Channel Champion Blog

Either Way Channel Visionaries All Over Again

George Carlin Vuja DeI attended the Channel Visionaries “Channel Chief” event in Santa Clara a few weeks ago and in several cases is was déjà vu all over again. The talent that Jeff Shaughnessy continues to draw as speakers to his events are fantastic and the content continues to be relevant and exceptionally well presented. In other ways it was vuja de. Thanks to Sal Patalano from Lenovo Software’s presentation, I now know that vuja de, seeing things for the first time, is real. And yes, Sal gave proper love to the late, great George Carlin for creating the term.

On the déjà vu side of things, I do not know how Jeff does it but his speaker list is not only wide but deep. I suppose talent appreciates talent. Many events these days end up with presentations from sponsors that turn into sales pitches. However, at this event even the supplier/sponsor presentations were insightful and, in most instances, there were case studies with real meat behind them. From real world digital marketing direction, to well-thought-out partner segmentation, to “Purple Cows” (yes, please look that one up) – there were take-aways for suppliers and vendors alike. In short, a lot of people got smarter, but that is generally what happens when a lot of smart people get together in the same room – again.

The vuja de part came towards the end of the second day when Sal did his presentation, oddly enough entitled “vuja de.” As Sal got warmed up (great humor), he went from examples of mold breakers like Cirque du Soleil, who built a multi-billion-dollar business on a ground breaking combination of art and circus, to how he gets 10 times more out of a marketing plan by 1) listening to his millennials about digital marketing and, 2) leveraging his internal resources like no one had done before (for details please feel free to reach out to Sal on Twitter @SalPatalano).

Sal challenged everyone to not repeat the past but to look at how they can get more out of everything they do and to take the time to look at things in a different way (eg. Purple Cow). Ironically, I ended up in a conversation with an alliance partner right after that (still thinking about vuja de) where he talked about how manufacturers that take the time to really understand their customer’s customers buying habits, versus the benchmarking of 20 competitors, are going to be a high multiple of X times more successful. Same objective, just looking at things in a vuja de way. Yes, more work, but a much greater reward… who knew? For details on this please contact John Ericksen at @jerickse.

So, thanks Jeff for putting together another content-heavy event. I will attend again and will expect some déjà vu, but will be looking for some vuja de! (And I’ll remember to bring a bagged lunch.)



Steven Kellam, President at CCI

Steven Kellam PictureAs a growth specialist, Steven is responsible for driving CCI’s evolution to expand its offerings and grow across its product suite, utilizing marketing to position the organization for continued, long-term success. He is also responsible for developing the strategic alliances necessary for CCI to achieve its revenue and profit goals, including technical alliances, service partnerships and sales relationships. Steven has experience in both the VAR space, having run a successful managed services IT business, and a background in manufacturing where he built a channel of over 2,000 partners.