Sunday, September 17, 2023

Obi-SD-WAN Kenobi

If you are reading on a smartphone, use landscape / hold phone sideways. 

SD-WAN, or Software-Defined Wide Area Network, is a technology that simplifies the management and operation of a wide area network (WAN) by separating the networking hardware from its control mechanism. It uses software-based controllers and application programming interfaces (APIs) to direct traffic across the WAN and improve application performance.

Not GEEK enough for you?

SD-WAN technology has gained popularity as organizations seek more flexible, agile, and cost-effective ways to manage their wide area networks, especially in the context of the growing adoption of cloud services and the increasing demand for remote work solutions. It simplifies network management and enhances performance while offering better control and security options.

Ah, Tom.... is today's Sunday Blog going to be "for Nerds only" ???

A few months ago... in a galaxy far, far away....  [ .. ok, sorry...]

In early 2023 I attended an SD-WAN webinar from AireSpring. I'm an old telecom guy, I wanted to get up to speed on SD-WAN, the technology that improves control, management, up time, business agility, security, and data encryption of Wide Area Networks. The webinar was very well done indeed. 

I followed up with AireSpring. I said: "Hey I used to be a Master Agent with you guys - like - 23 years ago! It was back when you guys were selling BlackBerry, and I owned and ran in NYC. I was servicing the Maritime Industry, and BlackBerry was a big deal. I am thinking about being your Master Agent (again) to service the millions of members of NYDLA | USDLA | NADLA - but now for telecom and technology solutions. 

Nope, Sorry Tom. 

AireSpring is not taking on any new Master Agents. And.... if we DID make an exception, you would need to have $1M+ in business - right now - today. That would be table stakes to get in the game. But again, we are not really accepting new Master Agents. We would, however, be happy to place you under one of our existing Master Agents, like Telarus or Sandler Partners

It is now that I would normally go battle, to "fight" for the deal. But this time, I basically began to slowly walk away. Maybe I'm getting too old for this game. But as I was heading for the exit, I did say: 

"Well, you guys at AireSpring are probably the most honest company in telecom. You guys STILL send me a commission check every month, even though it is WAY less than $100. This money is from old business that I sent you YEARS ago. Your honesty is impressive, and rare in the industry." 

  • Wait. You are still getting checks from AireSpring? In 2023? 
  • Then - you are still active in the AireSpring system as a Master Agent.
  • We (AireSpring) have never missed an agent payment - in 22 years.
  • Then - you are (still) a "Legacy" Master Agent! 
This is like finding a Ferrari under a tarp in the barn of Great Grandpa's old country farmhouse. 

Last Friday, I attended the AireSpring "Lunch 'n Learn" at the Capital Grill in New York City. It did not disappoint. The product portfolio of AireSpring has grown dramatically over the past 23 years. I jokingly said at the lunch: "AireSpring is probably the biggest telecom company that no one ever heard of..." currently processing 30 billion calls per year. 

Around 23 years ago, AireSpring would leave BlackBerry and they would go into the Long Distance Business. I dabbled in various telecom and technology niche businesses over the last 23 years. And now, today, I run the Distance Learning Association, which really has become DIGITAL Learning, and now, in 2023... DIGITAL LIVING. 

All things remote. All things cloud. All things wireless and mobility. All things Internet. All of the things that are now found in the AireSpring portfolio. Connectivity. Security. You know, things like SD-WAN.

We are now getting ready to offer all things AireSpring to the 5.8M+ members of The Distance Learning Association - soon to be 10M+ members if we keep growing at our current pace. If we do not become the #1 AireSpring partner over the next 24 months, we did something very (very) wrong. 

I feel that there are many lessons here, buried like Easter Eggs in today's Sunday Blog. One is that you need to show up - and speak up. The other: it pays to never miss an agent payment in over 22 years. 

Yep, Honesty is the Best Policy.  Karma works! 

And finally this: the steaks at the Capital Grill at Rockefeller Center NYC are amazing. 

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