State of the Union: Cloud

January 12, 2024

Our January 9th  Telarus Tuesday Call welcomed Telarus co-founder Patrick Oborn, where he launched our annual “State of the Union” series with Telarus VP of Advanced Solutions-Cloud, Koby Phillips. Koby  shared a retrospect and what’s to come in the world of cloud in 2024. Click here to access the full recording to learn more:

Doug Miller: boy. We’ve been way too long. It’s good to hear the music again and see everybody joining us. And so the adventure begins again. Everyone welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends. It is the Telarus. Tuesday. Call for January ninth, 2024. Happy New Year! Everyone may your residuals last much longer than your New Year’s resolutions. I made that up. How about that?

Doug Miller: I’m Doug Miller, Director of Order experience and the voice of Telarus. Thank you for joining us today. We hope you’ve enjoyed the holiday time away with friends and family, and that you are now ready for the best year yet

Doug Miller: a few weeks back here, on our most recent Tuesday call, we introduced partners to a pair of new suppliers that had just joined Telarus. We’ll remind you quickly of those we heard from assured data protection. They are a cyber resistant and cyber recovery partner, utilizing rubric technology for full immutable backup disaster, recovery as a service.

Doug Miller: We also heard from Syrian technologies. They are a leading digital infrastructure and technology provider in Latin America and world. Wide Syrian offers, fiber network connectivity, Colo cloud infrastructure and communication and collaboration solutions to further Latin America’s progress through technology.

Doug Miller: These new supplier solutions are available now to all Telarus partners, and you can check out the recording of that. And any of our Tuesday calls at Telarus

Doug Miller: on to day’s call. It’s the 2024 kick off of our annual series we call the State of the Union, hosted by Telarus Co. Founder and chief product Officer, Patrick Oborn, and featuring a powerhouse line up of Co. Presenters from among the Telarus experts on advanced solutions and technologies.

Doug Miller: There has never been more opportunity than now to achieve outstanding results from your sales, marketing and business building efforts. These are the best attended Tuesday calls of the entire year, and you’ll find out why, as Patrick joins us, live in just minutes to kick off this year’s series along with Kobe Phillips VP. Of advance solutions for Cloud.

Doug Miller: And you’re gonna hear more about this later in the hour. But here’s the tease for you early arriving partners today on Tuesday, February 20 ninth, you know. Leap day that extra day that only comes around once every 4 years.

Doug Miller: Well, forget the family trip to see Aunt Gladys, and instead plan a quick trip to Dallas and join us for the first ever. Telarus AI summit.

Doug Miller: This transformative all day event will delve into the cutting edge landscape of a I and help you understand and benefit from a I’s impact on key technology domains, including cyber security. IOTC. X. And cloud hyperscaler technologies.

Doug Miller: More details are coming up later in this call. But consider joining us in Dallas on Leap Day, February 29, for the Telarus AI summit.

Doug Miller: No, I actually have an Aunt Gladys, and she is not going to be happy with what I said about her to day.

Doug Miller: I hope you’ve all had a chance to view the Telarus 2023 year in review, blog recently posted on Linkedin, Telarus, CEO and Co. Founder, Adam Edwards, recapped Telarus partners. Stellar successes

Doug Miller: previewed. What Telarus has planned to help our partners win again in 2024, and expressed his and all of our gratitude for your trust in helping us scale your business and succeed in this new digital era.

Doug Miller: Be sure to check it out. It’s the Telarus, 2023 year in review. It’s posted on Linkedin and on the website.

Doug Miller: And here is an event that’s coming right up. It’s time again for the IT. Expo in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, February thirteenth, through the Fifteenth Telarus, of course, will be there. In fact, our own chief revenue officer, Dan Foster, will be one of IT. Expo’s featured speakers

Doug Miller: drop by the Convention center, Booth 7, 17, to spend time with us there, and remember your passes are available when you register just by using Code Telarus, and we’ll see you in February at the It expo.

Doug Miller: Well, with that it is time to begin 2020 four’s biggest Tuesday calls of the year, the State of the Union. Your annual game plan for success in our industry. During 2024

Doug Miller: Kobe Phillips joins us today. Kobe is Vp. Of advanced solutions for cloud at Telarus, and is responsible for the development of the Telarus, tools, processes, and resources that help partners find and understand cloud opportunities to determine the best solutions for those opportunities as well. Kobe is one of Telarus, most knowledgeable resources on cloud technologies and shares that knowledge and experience here on today’s call.

Doug Miller: and Patrick Oborn is here to host this year’s series of advanced solution calls the driving force behind all Telarus products, solutions, including the tools and tech that ensure Telarus partners win.

Doug Miller: I was watching as we came on today I saw how many of you joined today’s event early. You heard Patrick was here. I saw you brushing up on those fancy engineering and cloud buzz words you planned to put in today’s chat.

Doug Miller: and I saw a few of you in Boston, Marathon Jerseys. Thank you for that, and at least one of you. I won’t say who Michael Brown is, even wearing an iceman naval aviator flight suit. We’ll talk about that later. Not surprised at all. Well, here with this year’s state of the Union. Presentation is Telarus Co. Founder and chief product officer, Patrick Oborn guys welcome back to the Tuesday. Call.

Patrick Oborn: Thanks for having us, Doug. It’s a pleasure. It’s just. It’s almost mind boggling how fast these years are passing by. It feels like we did these unions like a couple of weeks ago. But man things. Things change fast. Kobe, welcome to the call works. Talk about your area of our advanced technology services. Practice.

Patrick Oborn: Cloud specifically. Why don’t you just start us out by just giving us your overall impressions of cloud? And especially as it relates to like the market size. I don’t know if people understand. If this is a growing segment, if it’s not, I mean just by standard logic, you would think all of the things that we’re doing generate data that need to be stored somewhere. All of the things

Patrick Oborn: that we wanna figure out are requiring more and more computing. All the AI applications that are coming on board are requiring computing RAM and storage massive data sets are being created that need to be stored and secure. II could only guess that the this space is growing, and probably will actually ex accelerate its growth. Tell us a little bit about the state of the overall industry. Kobe.

Koby Phillips: Yeah, the overall industry is what I would consider very healthy. Right? Companies are migrating more and more of the cloud are utilizing it inside of their architecture more and more for specific reasons. What I really like about where I’m seeing everything go here is

Koby Phillips: the entire market’s getting more and more educated on what you can do with the technology. And our technology advisors are doing a great job of positioning this. Ta the conversations and the solutions, and getting the resources involved to help build the right architecture for the clients.

Koby Phillips: And it’s not just like, Hey, let’s go, put everything into aws or everything into azure. And this has been kind of the story for the last 2 to 3 years. You’re seeing an acceleration of growth in all of those right in all the public clouds.

Koby Phillips: We all seen a lot of stuff happening in the private class. This really encompasses the overall growth. And you’re seeing it’s very healthy. And what’s happening is it’s it’s hitting our channel more and more as well as you will get into it later on in the presentation we’ll get into where the channel impacts been in the cloud market, and I would say those projections are just as healthy, if not healthier than what we’re seeing here in the overall market. It’s becoming the consumer driven choice for arc like infrastructure and architecture.

Therefore it’s making a bigger and bigger impact on our channel.

Patrick Oborn: Yeah. And Koby, this is the global cloud marketplace, which is in billions. Right? It’s a lot of money out there. What are you seeing with relation to Telarus’s cloud practice growth? Are we going faster than the industry? About the same as the industry, you know? Where? Where do we sit in our advisor community? Sit

Koby Phillips: in a year over year growth we’re we’re

Koby Phillips: like, we’re going a lot faster right in our in our practice. So we’ll get into some. We’re doing good. We’re doing.

Koby Phillips: We’re given 110 out there. No, it’s going really. Well. And yeah, it’s across all facets. Right? It’s the expansion of the technology that we’re able to offer due to our great supplier relationships. It’s a understanding of how to position it again with that conversation and the right talk tracks and getting the right resources involved. I was speaking to a colleague yesterday.

Koby Phillips: and they asked, what’s the biggest difference when we first started this compared to where it is now? We started the cloud practice

Koby Phillips: January second, 2020, right? So it’s been just over. And the amount of resources that we’ve added on the engineering team and the amount of suppliers that we brought in the enhancements to the suppliers that were already in the portfolio

Koby Phillips: of offerings and things have really just helped catapult it

Koby Phillips: to where we’re seeing it now. So there’s a lot of really good stuff out there, and there’s a lot of good stuff coming, and a lot of big trends that we’ll get into in just a second that are gonna make a bigger impact in this space. Well, Coby, before we go any further, I just wanna take take a quick pause and just congratulate you for being our practice leader for 4 years now for taking us where we started, which was kind of an afterthought, I mean, Telarus was really strong on network.

