From The Editor | April 29, 2011

ASCII Success Summits, D.C.: Do You Really Know ASCII?

Webinar: Cloud 101

By Gennifer Biggs, security, storage, and managed services editor

Nearly 150 ASCII members and guest visitors learned more about what the ASCII Group's offering entail when executive director Jerry Koutavas kicked off the D.C. Success Summit on Thursday, April 28. Koutavas began by reminding all attendees about the goal of the six success summits ASCII hosts across the country over the span of a year: "We want to pull you away from your business for a day, sit you down, and make you think about what you could be doing better to improve the performance of your business."

To accomplish that, the day is packed full of presentations from vendor partners on trends in the market, such as the future of PC and laptop sales from Lenovo, and panel discussions about everything from the cloud to revenue opportunities that MSPs are leaving on the table. Before the fast-paced agenda takes hold, however, Koutavas shared a bit about the group's services.

Member services for ASCII include vendor management and troubleshooting, operations support, and sales/marketing support. For the cost of the membership, which is roughly $100 a month, members earn access discounted business insurance, peer groups, and problem resolution (you know that vendor that didn't follow through? Call ASCII). Starting later this year, the group is offering automated purchasing reports to provide business intelligence for members, and an MDF manager that will help you track marketing funds available from your vendor partners.

Other sales and marketing tools from ASCII include help with PR media placement, a partner concierge program that helps members find partners to work with on projects or for geographic expansion, an automated social media manager, and a third-party customer satisfaction call team.

Overall, adding ASCII to your team provides an extension of your staff, which is the message Koutavas delivers regularly. "So often our partners just don't have time; they don't have time to call and survey customers or post to their Facebook page, so we provide them the tools to do that," he says.

Koutavas also announced a new event slated for June 9, back in Washington, D.C. ASCII will be offering a one-day vertical sales training event focused on EMR and Education. Watch the ASCII website for more information.