickly to change, more so today than ever. Rigorously creating an answer and response database from scratch, or using a knowledge base that is not properly vetted, are what most companies are forced to choose from. The key is to understand that going from little or no automation to a full automation agent-less customer experience overnight is not the answer. Below are examples of core concepts for a successful AI journey.
Cloud Infrastructure Architect and TBI Tech Guru, Jim Demetrius, shares his insight on how to successfully move customers to the cloud – the conversations that need to be had and considerations that need to be made.
5 Days, 5 Takeaways – Recap of TBI’s BIG Event 2020
TBI hosted our fifth annual BIG Event on August 17th through 21st. Not only was this year bigger than ever – 5 days, 30+ sessions, 40+ providers – it was completely virtual! Taking place for a couple hours each day throughout the week, we addressed some of the biggest IT topics concerning businesses right now. Each day focused on a different subject – Emerging Tech & Mobility, Cybersecurity, Cloud, Cloud Communications and Collaboration, and Next Gen Networking. Partners were able to maximize their time by attending the sessions of their choice and booking 1on1 meetings directly with providers. In case you were not able to attend or missed a session, we’ve made replays available here. If you want the opportunity to connect with a specific provider, reach out to your Channel Manager to facilitate a meeting.
Reflecting on this year’s BIG Event, we put together five key takeaways, one for each day of the event.
Business continuity strategy means having a resilient, redundant remote working environment accessible in the cloud that encompasses all necessary business systems. This would include communications like voice and contact center, CRMs, data center infrastructure, backup strategy and disaster recovery.
The days of the salesperson being a trite, overused stereotype are over. Successful sales people today can message technologies and pivot based on end-user needs. To most of you out there, this is not a new revelation; customers often feel as if they know the product based on their own research. You cannot discount a customer’s opinion, they’re the one buying after all. But what if their conception of the product or service is downright incorrect? How do we correct the customer without bruising their ego while still ensuring the next colleague that touches this account is aware of said interaction? Without a contiguous record of interaction, this sales cycle will be prolonged if the customer ever decides to buy your product at all.
We are in a new and different world. It happened overnight, and no one could have predicted it.
Just several weeks ago, we had a choice. If we needed essentials, we could immediately walk into a brick and mortar store to get what we wanted, or we could go online to make the same purchase. Today, we suddenly find ourselves in a world that quickly evolved from traditional brick and mortar stores to essentially one of virtual reality. With both major retail chains and local businesses shutting down overnight, we have been forced into a world of uncertainty and have become even more reliant on online retailers to get us the goods and services we need
In these uncertain times, there is a lot of turmoil about how and where business will be transacted. In the channel, the telecommunications and infrastructure that run it all are being affected in a number of ways. There are challenges for businesses, whether an infrastructure is hosted on-premise or in the cloud.
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Disaster Recovery as a Service, or DRaaS as it is more commonly known, is an essential part of a well thought out business continuity (BC) plan. Business continuity plans refer to the systems of prevention and recovery that are put in place to deal with potential threats. I typically ask my customers if they have a disaster recovery plan in place to safeguard their key IT systems that run their business applications. There are two types of customers, the ones who understand the importance of DRaaS and business continuity and have plans in place and those that don’t understand the full scope of DRaaS and business continuity and therefore do not have plans in place to safeguard themselves against potential threats.
In the past week, we have seen an incredible change in how the country is reacting to the pandemic. Just last week many organizations were attempting to create or solidify contingency plans “if” the need to transition to a remote workforce arose - this week, that became a reality for a large majority of organizations across the globe. From finance and marketing to technology and education, working from home has suddenly become the “new normal” for the foreseeable future, and securing your remote workforce has become a top concern.
All companies, including those not yet directly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, have a limited amount of time to make sure that they are prepared if/when the virus hits their area, maybe even directly in their organization. Right now, companies are advised to do a function-by-function audit as well as a holistic overview to identify areas needing immediate attention— addressing network security gaps, revisiting work from home policies, or tackling potential operational shortfalls, such as lack of cloud communication tools.
Today, channel partners are dealing with more complex environments than ever before. While this pace of change has led to unprecedented growth in our industry, the onslaught of information on the latest technology from vendors and distributors can be overwhelming at best. On bad days, we can shut down, stay in our lane and focus on what we’re comfortable with – network, managed and cloud services.
By now, you’ve no doubt read a dozen or more “predictions” pieces and have heard all the buzzwords from the industry about 5G, AI, edge compute, and more, but so what? As a business owner, new tech and buzzwords do little to help your bottom line. Understanding how these things are directly impacting your customers so you can continue to meet their needs while also growing your business is the type of information you’re probably after.
A transformation has been happening in the telecom space as traditional, transactional services are making way for more complex – and more profitable – cloud-based solutions. And with this shift, many partners are facing a new selling challenge: balancing fresh, hearty opportunities while still satisfying customers’ simpler, more transactional needs. Several partners have built their business on network and more transactional services and, understandably, are not looking to abandon that book of business. How can these partners continue to grow their business with higher margin sales activity while maintaining and growing their existing revenue stream?
Go into 2020 equipped with the tools you need to make this your most successful year yet! TBI invests in a multitude of resources to make your sales faster, easier and more profitable. And as a busy selling partner wearing many hats, you need to rely on all that's available to you. Better connect with customers and augment your existing sales efforts using these TBI resources. Some you may already be familiar with and using. Some may be new to you. But all are valuable and can make a big difference in your business.
Blogs are informal articles written for the purpose of showing your thought leadership and expertise on a topic. Blogging provides a myriad of benefits not only to your website, but to your business overall.
Here are five quick tips to help you get started on the path to blogging.
Do you want your customers and prospects to do something like sign up for your newsletter, call you for a consultation, or attend an event you’re hosting? Having a solid call-to-action (CTA) can do wonders to help with any of these items. Read on to find out more tips and tricks to help you get your readers to do what you want them to—and soon.
Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile for Business Networking
We’ve entered an age when your professional social media presence is just as, if not more important than your physical presence. The reason? You can reach a wider breadth of people on social media, and it can help you create those in-person, physical connections that can spur sales opportunities or meetings that lead to profitable partnerships. Your LinkedIn profile has become a visual business card for your professional image, which is why it’s important that you optimize it. Let’s walk you through a few basic steps to optimize your profile.
Social media is not only a powerful branding tool, but it is also a tool that can have a large impact on your sales numbers. We’ve broken down the steps for you on how to utilize social media to widen the breadth of your customer base and most importantly – SELL MORE - with our Social Selling Funnel Infographic!
Last year, the term ‘digital transformation’ was viewed as just a buzz word. In 2018, it became much more than that; it is now a term used to describe technology changes, typically involving some type of virtualization – be it cloud migration, layered applications, security upgrades, etc.