Rob Butler – I Love Data Centers Podcast Episode 21


This week on theI Love Data Centers podcast: Unwrapping the Indirect IT Sales Channel, I interview Rob Butler.

Becoming an independent IT consultant and navigating the indirect sales channel ecosystem can appear daunting. It appears daunting, because it is daunting. For those starting agencies on their own, this is no different than starting any entrepreneurial venture. For those catering to these independent consultants, this is no different than having to lead and manage a pack of hungry wolves in the wild.

Those brave souls who have been successful on both sides of the equation, are few and far between. Those who have been successful and not had to compromise their integrity and character along the way, are even harder to find.

I am blessed to have met one such brave fellow, Rob Butler, early on in my own journey. His friendship, wisdom and encouragement over the years are part of what helped me persevere during the numerous occasions I questioned why I ever put myself and my family through the difficulties of bootstrapping a company.

Our conversation dives headlong into the indirect channel ecosystem and the journey we, and most agents, have taken. Rob’s experience is unique and insightful, as he worked for a few different IT service providers AND one of the now established Master Agents/Distributors in the industry prior to becoming a full time independent agent himself.

Some knowledge, experience and harsh Truths are dropped here that all those working in, or considering working in, “the channel” need to hear. If you’re not afraid to hear a very raw conversation about what motivates agents, service providers, buyers and distributors, this podcast will be well worth your time, guaranteed.


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Rob Butler – I Love Data Centers Podcast Episode 21


Episode 021 Show Notes:

  • 1:12 Interview starts
  • 2:00 Where are you right now?
  • 3:21 How did you get involved in tech?
  • 5:10 How did you migrate into the network industry?
  • 8:21 Prior to college, did you have a gaming console?
  • 9:17 How Rob started working for Telarus
  • 10:29 What is Telarus?
  • 12:45 In the early days, who were some other master agents?
  • 13:59 What was unique about Telarus’ business model at the time?
  • 17:37 How was it funded at that time?
  • 21:00 What are the traits that you think made you successful?
  • 27:24 Do you think that if you had a safety net in the beginning you would still be as successful now
  • 29:39 What do you wish you had done differently starting out?
  • 32:29 What other things would you have done differently?
  • 34:14 What advice would you give someone just starting out?
  • 39:05 A mile wide and an inch deep vs an inch wide and a mile deep
  • 42:53 The case for why a diversified master agency portfolio makes sense
  • 50:02 Why an independent company wouldn’t want to go directly to the service providers themselves
  • 1:06:56 The importance of bringing in a consultant and master agency
  • 1:10:11 The problem with new channel programs
  • 1:17:36 What is CompTIA?
  • 1:22:20 How can you become involved with CompTIA?
  • 1:25:01 What was the best advice you received when you first got started in your career?
  • 1:27:14 What was the first data center you remember walking into?
  • 1:31:29 How to get in contact with Rob

Rob’s phone number
(512)-322- 9664


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