After a year of record growth in 2020, we entered the new year on a wave of momentum — one that isn’t slowing down anytime soon and one we could not have achieved without the hard work and success of our Trusted Advisors.
With that in mind, our main goal in 2021 was to continue investing in our people and systems at AVANT. And in the first half of the year, we have demonstrated our commitment to that goal.
The post-2020 business world is progressing. It’s more disruptive and more innovative, and the technology is evolving faster than ever. We are now in the Golden Age of the Trusted Advisor, and the pace of technological change is accelerating this movement. To keep up with the evolving business landscape, we’ve found new ways to support our Trusted Advisors and improve our processes.
After a successful first half of the year, here’s a recap of the year’s initiatives and accomplishments at AVANT.
1. Record-breaking sales
After partnering with Zoom in March 2020, our Trusted Advisor community helped us reach over $1 million in monthly recurring sales in less than a year, and record-breaking sales continued in the first quarter of 2021. We also achieved sales milestones with Rackspace, RingCentral, 8×8 and Masergy to name just a few of the impressive results we have seen over the last year. When coupled with our employee-focused culture, we are seeing growth like never before.
2. New leadership
To lead our growing teams, we recently welcomed Jen Greco as vice president of marketing and Eddie Acosta as vice president of sales strategy. Bringing years of industry knowledge to her role, Jen will work to evolve AVANT’s overall marketing strategy and strengthen relationships with our current Trusted Advisors. Eddie, after six years at Intelisys, will oversee sales strategy, working closely with the new regional vice presidents to drive channel sales.
To position AVANT for continued success, we also elevated four standout channel leaders to the role of regional vice president. These channel veterans, Banu Qashu, Isaiah Hogberg, Rick Reed, and Rob Merhej, took on their new titles earlier this year, bringing years of knowledge and experience to their roles. Additionally, we elevated Jennifer Gallego to executive vice president of global sales and Shane McNamara to executive vice president of engineering and operations. We are thrilled with the work these individuals have done to contribute to AVANT’s mission, and we can’t wait to see what’s ahead for these incredible leaders.
3. Trusted Advisor Certification Program
As technology rapidly evolves, more organizations are seeking guidance in their technology decisions — what we refer to as the Golden Age of the Trusted Advisor. To demonstrate our commitment to our partners during this time, we launched our Trusted Advisor Academy Certification Program. The program includes four courses for advisors who are new to a technology in AVANT’s portfolio or simply seeking a refresher course. Trusted Advisors can now also earn a certification for Pathfinder. Earning these certifications will help partners establish their knowledge and credibility in the industry while gaining the confidence to navigate tough decisions and conversations with customers.
4. Research and Analytics Reports
AVANT Analytics released its 2021 State of Disruption Report in January, which surveyed 500 U.S.-based enterprise technology decision-makers in the IT, security, and finance industries. The report highlighted the rapid rate of technological change in the IT landscape, along with current trends in the industry. This free tool serves as an excellent resource for IT decision-makers to examine and reassess their technology investments.
In June, we released the fourth AVANT 6-12 Report focusing on Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS). The 6-12 Reports are top-of-the-line research reports designed to help IT decision-makers assess whether a technology solution is a viable option for their company over the next 6 to 12 months. CCaaS has recently emerged as a necessary adoption for organizations across several industries, with a majority of IT decision-makers planning to implement CCaaS solutions within the next 12 months.
5. AVANT Loyalty Program
What better way to celebrate the continued growth of our Trusted Advisors than to launch our very own AVANT Loyalty Program! Every partner is unique, so we created tiered offerings to celebrate their individual victories every step of the way. Advisors can receive benefits and rewards as soon as they earn them, from AVANT merchandise to priority access to AVANT’s world-class pricing and engineering teams. In addition to our tiered rewards program, AVANT is nominating two Trusted Advisors every month in each region for the Trusted Advisor Hustle Award. We would be nothing without our Trusted Advisors, and we’re ready to show our appreciation for their hard work and dedication.
6. New Pathfinder features
To continue empowering our Trusted Advisors, we created a Learning Hub within Pathfinder to offer a centralized source for training content. Through the Learning Hub, advisors can access recordings of the Special Forces Summit and other resources to further their understanding of AVANT’s technologies. We believe that continuous education is essential in helping us be the best at what we do.
In June, we updated Pathfinder even more with the release of AVANT CableQuote, a tool powered by CableFinder. CableQuote will give Trusted Advisors the ability to complete the quote-to-contract process in minutes and will integrate directly into AVANT’s Pathfinder. Our partnership with CableFinder demonstrates an investment in the resources necessary to cut service level agreement time in half to give our network of Trusted Advisors a leg up in the market.
We’re grateful for the success we’ve experienced in the first half of the year and for the opportunities that keep us moving toward our goals. But we aren’t done yet: We plan to ride this wave of momentum by continuing to invest in our people and systems. We are still in the process of filling various roles, along with planning several regional events. Additionally, we’re excited to announce that after a successful Virtual Special Forces Summit in 2020, we will be returning to an in-person summit planned for September 27-29, 2021 in Austin, Texas. Stay tuned for event announcements and continuous improvements with our people and processes.