Patrick Oborn: We made some big investments in contact center, but no one really thought of us for cloud until you came over from equinox. And and ever since then, we’ve been, we’ve been educating like you said we’ve been adding resources. We’ve been creating tools, software tools, Major C’s Qsas. We’ll talk a little bit about that later. But talk to us a little bit about

Patrick Oborn: the trends in cloud that you see for next year like. That’s all great in hindsight. So yeah, pat on the back. Good job. But, man, we’re here to learn a little bit about what’s coming up.

Patrick Oborn: Tell us a little bit about what you what you see here on the horizon for 2024

Koby Phillips: 2024 is the year, you know. AI is going to be the big buzz word. We obviously have our AI 7 coming up on February twenty-ninth

Koby Phillips: which I think is a pretty cool day to do it on right? The first. Yeah. And that’s gonna be a con. That’s gonna be a big conversation around AI as it impacts every different plane of our of our advanced solution. Cx IoT mobility security cloud.

Koby Phillips: So it’s really all encompassing. What you’re seeing in cloud in particular, is what you see with a lot of technologies as it’s rolled out

Koby Phillips: as a service. So companies wanna want to put this into play? They want to.

Koby Phillips: you know, take advantage of this really cutting edge technology. They don’t know how to do it. They don’t have the resources to do it. So along comes AI as a service. And this is going to be offered in a lot of different flavors. So you have this available right now in aws or azure, where companies can go in and do it themselves if they have the right resources and skill set, however, just like many of the other things that happen within our technology space.

Koby Phillips: they don’t. That’s been the biggest to our growth. Yeah, it’s the resources and skill set. It’s just such a big drain right now on everybody. They can’t keep up with it.

Koby Phillips: And if you’re looking at

Koby Phillips: the average project completion percentage right? Few organizations to the low twenties right and meaning like they’re only completing their projects on time, about 20 to 25% of the time somewhere in that range. And that might be a

Koby Phillips: a high estimate.

Koby Phillips: So when you start to see, like what happens when you bring in this approach, and we’ll give in some more details of a hybrid. It management approach or fusion teams where you’re collaborating with our suppliers and what they can bring in, and with the internal teams start to see a lot of goodness with AI as a service.

Koby Phillips: That’s what you’re gonna get into, because companies are want to take advantage of it. They want to bring. They want to do it, and whatever

Koby Phillips: way that they want, and they can’t either. They’re not set up for it. They don’t have the right infrastructure. Their data is not in the right alignment to really take advantage of it. And so when companies come in, it’s really a full service shop of productization of a really cool technology. So that’s going to be the number one trend.

Koby Phillips: and then that rolls into number 2. If you want to get to number one a lot of times, you gotta do number 2 first, which is, modernize your infrastructure and get your company ready to get for AI or any other technology that you’re seeing. So you’re seeing a lot of cleanup and a lot of transformation still happening. And what it’s really

Koby Phillips: and like

Koby Phillips: apparent is a lot of companies. During Covid made a move. They, they reorganize a lot of things, and there’s a lot of Band-aids put on a lot of wounds as the whole world got got shaken up. Now we’re going back and cleaning a lot of that up.

Koby Phillips: You see, companies that are looking to do more with less. And so utilizing technology to automate, innovate, etc. But again, they’re not quite where they need to be. From a skill set perspective. Their resources to take to get to do this is immense sometimes, and they don’t have a good roadmap, a lot of the time. So we’re seeing a ton of conversations still driving in that cloud. Modernization, innovation, transformation conversation.

Koby Phillips: The third one is gonna be that’s gonna lead to a lot of hybrid and multi cloud type of approaches. This one’s been on the list for I don’t know 5, 6, 7 years in a row, but it continues to to bounce up and to let you know where we where we put this this together, Patrick

Koby Phillips: is. We put it together with a combination. What we saw from Gartner, Forbes Forrester, and we took a lot of the same trends that we’re making a lot of the same list, and listed this and created this this out along with what we’re seeing heavily with our engineers and in the channel as well. So it’s a combination list of what we’re seeing is our top trends amongst a lot of different industry results.

Koby Phillips: Why can’t you just put everything in. Aws, I thought, that’s just what you do.

Koby Phillips: You can. It’s always not going to be the the most efficient.

Patrick Oborn: There’s a lot of different reasons that you want to put things in different places, the top 3 negatives about putting stuff in in aws, I’m just gonna pick on AV, because everyone seems to think it’s great, but there’s there’s some issues there a as you grow with aws in terms of

Patrick Oborn: your future options. Your bill, I mean, there’s a lot of stuff. I mean that people haven’t optimized.

Koby Phillips: The top 3, in my opinion, and my opinions are not those. Us is a tremendously great company. If anybody ever sees this down the line, II really appreciate those. But in reality any any public cloud. There’s gonna be some challenges with certain things. A not. Everything’s meant to go to the cloud. You’ve got some legacy applications and things like that. So just putting it in there and

Koby Phillips: expecting the same performance out of an application that was built more in a homegrown type of environment without testing it or even refactoring it. To get it ready is going to be number one, just application and end user

Koby Phillips: issues would be your number one reason to check number 2. If you’re running like a static workload like your production, where it’s not really changing a lot. This is what we’re we’re going to, and you don’t have it networked

Koby Phillips: a certain way you can rack up some pretty heavy egress charges, depending how much you’re transmitting data back and forth.

Koby Phillips: and that surprises a lot of companies still, and then not preparing the organization for a run, book, or procurement change right? So now you all of a sudden go from a legacy model where there was structure, and you had to go get approval to go get hardware, burn it in, put it into this all that to keystrokes and credit cards, and a lot of times. If an organization’s not ready for that, they can. They can rack up some bills

Koby Phillips: which I guess we’ll go with 3, or, you know, issue number 4, reading an Aws Bill and understanding it and getting that through the organization sometimes is very difficult. And so a lot of companies have actually moved into more of a private cloud

Koby Phillips: environment, simply because their bills are easy to read, and they feel like they have more control over what they’re doing. So I’d say those are the top 4. Most common things that we’re seeing with companies want to move out.

Patrick Oborn: Yeah, Kobe, talk to us a little about the storage. II kinda alluded to it back at the ais of service. But, man, we’re creating day. So you guys ready for some new vocabulary. Okay, we have megabytes. Got it right with 1,000 MB.

Patrick Oborn: Gigabyte. Very good. Okay. Now we’ve got. I remember my first gigabyte hard drive man. I’m like I’ve died and gone to heaven. I’ll never need another one. And now we have terabyte hard drives. But now it starts to get to the interesting stuff.

Patrick Oborn: 1,000 TB starts with P. Like Patrick

Patrick Oborn: petabytes

Patrick Oborn: or pibs, as you might hear the word described. Talk about what we do with pips. Gobi.

Koby Phillips: Well, so here’s here’s what’s interesting. So, Patrick, you know, when we went to we took a little bit of a detour this year, we we decided to check out a new conference for for the both of us. I believe it might have been your, for I think it was your first time there as well.

Koby Phillips: and we went to file coin in Vegas, which, at a very interesting time, by the way, cause, we went to a a conference at a Mgm resort or Mgm property right after the big

Patrick Oborn: Mgm, somewhere. Yeah.

Koby Phillips: Cyber security breach that they had. So we got to see firsthand some of what? How much that can cripple a big company like that. So.

Koby Phillips: anyhow, the the amount of information we got on hibs and other stores like components at this conference was really

Koby Phillips: a little bit mind blowing on how big of an opportunity this is the reason why I put it as data stores wars is, you’re gonna see a lot of different companies take a different approach to this. You brought up short data protection. We’re looking at others. Always we have companies that

Koby Phillips: have legacy stores built out of aws and azure, that they’re they’re hosting and and things like that as well as some that are now doing it kind of a web, 2 dot 5, and we’ll go too deep into this right like. But you see more and more companies

Koby Phillips: looking at data storage as a way to either do cost reduction, get more efficient with it and drive it. And it’s a bigger part of that cloud modernization conversation where it was really more infrastructure based a lot of the times. Now, you’re starting to see a lot of optimization conversations around data storage which is gonna continue to lead to a lot more opportunity. There’s that’s gonna be the closest conversation that we can have to what I like to call that legacy, Telco

Koby Phillips: conversation. Where you walk in and go. Hey? Let me review this. There might be a pretty good chance for some cost reduction if we’re willing to move and do some things much like you used to do with.

