Channel chief spotlight: Jason Brommet of Microsoft Canada

Jason BrommetIn every issue of the Canadian Channel Chiefs Council (C4) newsletter we try to feature a C4 member to gain insights from their experiences, learn about their channel journey, and what advice they have for their peers in the channel community.

In this issue, we turn the spotlight on Jason Brommet, partner business and development lead at Microsoft Canada and a new member of C4.

C4: How did you become involved in the channel?

Brommet: My involvement with the technology channel in Canada began some 15 years ago. At the time, I was working in the marketing services sector, building, delivering and supporting channel-centric programs focused on driving channel partner performance.

Since joining Microsoft a little over 11 years ago, I’ve always been close to the channel – whether in customer marketing roles, channel roles and, of course, product marketing. So much of our business, and our success is a result of the incredible support and partnership we’ve had with the channel. It had been nine years since I was last in a channel-centric role at Microsoft, so now leading the team that I was once part of, and being at the heart of our engagement with the channel in Canada, really feels like home.

C4: What makes for a good reseller partner?

Brommet: This is such an interesting question. My answer today is dramatically different than what it would have been several years ago, although some of the core DNA remains the same. I’d also suggest my comments extend beyond how we would historically define a “reseller” partner – the partner business model is changing dramatically, with shifts occurring from traditional “transactional” business models to project-based services to managed services to what I broadly refer to as “IP service providers.”

As broad statements – set in context of today’s channel dynamics (and realities), I’d share the following:

  1. Visionary: Show the interest and hunger in defining what’s next, and be willing to invest for the future; think beyond the shape of your current business to the potential, and be willing to look beyond our borders; other partners from other geographies certainly are.
  2. Agile: Cost of sales/cost of operations are profound challenges that many partners are struggling with today – to succeed and thrive in the future will require agile operational models.
  3. Integrated: I still see too many silos – customer buying behaviours and expectations are changing. How do you differentiate? How do you deliver value across all lines of business?
  4. Modern marketing capability: This likely doesn’t require much definition – high volume, high scale, digital acquisition is becoming the new norm.
  5. Comfort with ambiguity: The channel is going through a profound transformation today, and I expect we’ll see that continue. We’ll all learn together on that journey

C4: Could you describe a business challenge you’ve had to overcome in a channel role, and how you’ve learned from it?

Brommet: The best example I can think of is where we are today – how do I and my team, and we as Microsoft, best support the thousands of partners in the Canadian channel to transform, to succeed? Each day is a new experience – transformation is hard, and we’re all learning together. There is no silver bullet. But I’m inspired by the innovation, the thinking, the strategies that partners of all sizes are driving within their businesses to capitalize on the opportunity we have collectively.

C4: What advice do you have for someone looking at a career in the channel?

First, absolutely go for it – and jump in with two feet! The diversity that exists in the channel – in experiences, in knowledge – are second to none. If I were to try to isolate one or two items, I’d say be comfortable learning and strive to be a relentless learner, and be a great listener.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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