The online coaching and mentoring community has more than 70 industry experts.
Tech Data today launched Tech Data Coaches, an online coaching and mentoring community for Tech Data partners in the U.S. and Canada.
The Tech Data Coaches community currently consists of more than 70 coaches from the distributor’s business. These experts will advise partners on a variety of business topics and help individuals refine their personal and professional skills. Subject matter experts can address areas such as marketing, sales, business development, organizational enablement and more. Additionally, many coaches have vertical industry knowledge in areas such as public sector, health care, retail and smart city.
“We created a dedicated interactive environment that connects our partner colleagues to experts that can help them enhance their skill sets and their experiences,” Stacy Nethercoat, senior vice president, cloud solutions, Americas at Tech Data, told Channel Futures. “Ultimately, the objective is to foster collaborative innovation across our ecosystem.”
The concept for Tech Data Coaches grew out of the distributor’s launch, about 18 months ago, of its Cloud Practice Builder program. That program helps partners adopt and accelerate their cloud practices. Its success spurred the launch of additional Practice Builder programs in IoT, analytics and security. The Cloud Practice Builder program includes coaching. Tech Data learned from the Practice Builder program that leveraging expertise is something the company should invest more in.
“Tech Data Coaches is that concept on steroids,” said Nethercoat. “The Tech Data Coaches platform is purpose built to connect people to one another, enable a more interactive and deeper experience.”
By contrast, in the Practice Builder experience, coaches were available for a partner to reach out to with a question. It was designed more as a self-service experience.
The new online coaching and mentoring program is free to the distributor’s reseller partners in the U.S. and Canada. Tech Data plans to both increase the number of coaches as well as expand the platform to other geographies.
How It Works
Tech Data Coaches is a social networking platform with “find-an-expert” features and functionality. This includes user profiles, opt-in notifications, personalized content feeds and the ability to favorite and follow members. Based on their unique requirements and interests, users are matched with Tech Data coaches. These experts offer informal mentorship, personalized guidance and support via live content feeds, on-demand training and product demonstrations, as well as one-on-one coaching sessions.
Coaches are seasoned channel professionals, according Ashley Martinez, marketing strategist at Tech Data.
Coaches can address topics at a high level as well as delve into niche topics. “We have coaches skilled to address topics such as organizational enablement, change management and marketing topics such as design thinking, for example,” said Martinez. “Also, topics such as technical sales and the range of next generation technologies — cloud, IoT, analytics, security, converged infrastructure and beyond.”
Meetings are 30 minutes. However, the online coaching and mentoring experts can customize the length of the meetings. Anyone in the partner’s firm can open an account.
“Coaches are also trained to be clear at the end of every session on what the next steps are,” said Martinez. “So, is a follow-up meeting appropriate? Would it be best to connect the partner to a different coach? Or, does the coaching stop there?”
Tech Data has included several program limitations. Partners can schedule up to three meetings with different coaches at any given time or until those meetings have occurred. And, partners can schedule one meeting at a time with any one coach.
“I think the program will be very popular,” said Nethercoat. “And, when you think about the times we’re living in, a lot of us are used to traveling conferences where a big value of attending events are the side conversations. This new opportunity for mentoring and conversations is going to fill a void for partners and Tech Data, as well.”
Tech Data also launched a new podcast series called “On the Clock.” The podcast covers popular topics of discussion in the online coaching and mentoring community. Partners can access the podcasts on the Tech Data Authority Blog.
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