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CNSG's Harty: We're All in the IT Business Now

June 02, 2017 - Article

By Brian Snortheim

Master agency Converged Network Services Group recently held its Partner Forum at The Ballantyne Hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina, in tandem with its 10th anniversary celebration. CNSG partners in attendance were open about the changes their businesses are experiencing. A big shift: Selling more cloud-based services. That was among the topics addressed by CNSG president & CEO Matthew Harty and COO David Wilson as they kicked off the event, along with an emerging IT focus within the channel and how supplier M&A activity is narrowing choice.

CNSG's Matt HartyThat IT and consolidation message was driven home by guest speaker Jim Walsh, SVP of the global enterprise segment at Cisco Systems. Walsh spoke about uber-connected business environments and how security is becoming critical to customers. Cisco’s message: Instead of selling a security platform and a network platform, sell customers a secure network platform.

In addition to networking opportunities at the event, including a supplier fair, CNSG conducted partner awards using a WWE theme, backed up by an appearance by Ric Flair, along with photo opportunities with the former WWE wrestling champion.

During the event, Channel Partners sat down with Harty to discuss the current state of the CNSG business and where the company is headed. Here’s a recap, edited for length and clarity.

Channel Partners: Tell us a little bit about what's new with CNSG and where you guys are headed.

Matt Harty: We're celebrating our 10th anniversary this year, and the first quarter in 2017 is the strongest that we've ever had. It's been a great start to the year, a lot of it driven by our traditional business in the cable and connectivity side. But more importantly, we’re seeing a big uptick in cloud sales. All that comes on the backdrop of having a solid year in 2016, the best year we've ever had.

CP: There are a lot of companies trying to bring partners into the fold. What's the most important way CNSG stands out?

MH: When we started this business we really looked at, How can we differentiate ourselves from our competitors? Some are very strong in technology; some are very large organizations.

One of the things we came down with was that we could differentiate ourselves based on relationships. That's really the word we used from Day 1 — we wanted to build positive relationships with our sales partners, going above and beyond to make sure that they're successful, but also at the same time, having come from the carrier side, we wanted to make sure that ...

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