Koby Phillips: You know, your phone lines or Internet circuits and stuff like that. This will be the closest. We really get to that. A lot more complexity wrapped around it. So you’ll still want to get the right resources involved. But that’s where you start to see a lot of the data storage conversation going.

Koby Phillips: Yeah. So so not to get stuck on this slide. But we’re gonna learn a couple of things today. Number one is pibs which stands for

Patrick Oborn: petabytes. Correct? Okay, the the next

Patrick Oborn: item of vocabulary. Because if you want to get in this world before you go to Telarus University before you go to us. You just have to have to have some basic vocabulary. And I’m speaking from personal experience this time last year. I didn’t know what a pib was, and I didn’t know what these next thing was was is web 1.0

Patrick Oborn: web. 1 point O is a a piece of equipment you own, that could be in your in your closet. It could be in a data center. But it’s your equipment, your applications running on your gear web. 2 point O is somebody else’s stuff in a centralized environment like, Aws.

Patrick Oborn: think Google cloud, think azure. Think even private cloud. Right? It’s it’s it’s a cloud environment. Hosted in a centralized location with a centralized company. And then we have Web 3, which is completely decentralized, meaning. You’re storing your information on a bunch of

Patrick Oborn: communal servers that that volunteers are putting into the system.

Patrick Oborn: and that can be secured through blockchain technology and a bunch of other stuff. But Kobe mentioned Web 2. So Kobe, tell us what what’s halfway in between, like the hyperscalers and public and private cloud, and totally decentralized storage. What’s 2.5? And again, this is like my view on this right? I’m sure there’s more. There’s gonna be a more technical definition as time progresses, or there might be one that already exists now. But the way I look at it is data stores. And this stuff. If I’m sitting there as a as a advisor on this call. I’m going.

Koby Phillips: Wait! What about compliance? And what about security? And all of these things?

Koby Phillips: A lot of the compliance are gonna be set in web 2 dot O,

Koby Phillips: and you’re gonna have to adhere to those

Koby Phillips: but your copies and your backups could live in Web 3, right where there’s arguably even more security or arguably less security. That’s the gonna be the raging debate again. Why, we call it data storage wars. And so you’re gonna see a little bit of that. But 2 5 is essentially where they adhere to the compliance on the front end. But you can get a backup copy or do your backup as a service. Things like that, and more your web through web. 3 type of standard. So it’s a really, it’s again.

Koby Phillips: if you notice what happens here, everything becomes a hybrid, hybrid infrastructure, hybrid data approach, hybrid. It management. It’s gonna be a combination of the best to breed and everything and getting the most out of what you can. And that’s really where clouds going. Everything is. Gonna be about maximizing

Koby Phillips: everything that you can within your architecture, whether that be storage people or your infrastructure, applications, etc., if we’re paying for it, it, better be working as hard as it possibly can be. That’s the way that I see the cloud being approached more and more now, a lot of innovation

Koby Phillips: and a lot of customization is available more so than ever. And there’s a lot more education going on. Data is going to fall right into that same

Koby Phillips: same thing now while they’re doing that. And while they’re falling into that, the next big thing they always have to do, though, make sure that it’s secure and resilient. And so we have. Jason, Signer Vp. Of cyber security. Joining your call here in a couple of weeks, I believe so. He’ll dive deep into that. And we’re the we’re the world of cyber. Security is going and where it is now.

Koby Phillips: But that’s another big issue again. There’s still this, you know I wouldn’t call the debate that the clouds not as secure as the on-prem stuff. But what you’re starting to see

Koby Phillips: is companies needing to understand how that security works. And again, it’s governance and compliance. And as our

Koby Phillips: cyber security solutions architect Jeff Hathcoat says, just because you’re compliant doesn’t mean you’re secure. And so those are 2 very different conversations.

Koby Phillips: And I couldn’t agree more. So, understanding all of that, and creating the swim links. I call it the Albert Einstein effect. He has one of my favorite quotes, and I might butcher a little bit so, but it’s something along the lines of

Koby Phillips: Learn the rules of the game, then play it better than everybody else, and I think security right now in the compliance world sets the rules of the game in cloud infrastructure and any kind of infrastructure for companies. So once we understand that we can, we can build it better than anybody else.

Patrick Oborn: Yeah. And Kobe, I think just before we move on from this slide, I think the one thing that kind of wraps all these things together is the word orchestration, like you can have data in lots of places. You can have different security solutions in it. But the real value is is some of our suppliers and our portfolio

Patrick Oborn: have orchestration software that give you like the control panel. So you can have a complete, you know, view control, panel view of your entire environment, and every company is going to have a different setup. But being able to orchestrate that and bring these suppliers in to really help our customers. Because, like you said, they’re resource strapped their software license.

Patrick Oborn: I think orchestration is, gonna I mean, there’s probably gonna be Web 4 good. I mean, we we don’t know right, but like being able to to help our customers keep and make sense of all of this stuff is really where our community is gonna gonna create a lot of value.

Koby Phillips: Yeah. And what I want to point out again, if I’m setting on the call as an advisor. I’m sitting here going.

Koby Phillips: These are all great. But what does this do for me right? These now should be talk tracks as you go to your customers, and you talk to them. These are a lot of the trending topics to at least bring up. A lot of these can be used, as you know. I think, Patrick, we share one of our favorite movies inception right? And I always say a lot of the best way to change perception sometimes is by inception planting a conversation with a client that they haven’t heard from you before.

Koby Phillips: and a lot of these will can lead to that. If it’s around. You know, it’s not okay. What are you doing in Cloud? But it’s like, Hey, AI is taken off. Do you guys have a plan around it? If not, let me grab a resource and let’s have a conversation.

Patrick Oborn: I think you’re exactly right, Kobe. I think if you take this slide and screenshot, and you put the words, what is your insert thing here? Strategy? Right? What is your AI as a service strategy for 2024? What is what is your your data storage optimization strategy like Just whatever? What is your blank strategy and and and just be a little bit specific and and a lot of your customers may have heard some of these terms, and maybe they have it like you said, it’s gonna create. It’s gonna create a conversation like, what are you talking about? Let’s let’s let’s talk.

Koby Phillips: Yeah, and I’ll give you a quick off the cuff thing. This is. I’m just saying this now, so if it goes poorly. I know we’re live. So this is real, real, risky, but essentially like, if I was talking to customers, say, AI is everywhere. You know, what is your organization doing around that? They’re like, Oh, we got this, this and this and like, well, did you actually do a modernization to prepare your organization for it.

Koby Phillips: And then if they go, yeah, we did a little bit. We’ll do that. Involve hybrid cloud.

Koby Phillips: Do did you take an approach to like spreading out your infrastructure to make sure it’s the most efficient and optimized. And then, once you got into that, what did you end up doing with your data, right, your storage? And and did you look at that as part of your optimization and your hybrid approach?

Koby Phillips: And did you make sure that you were secure and resilient. So we stack these right

Koby Phillips: kind of by accident. But if you just follow that talk track, it starts to follow a pretty good cadence right there where you’re not just like taking one shot. But you’re kind of having a bigger overall view and bigger overall conversation. So those are the top 5 trends in cloud right now and then. What we’re seeing from our practice updates a little bit more granular fashion is we had a record year in 2023, in both revenue and participation.

Koby Phillips: And again, what we’re seeing is a climax of like demand and and education coming together and really taking off for our partners and advisors, and what they’re able to do with their con with

Koby Phillips: their customers. What we shipped into heavily in the last couple of years is the how to approach. We spent the first couple of years of the practice, and the you know what is cloud, defining it. Vocabulary and taking more of like what I’d call a a real academic type of approach to our education.

Koby Phillips: And then we started to go into the why, you know, why does it matter to people a little bit more? And we started to see this shift a little bit more and more. And now this year it’s all about how to how to place the conversation, how to place the talk track. We want you to be technically confident.

Koby Phillips: But we really want you to be an expert facilitator, right understanding how to run and grab the right resources and then drive that through. And of course, the more that you’re comfortable with the technology, the more confident you’re gonna come across in your conversation. So

Koby Phillips: we’re giving you a lot of landing zones we’ll go over to a lot of theMSP live events. But we’re working diligently to add more and more content to our Lms, we’re doing a lot, more virtual events, a lot more podcast and education. So we’re really wanting everyone to be up to speed and go at their own pace as much as they want. And we’re seeing a lot of conversations centered around what we test on earlier, which is that hybrid it manage. Approach.

Koby Phillips: Whenever I come into something we always said, Hey, have business conversations, don’t get too lost in the technology, have business conversations. And then we just stop talking.

