Vortex 6 Spotlight: ATSG

ATSG was founded in 1994 as a solutions provider and over the past two decades it has evolved into a more holistic managed IT services company. Today, its offerings include public and private cloud, collaboration, unified communications, digital workplace, mobility, and hybrid infrastructure security, as well as the complete Microsoft and Cisco based offerings. As a well-managed and successful Cisco partner, ATSG was keen to optimize the value from Cisco’s Vendor Incentive Program (VIP) as well as ensure it was not falling out of compliance with Cisco’s partner programme. Managing compliance and optimizing VIP allows ATSG to claim all the incentives and rebates it is entitled to, while also ensuring that it stays up to date with Cisco certifications.

Here Rick Salamonczyk, Senior Sales Analyst, Partners and Programs at ATSG, talks about how Vortex 6 is helping the company to optimize its Cisco relationship and derive real value from both the tools and the team.

“In the summer of 2021 we were introduced to Vortex 6 through our prime distributor relationship with TD-Synnex. We implemented the Vortex 6 Fusion solution shortly after, and in fact have recently renewed our agreement for a further year based on our very positive experiences. We use the Compliance and VIP Modules and we work very closely with one of the Vortex 6 program experts, Giacomo Spagnoli, who provides an Advisory Service for Lifecycle Incentives, as well as a bi-weekly open training session where we discuss open issues, Cisco changes, etc. The value this brings to us is immense: not only have we been able to automate what was a very manual process, but both the Compliance and VIP modules provide great visibility, so we know exactly where we stand at any point in time. This is important as we have twelve different Cisco company-level certifications which each having numerous individual certifications that we must meet and maintain. The Compliance Module helps to highlight the best candidates to fill those roles and provides early warning of when we will fall out of compliance. This allows time and resources to be channelled towards ensuring that when a certification comes up for renewal, we already have a plan in action, and we are working with the key individual to get them certified.”  

Rick adds: “For Compliance and VIP the Vortex 6 tools have been a major time saver and have allowed me to be more strategic and proactive. Prior to implementing Vortex 6, we used a manual spreadsheet to calculate and estimate the VIP rebate. Now I can just access the Vortex 6 Fusion VIP module and immediately have the latest, most up-to-date, data at my fingertips. I estimate that I save at least four hours a week, which equates to around twenty-five working days per year – that’s over a working month, it is incredible efficiency. I can rely on Vortex 6 to include all the program changes that occur during the course of a year almost immediately after they are announced. I could not even quantify the time that this saves, and the potential risk we could have if not all changes are fully understood.”

“Additionally, the Lifecycle Incentives Advisory Service has been extremely helpful because this program is constantly evolving. This is Cisco’s customer experience management program for partners that leverages insights and automation to drive retention and growth. Cisco has done a great job at evolving the partner tools, but these don’t provide all the information we need. For example, the Partner Experience Portal (PXP) still requires a lot of manual work to ensure that deals qualify for incentives. This is where Vortex 6 has been instrumental, providing realistic rebate targets that we know we can achieve and, most importantly, a plan to understand how we achieve them.”

“Vortex 6 are an extension to our vendor management team, through the regular advisory meetings we have with experts like Giacomo, who are available to guide, advise and help us understand where our key focus should be at any one time to maximize the program. I would be hard pushed to recruit this level of expertise and it would take a year to train anyone we hired. Certainly Vortex 6 are great to work with, extremely helpful, always available – and the tools are excellent.”

Rick concludes by saying that Vortex 6 provides a demonstrable ROI on the ATSG investment in the Vortex 6 solution; ATSG are both saving money through efficiencies, reducing risk to the business and supporting optimized profitability and competitive advantage.