Tech Data launches online coaching and mentoring community

More than 70 industry experts from the distributor’s business will advise partners on a variety of business topics.

Tech Data today launched Tech Data Coaches, an online coaching and mentoring community for Tech Data Partners in the United States and Canada.

The Tech Data Coaches community is currently made up of more than 70 coaches from the distributor’s activity. These experts will advise partners on a variety of business topics and help individuals hone their personal and professional skills. Subject matter experts can cover areas such as marketing, sales, business development, organizational enablement and more. Additionally, many coaches have vertical industry knowledge in areas such as public sector, healthcare, retail, and smart city.

Stacy Nethercoat of Tech Data

“We’ve created a dedicated interactive environment that connects our fellow partners with experts who can help them improve their skills and experiences,” Stacy Nethercoat, senior vice president, cloud solutions, Americas at Tech Data, told Channel Futures. . “Ultimately, the goal is to foster collaborative innovation in our ecosystem.”

The concept of Tech Data Coaches grew out of the distributor’s launch, some 18 months ago, of its Cloud Practice Builder program. This program helps partners adopt and accelerate their cloud practices. Its success has spurred the launch of additional practice-building programs in IoT, analytics, and security. The Cloud Practice Builder program includes coaching. Tech Data has learned from the Practice Builder program that leveraging expertise is something the business should invest more in.

“Tech Data Coaches is this concept on steroids,” Nethercoat said. “The Tech Data Coaches platform is uniquely designed to connect people to each other, enabling a more interactive and deeper experience.”

In contrast, in the Practice Builder experience, coaches were available for a partner to ask a question. It was designed more as a self-service experience.

The new online Coaching and Mentoring program is free for the distributor’s reseller partners in the United States and Canada. Tech Data plans to both increase the number of coaches and expand the platform to other geographies.

How it works

Tech Data Coaches is a social networking platform with “find an expert” features and functionalities. This includes user profiles, subscription notifications, personalized content feeds, and the ability to favorite and follow members. Based on their unique needs and interests, users are matched with Tech Data coaches. These experts offer informal mentorship, personalized advice and support via live content streams, on-demand training and product demonstrations, as well as one-on-one coaching sessions.

Tech Data's Ashley Martinez

Tech Data’s Ashley Martinez

The coaches are seasoned channel professionals, according to Ashley Martinez, marketing strategist at Tech Data.

Coaches can tackle topics at a high level as well as delve into niche topics. “We have qualified coaches to cover topics like organizational enablement, change management, and marketing topics like design thinking, for example,” Martinez said. “Also, topics such as technical sales and the range of next-gen technologies – cloud, IoT, analytics, security, converged infrastructure and beyond.”

Meetings last 30 minutes. However, online coaching and mentoring experts can customize meeting lengths. Anyone in the Associate’s business can open an account.

“Coaches are also trained to be clear at the end of each session about next steps,” Martinez said. “So, is a follow-up meeting appropriate?” Would it be better to connect the partner to another 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 time or until those meetings have taken place. Additionally, Partners can schedule one meeting at a time with any Coach.

“I think the program will be very popular,” Nethercoat said. “And, when you think about the times we live in, many of us are used to traveling conferences where a big value of attending events is the side conversations. This new opportunity for mentorship and conversations will also fill a vacuum for partners and Tech Data.

Tech Data has also launched a new podcast series called “On the Clock”. The podcast covers popular discussion topics in the online coaching and mentoring community. Partners can access the podcasts on the Tech Data Authority blog.

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