Koby Phillips: We didn’t say what business conversations to target, or even how to have the business conversation a lot of the times. We remedied that quite well in 2023, in my opinion, and a lot of our live events at our sends, and again, virtually. And then the lightning trainings and all the stuff that we’re doing has really been centered around.

Koby Phillips: How do you sell it. How do you sell it? How do you sell it? I don’t. I love what the technology does. But how do you sell it? And how does that make a big impact to our technology advisors?

Koby Phillips: When I took a big step back and I started talking to a lot of customers. In a, you know, executive level, like Vp. And above, we started having hybrid it. Management of conversations.

Koby Phillips: I sat down with them and asked, Would you use? Would you use an MSP. And

Koby Phillips: a lot of them were hesitant. Now we do most of the things internally, and so we ran this little. II would run this scenario by, and I did this with a buddy of mine in Seattle. Who’s the CIO? And I said, What’s it take to replace

Koby Phillips: a lead on a project if they leave or quit, which is a big risk for a lot of companies. You got somebody that goes in on a Tuesday takes a certification test, or worse, 3 to 4 x on what they are the next day after they pass that thing, and they’re on the job market right? Because you don’t have the budget to keep them on staff.

Koby Phillips: Well, it takes about. It can take anywhere from 3 to 9 months, 3 on the short end. That means if you have already, if it’s, you know, position that you can easily fill, which isn’t available right now, generally 6 to 9 months. So you get somebody hired. Get them in, get them up to speed, get them into the project, and off you go, or if you were running that with an MSP. Even if you had to replace the MSP. Something happened

Koby Phillips: usually about a 30 to 45 day gap. And now your project completion percentage stays on track, and that when you start having that business conversation of Hey, we want to help you, Streamline, and get from point A to Point B faster, and we can bring in a lot of different methodologies to do so. We’ll find the one that fits best for you. That drives a lot a lot of sales and a lot more conversation.

Koby Phillips: The other big key area, Patrick, is data center exploded. Right?

Patrick Oborn: Good old fashioned data center still going? Huh?

Koby Phillips: Not II think it was record years for most every one of our suppliers. I was talking to him in May and June. They’re like, Yeah, we’re under number for the year, and everything has a reason that cause and effect. Well, AI, the explosion and AI was the reason why we saw data center stuff. Now, the thing to know about data center services, it’s a real estate transaction. A lot of our big data center suppliers are reach real Estate investment trust. And if you can shift your mind to thinking it that way, you can understand what’s coming out of my mouth. Next

Koby Phillips: data center is the most expensive it’s ever been.

Koby Phillips: and companies are willing to pay for it because everybody else is still simultaneously wanting to get out of the data center business or a lot of companies they don’t want to run, maintain it, have to deal with the power, upgrades all of the different sock compliances, etc. There’s a multitude of different reasons why data center continues to grow.

Koby Phillips: We also see companies again with that hybrid approach. looking at every part of their technology. Second going. This might actually work better.

Koby Phillips: not in the cloud. And let’s pull that out and put it in a in a data center that’s near cloud and create an ecosystem of technology that best serves us. So a lot of different reasons. But really that AI boom, you’re seeing all these big AI companies which is similar. Remember, like, when blu Bitcoin first came out, you saw the minors and they’re looking for data center space. But they didn’t have yeah. But they didn’t have any money right? That was the big thing, or they weren’t financially backed.

Koby Phillips: Companies are financially backed, and they have money, and you’re seeing the average cost, I think, went up about 40 to 45, maybe even 50%. On some of these data centers. Where this sets, we had one really good win for our partner. But the company kinda drug their feet, and they were looking at Data center space in January last year

Koby Phillips: and ended up signing it in November. And they’re like, Hey, they’re gouging us. It’s a 40% increase. And we we helped negotiate a little bit and got it down.

Koby Phillips: And I send them over a Wall Street journal article. And I said, You’re actually getting a really good deal. And here’s like, here’s the layout of what’s going on in the data center space.

Koby Phillips: And it really it, it painted that picture pretty perfectly.

Patrick Oborn: Why, why wouldn’t they just get cloud resources or bare metal? Why did they want data center?

Koby Phillips: They actually had a huge footprint and a private cloud. And oh, cloud! But they wanted to run some of their their they wanted to air gap a lot of their

Koby Phillips: word. I’m looking for dev development. They didn’t want it. Anybody on anybody else’s gear or anything else that they wanted in theirs. They wanted nobody else to be able to get to it. They had a singular private layer to connection back to the developers. And that was it. There was no Internet, no other connectivity was needed in this particular. Stuff they were. It’s an innovative company. And so they’re

Koby Phillips: their intellectual property is by far their most valuable asset, and they just wanted to make sure as protected as possible.

Patrick Oborn: Yeah, no, no. I just asked that question just to illustrate the fact that that there are still applications today that require that like, it’s not a broad stroke. I mean every single application. Every single workload, every single a piece of data generated it. It has a right place to go, and most

Patrick Oborn: other people out there are putting it in the right place. They’re not optimized, or, as you like to say, modernized. Right? Lots and lots of opportunity. Let’s let’s talk about you mentioned the word a holistic selling approach. Explain to us what a holistic selling approach like actually like means

Koby Phillips: I well, if we’re just doing the cloud snapshot, I’ll stick to that, and then I’ll expand it out from there. But essentially, think about what we just talked about going back to the the slide. Previously the company wants to go to AI. Well have they? Do they have their infrastructure modernize, or their applications in the right spies or data in the right spot to do so.

Koby Phillips: So that’s

Koby Phillips: you know, we’re trying to get to here. But we need to take a big picture view of everything else going on. And then, when you, when you take that approach, what I’ve seen is you start to get involved in more and more projects, because what you also start to see with a holistic viewpoint and not going in and selling product.

Koby Phillips: Because I think that’s how you put yourself in a corner. If you go in and say, Hey, what are you doing for data protection? They’re like, Oh, we just implemented this this and this, and you’re like.

Koby Phillips: cool, cool, cool, cool. I’ll see out there, I mean, there’s you don’t leave yourself a lot of room. But if you’re sticking to like this type of approach again, more of that business conversation, business driving, you get put into a different position in that conversation, and you can see everything going on.

Koby Phillips: Then you can start inserting the right technology resources to help solve or build those solutions. And you’re carrying it across. So in cloud, it’s really

Koby Phillips: what applications need to go where and why. And then, once we get into that. Okay, this application is going to be destined for the cloud, it’s going to be more efficient and driven there, public or private.

Koby Phillips: Okay? Well, you have a choice, and it doesn’t have to be. It can be

Koby Phillips: and and not or right. So we’re gonna put it in private, it can fell over to public. We’ll run it

Koby Phillips: a hybrid, a component. We can start to containerize some of our applications, and it can live anywhere in our environment. Some stuff will stay on. Prem. And so when I say, sell holistically and cloud it.

Koby Phillips: data center

Koby Phillips: cloud infrastructure and managing the applications as much as possible.

Koby Phillips: Someone could just take your brain, just diagram it out so we could see it. That would be so amazing. Oh, wait! What’s on the next slide. Well, not quite that. But then, when you take the holistic approach and you take a step back from Cloud.

Koby Phillips: it’s everything else network to get to the cloud. I’m stealing this from Chad Arnold at equinox, but he would always say, consumption is drive oh, sorry connections drive consumption. If you’re not networked right to the clouds.

Koby Phillips: You’re not, it’s not. It’s not gonna work as well right. If you’re not having the right imp infrastructure going into the clouds and networking back to your end users. It’s the application could be great. The the cloud infrastructure could be amazing. But the end user results still gonna be poor. So you’ve got to have that working.

Koby Phillips: Then you’ve got to have the security to wrap around it and make sure that your everything’s going to be safe and secure and compliant.

Koby Phillips: And then you get to get into the fun stuff. How are we communicating to each other? And how are we communicating with our customers. And now you’re having Cx type conversations and you’re driving through every single aspect. That’s what’s exciting about our channel and what we’re able to offer at Solaris to to our advisors is when we get into our our portfolio, you’re gonna quickly realize.

Koby Phillips: And I say this, a lot of the times when we’re at our sins. What’s the difference between our technology advisors and

Koby Phillips: okay.

Patrick Oborn: Hello! Do we lose Kobe?

Doug Miller: We just lost Doug. Your prophecy may actually come, come right. I don’t want any responsibility for that at all. I he was actually concerned that the power we go out. And he was a dramatic pause there all of a sudden, and then he he left us there. But people in the chatter blaming you, Doug, I think that you maybe sabotage it. Nope.

