Strong Relationships: Foundation of Successful Business

By Rita Walston, senior director, marketing programs

Social media has made it possible to connect with potential customers and partners from afar — without TSA close encounters, battling beltway traffic or even picking up the phone. The sales profession has changed immeasurably over the last decade or two, but one thing has not – the value of face-to-face communication in building and strengthening relationships.

As we count down the days until the 5th Annual Government IT Sales Summit, it reminds me why we started it in the first place – to bring our partners and suppliers together in a place where they can make the connections to grow their government business and turn potential into results.

In our industry, events have endured pendulum swings —  for instance, the demise and resurrection of AFITC— but one factor ensures that events will always play a role in business: the irreplaceable value of face-to-face communication. There is nothing quite like it.

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What you need to know about selling cyber

By Amanda Stone, cybersecurity channel development representative

As cybersecurity salespeople, we never lack reminders that the cyber landscape is a truly unsettling place. Each new headline-stealing breach exposes another example of how vulnerable we are. Feeding the exponential growth of cybersecurity threats are the number of avenues hackers can use to obtain our consumer data, the number of rewards for its theft and the relative lack of deterrents.

I recently had the privilege of chatting with Faraz Siraj, regional vice president of Americas’ Channels, Distribution and Alliances for RSA Security, about best practices for cyber sales reps working for various VARs and distributors.

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President signs online marketplaces bill—now what?

 By Jeff Ellinpgovernment procurementort, division counsel, and Steve Charles, co-founder

The FY18 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), signed by President Trump earlier this

month, not only authorizes appropriations for the Department of Defense and military services, but it also includes a provision that will change the way the private sector sells many commercial products to the federal government. It could have a dramatic effect on future supplier go-to-market plans.

As the General Services Administration develops its plan to implement this legislation, the time is now for OEMs to speak up about how they want to see this part of their public sector channel evolve. The next opportunity will be Jan. 9 at GSA’s first public meeting on this issue. But first, a little bit on the impact of this change.

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Are commercial online marketplaces in the government’s future?

By Steve Charles, immixGroup co-founder

Proposed legislation out of the House Armed Services Committee would give the Department of Defense and other federal agencies the ability to buy commercial items (COTS) via online marketplaces without contracting officers having to determine price reasonableness before ordering. To make sure prices paid are competitive at the time, the marketplaces would provide all kinds of data to the government, including posted prices for similar, competitive items on the system at the time of sale. Suppliers would be able to update pricing in real-time.

DOD has long complained about GSA Schedule contracts, as well as GSA’s online marketplace, GSA Advantage, arguing that it’s not a real marketplace.  Product catalogs are not current, pricing is not maintained in real-time and many of the contractors lack strategic relationships with the manufacturers of the products represented.  Agencies put in orders on GSA Advantage, only to learn two weeks later that those ordered items are not actually available. Even people at GSA have told me that it’s much more reliable and cheaper for them to leverage the micro-purchase rules and use commercial shopping sites.

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Are You Ready for This Year’s Government IT Sales Summit?

Rita Walston Headshot_63 x 85SummitVideo Promo

By Rita Walston, Senior Director, Public Sector Channel Marketing

Selling IT to the public sector has never been more challenging. So much is in flux—we’ve got new revenue streams created by XaaS; an incoming administration with a new agenda and staff; evolving procurement policies; and fast-moving, disruptive technology.

With so much at stake, we designed our 3rd annual signature event—the Government IT Sales Summit—to help lead attendees across these new Bridges of Growth. The Summit will give solution providers, IT manufacturers, systems integrators, and value-added resellers the tools and resources necessary for bridging the gaps to growth.

This year’s Summit will be held Thursday, November 17 in Reston, Virginia from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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4 Ways to Get Larger Deals Done

Troy Fortune picFinancingBy Troy Fortune, VP, Infrastructure and Channels

As we head into the busy season, your company should be thinking about maximizing its financial capabilities. Did you know immixGroup has a suite of financial solutions? It’s one of the benefits of being part of Arrow Electronics, a Fortune 119 company.

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2016 Women of the Channel

Tina PeeplesBob Laclede_65x85By Bob Laclede, Channels VP

We’re thrilled to announce that immixGroup’s own Tina Peeples (pictured) and several leaders from our parent company, Arrow Electronics, were named to the Channel Company’s CRN Women of the Channel for 2016.

Working with Tina the last few years, I’m not surprised she’s being recognized. The 7-year immixGroup veteran has tirelessly led the company’s renewals business through 52 percent growth in the last year, along with overseeing the sales ops and inside sales teams. You’ll often hear Tina talk about “protect, predict, and grow” when describing how her team approaches a customer’s public sector business.

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immixGroup & Arrow Electronics: One Year Later

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Bob Laclede_65x85By Bob Laclede, Channels VP

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since immixGroup was acquired by Arrow Electronics, a Fortune 131 company. The acquisition, which was finalized at the end of March 2015, dramatically changed immixGroup for the better, making us the largest value-added distributor of enterprise IT products in the public sector.

What’s unique is that this is a reverse integration, meaning that immixGroup is now responsible for Arrow’s federal business and serves as the public sector arm of Arrow Enterprise Computing Solutions. It’s been a smooth, but busy process over the last year. It reminds me of a duck swimming on a pond—everything looks calm above the surface, but there’s a lot going on down below.

So immixGroup channels director Pat Cruciani and I took about 10 minutes to detail all the changes in this on-demand Webinar. Don’t worry, the changes are all for the better. Here’s a little preview of what you’ll hear:

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Why GWACs Are A Good Bet

US Flag, Capitol Building and MoneyBob Laclede 100x135by Bob Laclede, Vice President, Channels

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has dusted off a 2011 policy for stamping out “unnecessary” government-wide acquisition contracts. With so much time left to do business in FY 2016, it’s time to review the fundamentals of a good GWAC strategy. And a few of the techniques manufacturers can use to maintain or even boost their federal sales even if they don’t have a prime contract on one of the main GWACs.

What I’m suggesting may sound obvious, yet I’ve heard so many manufacturers over the years complain that they’re blocked out of this or that agency or requirement because they miscalculated their GWAC strategy. Read more of this post

Slow Week in the Office? Watch On-Demand Sessions from the Government IT Sales Summit!

by Allan Rubin, Vice President, Marketing Allan Rubin 65x85

immixGroup’s 2nd Annual Government IT Sales Summit is done, but thanks to the magic of Al Gore and Tim Berners-Lee, it lives on forever on the Web (well maybe not forever).

This year’s event attracted nearly 1,000 sales, marketing, channel, and business executives from the public sector IT community who all came with one purpose: to get real-world perspectives and actionable information that helps them increase their government sales.

Since many of you tried but failed to be in two places at once, we’ve got a treat for you:  video and audio recordings of all 19 sessions (as well as downloadable presentations) are now available on demand at immixgroup.com/summit2015.

Sessions explore everything from the newest technology developments in Big Data, Cybersecurity, and The Internet of Things to the latest government IT priorities and what they mean for technology companies that sell their products to the government. Watch the keynote address by Walter Isaacson (highly recommended), panel discussions led by government IT leaders, and the 11th Annual DOD and Civilian Budget Briefings (our most popular sessions by far)— anytime, anywhere.

If you’ve got some extra time to kill over the holidays, grab a notepad and check out some of the videos. They’ll help you start strong in January.

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