Guest blogger, Crestron Electronics' Richard Sasson, is an expert in the world of managing and training customer support and system engineering teams focused on the Internet of Things (IoT). His company’s automation and control solutions for buildings and homes lets people control entire environments, integrating systems such as A/V, lighting, shading, IT, security, BMS, and HVAC.
Today, it’s more difficult than ever for technology solutions and services providers to guarantee their channel partners are bleeding-edge development and advancement leaders. A strong channel, equipped with the latest methods and know-now, is the only way the vendor can guarantee its solutions will hit full potential in the market.
For an example, look at the ongoing boom in the connected devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) market. The global home automation system market will be worth $78 billion by 2022 — more than doubling 2015’s $32 billion, notes a recent report. This is a market where things are going to change fast. But as the technology transforms, the partners’ education should change accordingly.
Programmer’s Magic with the Customer Is Essential
Let’s explain more closely. When deploying any high tech solutions package, the magic comes from the coders who do the final configurations before customer go-live. The big success is never about the brilliant products manufacturers develop, nor is it about any sophisticated consultant-designed system. At the end of the day, after the valued-added reseller/dealer/solutions provider finishes deployment, the project still is incomplete.
Customer delight in a seamlessly working system only happens after the expert programmers have added the final usability and other special touches. Even global tech providers know they have to trust their partner developers, and their competence, to add the final key solution touches.
Education Is the Backbone of Partner Success
So continuing partner education is indispensable for channel success, and we’re not just referring to the routine industry tradeshows and basic programming classes. We mean educational and training opportunities to promote a consistent brand vision and message cross-organization. This also guarantees continued client satisfaction in the end product.
Some businesses -- and programmers -- might initially snub participation in such a program. After all, some seasoned partners have been programming for 20 years or more and have completed large and very complex projects. To appeal to these partners, it’s important to recognize you respect their programming capabilities, accomplishments, and commitment to the industry. But everyone that wants to be a top player on a top industry channel team must continue training.
At Crestron Electronics, we realize the value of dedicating time, money and resources to training our most valued employees, integrators and partners to stay on top of the constant changes in the industry. We ensure they provide best-in-class solutions that are critical to our success and, of course, for our customers.
Thrive by Testing and Teaching
Because we rely on these professionals, we’ve developed ongoing rigorous training, stringent testing and professional development throughout the year that culminates in two annual Crestron Masters events in New York and Amsterdam. Between the two events, more than 1,200 of our brightest integrators and partners are invited to come together for several intensive days of extensive training and networking opportunities as certified Crestron Master Programmers.
It’s an approach and investment in continuing education that companies should take if they hope to thrive in an IoT technology landscape that is changing daily. Businesses need to take on the responsibility of empowering their partners with the knowledge and skills required to meet this shifting technology landscape head on and provide the solutions that customers demand. This meeting of minds and ideas across the organization will foster collaboration and promote a spirit that ultimately builds a vibrant and innovative community and a bright future ahead.