Patrick Oborn: Koby, you doing all right. We’re wondering about that big Pacific northwest storm that was a little bit of a cliffhanger on what I was saying, there, so

Koby Phillips: yeah, it is. It’s going. It’s going back and forth on the power outage. So if I lose you guys again, but let me try to pull this up, and we’ll get through the information as quickly as possible. Sorry, guys.

Koby Phillips: Alright. There we go.

Patrick Oborn: Yeah, you’re explaining. You’re explaining this to us

Koby Phillips: how everything rests on. So if you look at kind of that, that back and forth and and everything on the data center cloud, I guess it didn’t move was my screen not moving either, because I think that was another issue. Anyways, I digress at home right now. II might screenshot this one. This one is basically the cloud practice and and a holistic

Patrick Oborn: top down snapshot. So I I’m a visual person. This makes all the sense of the world to me, but explaining it sometimes, it’s hard to follow everything.

Koby Phillips: and you won’t. Yeah, you won’t. This won’t be the last. You see this in any of our presentation. I think this slide is gonna be one that gets carried out through a lot. So but this is really the approach that we’re seeing to to selling in cloud, and then again, it it catapults you into selling other things, or vice versa. If you’re selling into that. You can pull this in.

Koby Phillips: And what I was positioning before before I dropped was, there’s not a big difference anymore between what these big consulting firms, Kpmg, essential and all that. If you utilize the resources and utilizing the the technology

00:39:58.930 –> 00:40:26.400
Koby Phillips: that are that our advisors are able to bring to their clients. If you think about what what a rep at like a center or Kpmg does. Generally they’re there to to cultivate the relationship, understand the need, and then bring in the resources to drive the right technology and solve and build the solutions. If you look at what our tas are capable of now, with the expanded portfolio, you start to see more and more of that as well. In fact, we added 3 suppliers in 2023. We didn’t add a tremendous amount. We had a lot come over from

Koby Phillips: or acquisition Tcg. Or supplier management was getting those guys on board and everything that. So we got really particular on who we brought in. And why?

Koby Phillips: So we brought in ensure data protection because of their relationship with rubric. And they’re they’re honestly, we’re getting a lot of our advisors saying, Hey, we we’d love to get these guys into portfolio. They do a really great job. And so we we went and we got those guys on board next up, we had unisys, which is a global systems integrator. And yeah, newer to our channel brand new to our channel. And they’re gonna come and make a pretty big impact. What this really does

Koby Phillips: is opens up a lot of new opportunity and a lot of new products for

Koby Phillips: our partners. So consulting on

Koby Phillips: Major erp, like SAP. But also the consulting and things like that.

Koby Phillips: They get into a little bit of the the Crm. And like service now as a service, and so on, and so forth. So when we get them fully, they just sign we’re getting them ready to launch. I’ll let them have their spotlight to go over all of their stuff, so I don’t want to still too much of it but a bit of a

Koby Phillips: a game changer as far as the expanded product set that we’re able to offer for our partners, and we’re really excited to have them on board, and then dark points. We actually signed technically, I think, at the end of 20 22 we got them on boarded in 2023, and we didn’t really give them a lot of highlight. But they they came on very strong. They’re doing a really good job.

Koby Phillips: data center facilities and some key areas that we didn’t have before and our in our coverage. But then what we’ve seen them do is like the bare metal and some other major security products as well. So we’ve seen a lot of good stuff come out of dark points in their their first year with us and ramping, so I wanted to make sure and give them a highlight as well. And then, if you see where these guys fit in alphabetically to the new, to our set. Oh.

Koby Phillips: went too far, you see a really full portfolio, and I will say this if by accident we apologize in advance. But I believe we we captured majority, if not all, of our suppliers here, and we have a lot of suppliers that will touch stuff in cloud, that

Koby Phillips: that we don’t consider a pure cloud play as well. So there’s a little bit of delineation there. But you see a ton of opportunity and options here, and we’re gonna continue to add more and more. We have some really exciting stuff that we’re having the works as far as what suppliers we’re targeting and bringing on

Koby Phillips: Our engineers do a great job of vetting them technically or supplier management does a tremendous job of vetting them to make sure they’re ready for the Channel, and can support support our partners, and I would put our process of getting a supplier vetted and ready to to be in the Channel up against anybody else’s like they do a really good job of making sure that they’re ready to

Koby Phillips: really do a good job with it for our partners, and giving them what they need from support before we before we’ll sign up. And Kobe is there like a couple of just alpha males in here that just are running away with all the sales, and everyone else is getting the scraps, or is it pretty kinda evenly spread like, how? What what is the distribution, looking like from your perspective. For last year there is no giant. Everybody’s pretty spread like one to 10 was separated by less than like 80,000 100,000 of production as we settle out 2,024 so we get a lot of nice wins and spread across the board. And that’s not surprising. Cause what ends up happening.

Koby Phillips: You start to get into the weeds of the deal. And you realize, hey, there’s so many particular details that this is a perfect fit for X supplier, right? And what? And so that really kind of sorts it out. There’s not really

Koby Phillips: one that one can do everything. We’re seeing a lot more

Koby Phillips: features and products added, and so there might that might emerge over time. But right now it’s pretty pretty competitive across the board.

Koby Phillips: Some might have a certain compliance, some I have a certain geography that they’re in. So my, there’s just so much nuance right? Is that what you’re saying? Yeah, I mean, if you look in we had a big win at to to wrap up the end of the year, because there was a movement between 2 companies merge together. There is a product. There’s a a need for diversity.

Koby Phillips: And we saw a 250,000 win come in. That’ll grow to 500,000, because the company has to have diversity in in their in their architecture, and it was a supplier. That was newer to us. They done a couple of things, and all of a sudden they shoot up, and they they grow real rapidly, because you can see those big deals hit in this type of space quite a bit.

Patrick Oborn: Speaking of. I just wanted to do a quick aside from your presentation you mentioned deals growing december is always the month where we go back to Laris and look at all the deals that you put in through the year and see how they’ve grown. So if you put in something for 50 K. And it’s now a hundred K, we actually go in and and net that on your scoreboard for President’s club, and all that fun stuff. So enjoy your happy December of revenue growth. And I think that’s one of the coolest things. All the advanced solutions, Kobe, I mean they tend to be pretty sticky

Patrick Oborn: and and have really long runway growth. But, man, your stuff grows fast like there. There’s not a lot of people that put something in today and not not have, you know, a double or triple bill in a in a couple of years. I mean, explain to us why

Patrick Oborn: why it’s so sticky and why it’s it just has such great intensity, intrinsic growth.

Koby Phillips: Couple of different reasons. A depending on the product. Sometimes, if if it’s database like or not database, but like data driven will, as you kind of brought up earlier, more and more data is being created more than ever. And that’ll continue to be the statement, probably to the end, in the time. At this point.

Koby Phillips: and you. So you just see a natural growth. The other thing that happens is you’ll get involved in a in a scope of work or an SW. Of an initial project.

Koby Phillips: And then, as they’re in that, the customer will start going. Hey, can you guys help with this? Or can you help with that. And by the time the the scope of work is really kind of thought through in this, they’re usually added 3 or 4 other projects or or or more, and we’re seeing that more and more. And if you go and you talk to the spires, they’re seeing that greatly. So you’re seeing about a low in 35%, a high end of like 60% growth in accounts in cloud. But it’s the analogy I go with is, you know, Patrick, have you had any work done on your house anytime recently.

Patrick Oborn: Right now, man.

Koby Phillips: and whenever you’re you have the person that comes into paint, and then you’re like, hey? Can you fix this? Or can you do that? And you get a resource at your house that’s capable of doing things for you right? And you add to that list. Well, that’s similar to what we see with companies. And and these advanced technologies is they’re like, Hey, can you help with this? And this is on our project list. So you just see a lot of natural growth that way as well.

Patrick Oborn: Okay, next question, this is a lot of suppliers. It’s a lot. It’s to keep straight. We’ve got tools. We’ve got a Qsa right that we just launched in solution view. We have a matrix that you can use. But I think the real

Patrick Oborn: like Power Center of this cloud universe is your engineering, our engineering department. Talk to us a little bit about what they did last year. And the percentage of your revenue that they touched.

Koby Phillips: There’s about 70 plus percent of the revenue that goes through

Koby Phillips: these. The desk of these guys one way or another, for that hits in our cloud number

Patrick Oborn: unassisted bookings. I mean, most of these are big, complicated projects that our guys jump in and and work with the ta to get that get that done. And what we’re seeing is

Koby Phillips: and expansion of knowledge base on with our team more and more, I think. Josh, Bob and Jw. All drive education throughout this throughout the team, continuing education

Koby Phillips: more and more certifications, more and more supplier training. So they’re staying up. They do a great job of balancing between learning everything new, retaining what they’ve already learned, and then giving the right amount of attention to the deals that they’re on, because again, they’re tagged to the deals. This isn’t just like a hey? Here’s 3 suppliers. Wish you luck. See out there type of of approach that our team takes. They’re in the car with you riding shotgun as much as you want them to be involved.

Koby Phillips: and there’s one in particular that I love to call out because it it was kind of a labor love, is it? 2 plus year process? Josh hazel horse, who, if you see on on the list of sort of specialties.

Koby Phillips: he’s one of the few that clouds actually not on there, as especially right. But he closed along with the partner. A a deal that’ll probably bill half a million holistically

Koby Phillips: couple of 100,000 in cloud. But then you got security. You’ve got network. You got all that, but that’s 70 plus hours combined on calls and and and supplier vetting and things like that.

Koby Phillips: And I think that’s what we’re seeing. That’s a great win for our partner. That’s a great win for Telarus. That’s a great win

Koby Phillips: for Josh. And and hearing his involvement in his story. I wanted to make sure and give him a call. We have examples like that across the board here, right? And we can get into particulars, and you’ll start to see a series of us breaking down deals a little bit more and kind of more into the nitty gritty of them as well. Not like that

Koby Phillips: that pie in the Sky case setting. We heard a lot of partners wanted to hear those type of stories not like. Oh, II was out one day it was sunny. I met a customer. The customer needed this, and then, 3 weeks later, we signed it, and it was great like.

Koby Phillips: we all understand. That doesn’t really happen at all right. It does happen very rarely, but it not not what we want to hear we want to hear, hey? We got into the deal

Koby Phillips: there was internal changes. The customer we had to fight through that. Here’s how we did it. Here’s how we we built the solution. Here’s how we prepped the supplier that becomes a big key player in this conversation.

Koby Phillips: supplier alignment preparation and getting them to the table, and then setting on the right side of that table as an advisor, is like one of the biggest drivers, and we go in depth on that in our education, and and what we’re gonna be going going through as far as like how to prepare yourself for success in these bigger opportunities or any opportunity, really, and just a method of approach. So

Koby Phillips: I wanted to give Josh a big shout out, because again, tons of effort, terms of opportunity, and I could pick out

Koby Phillips: a number of different stories that we have throughout 2023 and pulled out. Jason Kaufman jumped into a huge deal that continues to be one of our largest billers as a whole, which around a managed erp solution, he jumped in

Koby Phillips: work through that the guy eats certification like cami like he’s just. His brain is like something that should be studied as you kind of put out there earlier. So

Koby Phillips: the team that we have is tremendous. I would go put these guys up against anybody anytime, and be very confident to bet everything I own that we’re gonna come out on top.

Patrick Oborn: So we take 5 s. Tell us what the difference between a regional sales engineer inside engineer and a solution architect is for those of us that may not understand clearly, like where to engage for what?

Koby Phillips: Yeah, I would say, always start with your your regional right, and then they’ll help bring in, and it’s Bob or Jw. Or Josh things differently than we can. Let them clear it up on the calls that they come on later. But in my opinion, you start with your engineers, and generally what we’re seeing them is they’re helping develop the relationships in market and their and their territories that they’re covering. And then the inside engineers are really driving a lot

Koby Phillips: of support in in

Koby Phillips: coverage or overlap or getting things quickly back to our internal teams when they’re asking technical questions.

Koby Phillips: But you talk about 2 2 guys that are just tremendous. And Trevor and Chad both are amazing. Chad comes in with a very deep cloud background, and I would put him at an expert level in in throwing that and Trevor as well, and security and cloud. So we see a ton of coverage there. We actually have a solutions architect opening for cloud that we’re going through some final stages on now with with Josh. And what we’re seeing out of that group is just an additional level of

Koby Phillips: continued focus in that particular discipline and technology. So you have your regional guys that are gonna be your generalist. Engineers are. Gonna follow that same suit, and then your architects come in and, like Jeff, there’s nobody better than Jeff Hathco. When it comes to cyber security period. The guy’s a cisps, the Cism. He was a C. So he’s done the conceptual. He’s applied it. He’s ran it. He’s

Koby Phillips: he’s trained it. He’s done literally everything you could do in cyber security, and continues to stay on top of all of the new trends and the new products and things that are coming out. And you spread that out to Cx with Megan, Jason and Mike. Then we’ll have that same type of focus and approach in cloud.

Koby Phillips: And it’s really a nice way to approach supporting our partners and giving them layered approaches again, getting the right resources involved at the right time.

Patrick Oborn: That’s awesome. That’s probably the best explanation of our engineer department. I’ve I’ve heard from a non engineer. So that’s that’s fantastic, Kobe, if people watching this call today are interested and maybe continuing their education, doubling down. What are their their best?

Patrick Oborn: Plans that they could be making right now

Koby Phillips: well, based on what you’re seeing on the screen. So we’re we’re going to roll cloud and cyber together again, because those conversations continue to overlap in the ascends. So you see, Miami Tyson’s corner, Bill View, Dallas, and then we got some virtuals coming. Those are in the first half year. We have some others that are going to be in the back half of the year as well, and some other cities. What you’re also seeing is that AI summit? And you’ll see that the the impact that cloud has there on top of that, we’re gonna be doing a number of things virtually so.

Koby Phillips: I think I’m okay to do this, but if not, then Leela can jump in any time and and override me. Anybody from marketing or Doug. Stop me. But we’re gonna be introducing a series as we wrap up the State of the Union called our Telarus uhres hit sessions. That’ll be on the back half, I believe, with the Tuesday calls, that’s saying, for high intensity to tech training, and it will vary on the technology discipline. So we’ll come in.

Koby Phillips: You’ll see a variation of either, you know guest speakers and roundtables like with us hosting it, or we’ll go over lightboard sessions, or we’ll do something deep dive in in our, in our plane and technology. That’ll be a shared responsibility as myself and my peers on the advanced solutions. Team Sam for Cx.

Koby Phillips: Jason for cyber security, and then Graham Scott for mobility. IoT. So you’re gonna see a nice lineup

Koby Phillips: coming at you of additional trainings and education, as you see that expand more and more. And then on top of that, we’ll continue to do our one day lightning trainings, and any customer facing type of events that you’d like us to be involved in so a number of different ways to get us involved in your education, your conversations with your clients.

Patrick Oborn: I think another big way is they can also plan on coming to Partner Summit right in Nashville this August, I mean, I think I think the cloud AI and Cyber security areas are gonna be

Patrick Oborn: very popular, very, very heavily attended. Very in demand. So

Patrick Oborn: partner summit, all of this stuff is information that you they can find on the website. Also, Telarus University has has a training calendar, and we’re excited to train you in person, but also a lot of the things that even this Tuesday call that’s happening today is also available on Telarus University. And I don’t know if you guys have like checked out to Larry’s University lately.

Patrick Oborn: It doesn’t even vaguely resemble what it was 2 years ago. I mean, it is full of certifications. It is full of online training. It is full of recordings just like this that we’ve done. You could get lost back

Patrick Oborn: back there. It it went from a little community college kind of thing to like a 4 year university, with lots of lots of buildings and lots of lots of donors given to the universities like. It’s like mild university every time I go there. It’s under construction. There’s like 5 new buildings. I never, you know, even realize they had so Tillers University continues to grow.

Patrick Oborn: Leela, who’s running this call, is in charge of that, so congrats to her, shout to you, and also shout it to you, Kobe, again. The practice that that you’ve built, the the amount of training. And II love it. How you have transition, that training from how things work, to how to position them and how to sell them. I think that I think that’s that’s really crucial. And one of the main reasons you’ve seen such an uptick in your practice.

Koby Phillips: I did want to leave with one other thing, too. There’s also, you know, you have Josh’s podcast which I think. Oh, my gosh! Pull it up on spotify, man! It’s I will tell you the best story that I remember from last year, and it was a partner out of California, called up and said, Hey, I was walking my dog. And I was listening to your podcast when you and Josh were talking about

Koby Phillips: azure and how to approach it. In this conversation I took some notes. I went and talked to my customer. And I need you. I need you guys on a call with them next week if you can jump on. And

Koby Phillips: that was really cool, because it’s like, Oh, these are really impactful things. So it really made me recognize

Koby Phillips: the way that we do so many different things is not to overwhelm our community. But to give you guys a choice of how you want to absorb the information, and we’re just trying to put out. Put that out as much as we possibly can. So we really appreciate all of your commitment and time and and

Patrick Oborn: training yourselves to to go and to have these different type of conversations. So thank you, guys, very, very. One part is one of your peers, a technology advisor talking about his

Patrick Oborn: or her perspective on a specific, very specific topic. By the way, number 2, you have a hilarious engineer solution, architect, or an internal resource, talking about our

Patrick Oborn: version or or view on that one specific topic, and then we bring in a supplier for their specific view. And also, you know, to see where they’re investing and why they think it’s something that people need to be be thinking about talking about, and why one of the ones that I loved in yours, I mean, Kobe, you did a a ton on azure. You also did another one another series on

Patrick Oborn: Microsoft licenses like II never would have guessed that Microsoft licenses is something that we could help partners or help customers with, and it absolutely is. And it’s a great entree into, you know, lots of other conversations. But but the but the very fact is, people have things.

Patrick Oborn: These things get outdated, their licenses get outdated. The technology gets outdated. There’s always a modernization and optimization conversation to be had. Kobe, I don’t think that’s ever gonna go away. I think that’s that’s a standard. And it’s just up to us to figure out what those next things are and just position a conversation that’s that we know is gonna head down that direction that the customer would be willing to to engage with.

Koby Phillips: Yeah, I couldn’t agree more the biggest message I can give to our community is simply.

Koby Phillips: don’t be afraid to have the conversation, cause you have the right resources behind you to take care of the to get into the weeds with you, and make sure that you come out of that just fine.

Patrick Oborn: awesome. Well, Ashley Heather, everybody. Thank you for for visiting and and spending some time with us, Doug. Let’s go ahead and and wrap us up with a little bit of Q&A with the time we’ve got left

Doug Miller: sounds great. I want to welcome Trevor Hunt from London. It’s the end of the day over there. But he put in some great comments in our chat window, but also wanted to ask a great question about some

Doug Miller: customers and clients that may be considering moving out of cloud due to the prohibitive costs that we’ve talked about some of them on this call, some that are just happening in the marketplace. What is your response to advisors who have questions about clients who may want to rethink what they’ve already put in solutions in the past.

Koby Phillips: Yeah, absolutely do it. I was part of a project where we pulled out cloud-based storage, killed that as a whole, and then moved

Koby Phillips: after hardware and equipment. Everything else we we were able to secure about 120,000 month saving for a large organization. based on what their needs are. Everything’s gonna be

Koby Phillips: unique in this space. I’ve never seen one client that has the exact same infrastructure setup as the as another right. They might have same issues. And and you start to know really how to solve for the issues or solutions. But the details are always a little bit different. So I would never again don’t go in just thing, hey? Everything’s meant to go to the cloud. No.

Koby Phillips: review it, and that’s the nice part about where you said you have options on how you want to do this. You want to move it out of the cloud. Great, but I would recommend putting it into a third party data center near Cloud. So you don’t lose a level of application performance if you still have stuff in the cloud, and they’re dependent on one another, right? So there’s there’s ways that you need to think about architecting and networking it. But absolutely the responsible thing is to look at it in a lens and get the resources involved that can do that and give you a variety of options for your client.

Koby Phillips: The whole thing for what you’re looking at

Koby Phillips: and building architecture is to allow agility, flexibility, and really nimbleness within an organization. And that’s harder with

Koby Phillips: older, larger organizations. But as you can build that out, you start to see it, we’re going through it right now. Internally, right? We’re we’re going over a big overhaul of our infrastructure. So we can set up what comes next. Additional products, additional innovation additional things, but it’s built on the engine that can drive it. And we don’t have to change course all the time. It’s a it’s a traditional modernization project

Doug Miller: which might sound almost like a oxymoron. But anyhow that’s my answer to that. I hope that hope that cleared everything up that did vine just popped in with a question which is related to that a little bit. What kind of retention are we looking at for customers who invest heavily in cloud services. And over the 4 years that you’ve been working with this specifically, how are Telarus advisors doing and retaining those customers over time?

Retaining and growing

Doug Miller: would tell you about retention, but none of the customers have cancelled yet, so he doesn’t have any data on that.

Koby Phillips: I can think of. One time we had to move somebody from one supplier to another, and it was due to just like

Koby Phillips: a complete misunderstanding. But the baby got thrown out of the Bath water we brought in another supplier. They took it over. They’ve done a great job. That account continues to grow. That went from being a $1,200 data center cell to billing about 22,000 loud. Last time I checked in infrastructure and disaster recovery and some other services, and it’s all because the customer wanted to kill the hardware. They wanted to eventually get out, and our advisor simply asked them why they were wanting to move to a data center, and that Ca, that catapulted the entire conversation from there.

Koby Phillips: Always ask, why, that’s a great point, Koby, and but let me get to let me get to. Maybe the heart of that question, too. We’ve seen the maturity and our agreements. We’ve seen maturity and our supplier approaches that protect our technology advisors more and more in this space than we ever have. We’re seeing we’re seeing a tremendous amount of work done by our supplier management team led by Christie Hamburger on going through and rating contracts, and going back and renegotiating the ones that we can to get better terms, to get better payouts and

Koby Phillips: to improve the relationship between our advisors and our suppliers, and really

Koby Phillips: drive that and protecting our creating a partner experience at each one of these suppliers that gives them layers of protection and growth.

And so a lot most of our suppliers. In fact, I’d say all of this point understand what what the community is, and how to support it better than they ever have.

Koby Phillips: And so we’re not seeing a lot of like, hey? We brought you a lead. You grew the account by 80, and you cut me out. That horror story doesn’t happen anymore. That was something that was happening. I think there was a learning curve for the suppliers. As this was an emerging space, we’re back 5, 6, 7 years ago. We’ve seen that get cleaned up a tremendous amount going forward.

Patrick Oborn: That’s a great point you bring up. Kobe is getting this thing cleaned up. I mean, I can’t tell you how many problems we had when when a contract would say, the the advisor must be active in the renewal, and things would renew and grow, and all of a sudden the advisors like cut out why, well, what I do wrong.

Patrick Oborn: And and you they didn’t meet their definition. And so we, you know, and that was just all legal legal mumble, Joel, that that you’re right. Our our supply management team has done a fantastic job cleaning that up.

Koby Phillips: And if if if that happens and they’re still language like that in some of the agreements. But there is a lot more.

Koby Phillips: We understand the value of the channel. We do not want to disrupt our relationship that can. There’s not.

Koby Phillips: Nobody sees this as a referral agent anymore. And if they do, they they do get downvoted quite a bit. And we we focus on the ones that understand the relationship a lot better. Right?

Doug Miller: It should be obvious to anyone who’s paid attention to day. But we see it internally as well. Obviously Telarus has set itself up now to have the best educated and the best qualified and provide the best help for all of our technology partners

Doug Miller: and advisors out there, Patrick. There was a great question that came in from Arvin, and you answered it briefly in the chat, but I wanted to give you a chance to talk about it personally. You said in an interview this past summer that no one brings more to the table. Especially we outdo the big consulting agencies and whatnot than tellerus advisors. Why is that?

Patrick Oborn: Because when you, when you look at the overall experience. When when someone hires a consultant, there’s usually a problem they want to solve. So they hire consultant to come in at a pretty large price tag to take a look at the problem, analyze it, and then provide a solution. Right? And and a lot of times, those companies that bring in people they bring people in right out of college. They bring in people that don’t have a ton of experience, and only the big ticket clients really get the heavy lifting

Patrick Oborn: of the the super experience guys, we’re we’re our community, our ta, our technology advisors. They get access to lupst on every deal. If they needed, they get access to J. Lo! Mikey, be chad, muck, and fuss all of these people can come in, sell with you, be part of your team, and and give literally better advice than the consulting people. Do not leave a hundred $1,000 price tag in the back. But I think

Patrick Oborn: I not only do we do it better? But II think there’s still more education has to happen, because clients are like well.

Patrick Oborn: it it’s like they have this notion of like being comfortable paying for that. And so when we come in and say, No, no, it’s free. I think it freaks people out quite honestly. I think I think we, as a channel, need to do a better job of explaining our value. And part of that is how we get compensated because they look. The the the resources we’re gonna bring are superior.

Patrick Oborn: but they are expensive. The great news is, is we work with these wonderful technology suppliers.

Patrick Oborn: They compensate us, regardless of where things go much like II explain it like in the medical type of scenario, like we go and have Mike, my wife does that bilateral knee replacement surgery like I didn’t write a check for that. The insurance company wrote check to the doctor, right? So so the insurance payment is coming from the suppliers that that makes us whole because we’re absolutely not free. And so I think, as we as a as an industry, do a better job of explaining our value. Kobe, what are your thoughts on that cause? I’m

Patrick Oborn: I’m sure that you’ve seen the paid consulting. Oh, no, I’m free kind of conversations happening.

Koby Phillips: Yeah, I would say, it’s it’s again the value that I see that our community can to discuss with their clients is again

Koby Phillips: the resources, how it’s structured to your point getting that talk tech talk track really tight.

Koby Phillips: And then explaining that it’s not a point product type of sale. It’s really it’s not a transaction transactional or transitional sale anymore. It’s a transformational sale, and no no matter what area you go into.

Koby Phillips: as long as you can let them know it can lead into other things. I think it opens up that that bigger approach, that holistic approach of selling, that the complete stack in both like cloud, but also all these other things as well. And when you back into the resources, and I see a a question in a chat from Nick that I can can address in in this answer as well.

Koby Phillips: You do see a tremendous amount of increase, close rate when our resources get involved.

Koby Phillips: based on what we’re seeing now. What we don’t know is how many deals go through that we don’t have insight to, because we’re not involved at all right, but I can tell you that we have a great close rate.

Koby Phillips: when you’re seeing as many deals as our engineers see.

Koby Phillips: they they get to see they get to help all kind of help navigate with with our Tas as well. Our technology advisors on.

Koby Phillips: Hey, we’re we’re. This is probably a Common Stall Point. Here’s a couple of things I’ve seen. Unhook it, or here’s some next steps, and make sure that we do this, or make sure that we do that, and they’re kind of help guiding it along along that. So it’s not just the tech technical stuff.

Koby Phillips: because I used to go and put technical solutions together for clients.

Koby Phillips: Hand them over weird whiteboard. I told the story many times. You see, people taking their phones out there taking pictures, and I’m like I killed it. I’m dropping the marker. I’m walking out of the room. I’m like, send me the contracts. And then the contracts never showed up

Koby Phillips: because I forgot one key element.

Koby Phillips: We didn’t give them what drives customer loyalty more than anything else, a good sales experience

Koby Phillips: and out of product

Koby Phillips: product and solutions, company and brand price and sales experience 53% of what drives customer loyalty is sales. Experience. 9 is price, 18 is company and brand and 20 is that product and solution? If you have that up, that should be 100. If not.

Koby Phillips: I was told there’d be no math. So the the long and the short of it is, that’s the power that this

Koby Phillips: this channel has. They have a lot of the right relationships. What I think, what we do to challenge them in cloud is, understand the technology to your comfort level, but challenge your customers to think a little bit differently, open up different conversations, and then, like, bring insight and impact with the resources that you can bring to the table.

Patrick Oborn: Another thing I’ve seen work really well is, remember when you make a sale. You share your commission with us. We get a small piece. So that makes us basically

Patrick Oborn: partners right? Like partners split deals together. So we have a partnership. What you tell your client is, I can get access to a very heavy, very expensive engineer who is not biased, who is, does not work for any of the suppliers who can come and give us an honest engineering assessment.

Patrick Oborn: But I will. I will cover that expense if you will agree for to take an appointment next Tuesday at 50’clock.

Patrick Oborn: because you are paying right, because when the deal closes, some of it comes to pay for that engineer that you put on the call right? So you’re not. You’re not like white lion or grey zone, or anything like that like. Let them know I will cover this. Okay, it’s very expensive. I’m gonna I’m gonna take care of it if you take the appointment.

Patrick Oborn: so let them know it’s not free, but that you’re gonna do it. And it’s gonna create a lot of value like, look, look at all this value that you know, for all your customers know. You just wrote, you know, $50,000 check for 5 h of that guy’s time.

Koby Phillips: and over time you will write 50,000 check, because that will be our cut of your 1 million dollar commission. Right? So so it’s it’s it’s a great. It’s a great way to explain to people. I’ve seen that tax, and it’s it started to to to gain some traction. So I just wanted to to share that with you guys, too. I think it’s great. I’m gonna add one element to the of the big change that happened in the industry is we settled on technology solutions distributor, which I think was the best thing that we could have settled on.

Koby Phillips: When you say distributor, that’s pretty. That’s a pretty big term technology wise that’s accepted by it. Buyers and it executives because they’re used to working with a distributor of some sort at some level. So now we’re just an alternative distribution channel compared to that traditional distribution channel. And this is the way that we work. And I’ve heard that explained and laid that out for a client a couple of times.

Koby Phillips: and that landed really well, when you say broker generally, people think fees and cost when you say distributor, they think technology and solutions. And so technology solutions distributor. And when you’re bringing in a resource, you simply go.

Koby Phillips: Here’s my, here’s my distributor my resources from a distributor that I utilize there. Here’s their certifications and and everything, and it goes from there right? I’ve never had a customer challenge it once it’s laid out that way, they they don’t go and say, well, what’s this? Or what’s that? Or their additional fees? It’s okay that you’re utilizing a resource and redistributor Ingram micro Td. Syntax? They have great resources. A lot of the times that they’ll they’ll throw on calls with their

Koby Phillips: with their bars and others to help do solution design. So this is a very easy way to put it

Doug Miller: terrific tips on presenting both what our technology advisers do as well as what Telarus and the Channel as a whole can do. And, Sandra, I appreciated your comments in the chat, and I hope that helps direct that a little bit as well. We are way over time. But anybody who is not familiar with these calls.

Doug Miller: But, Kobe, I wanted to throw one more thing back to you. Just tie this in a little bit. We’ve talked a lot about cloud. We’ve talked about the evolution in the industry. And now we’ve got AI that’s coming up. We’ve got the big summit that’s coming up on Leap Day. And from your perspective, sitting on top of our cloud practice, what do you like? And what do you want partners to know about the advent of AI, and how it will affect their ability to make even more money in the cloud market

Koby Phillips: again. It’s gonna be getting your getting your clients prepared for it, seeing if they have the resources and skill set to manage it effectively.

Koby Phillips: It. It’s not. It’s not just a set it and forget it. Type of technology. There’s variations that do different things. Technology. Ai like cloud is a technology. You’re not gonna get an invoice that, says AI. Just like you want to get a cloud 12. It’s it’s it’s broken up into everything that we’re doing a lot in cloud. Anyways, there’s a lot of innovation. AI has been around for years in the background. What’s happened? Essentially, we’re just productizing it.

Koby Phillips: And so it’s it’s understanding the different products that that are coming along with it. And what impact that could have to your clients. Our engineers are already ahead of that game. They’re getting trained up on this daily. Now, where, as this is just continuing to be a big buzz word, I expect the conversations to take off. We’re seeing a big impact in Cx with AI, and have been for the last couple of years, and Sam and J. Lo and Mikey and

Koby Phillips: Megan do a great job of understanding that scape. And what you’re seeing now is how it’s impacting more and more in cyber and cloud as products, not just as a technology. And there’s going to be a lot of those that continue to emerge. And so for us, it’s again understanding the landscape, then getting that to our our technology as advisors for them to be able to turn those into talk tracks and get those into the to the hands of the clients.

Doug Miller: Nicely done, Patrick. Last word to you.

Patrick Oborn: Kobe. Great great job! A as always. Another fantastic year under your belt. Thank you so much

Patrick Oborn: for for leading our practice and and helping us and helping most importantly, our community continue to grow in the cloud side of things. Doug, a special thank you to you for as you guys may not know, this isn’t even Doug’s day job, like he actually has actual work. And so he really goes above and beyond to do the extra things. I don’t know if you guys have employees like that in your organization. Hopefully, you do.

Doug Miller: But Doug Miller is definitely 1 one of those guys here. So thank you. So much. Doug and Doug. Leave us with a little teaser on what we can expect next week in our State of the Union series. Yeah, thank you very much. Patrick and Kobe, for the presentation today Patrick is coming back next week with our next installment of the State of the Union, and bringing with him a discussion on mobility and IoT with the one and only Graham Scott. That sounds

Doug Miller: yeah. One Patrick

Koby Phillips: and Graham Scott is new to to Laris in this role, so we’re excited to see his first State of the Union. So I think it that should be really good. He brings perspectives and insights that we haven’t heard from yet. So it’s going to be really exciting.

Doug Miller: Well, thanks, everybody, Kobe, wonderful job, Patrick, as always. Thank you. The original host of the Telarus Tuesday call Patrick Oboard, hey? Thanks to all of you for participating and attending today as well, we appreciate it. Be here again next week. I’m Doug Miller. The voice of Telarus have a great selling week. Everyone take care.