ChannelEyes, the social network for the channel community, launched two months ago thanks to the efforts of channel veterans Bob Godgart, Dave Geoghegan, Jay McBain and Shari Godgart. Shari Godgart, VP of Business Development, sat down with ChannelPro-SMB at the Transform 2012, Photizo's managed print services event, to find out how ChannelEyes is working and what new features will soon be available.
ChannelPro-SMB: What is ChannelEyes' value to the users? What is it bringing to the table?
Shari Godgart: ChannelEyes is a single, secure place for suppliers and their channel partners to communicate every day. There is so much noise and clutter that they aren't getting the information that they really need to do their job efficiently and sell more product, which makes both the partner as well as the vendor happy.
We're giving them a way to get all their information in one place. In five minutes a day, they should be able to get their channel highlights.
ChannelPro-SMB: Now that ChannelEyes has been launched, how has the response been from the users? What's working for them and what's not working for them?
Shari Godgart: The response from the users has been very positive. As you know, with any new product, you always have some start-up time. We are in the process of educating a lot of the manufacturers and distributors. We have spent some time on the phone actually interviewing partners and asking, "What is it you're looking for?" so that we can educate the vendors and get them back the information they need.
[Partners are] definitely looking for things like sales incentives. They want to know real-life case studies of how people have been successful with products. In the end, they want to be able to sell more stuff. They want to know about all of the events, any webinars, any training information, any certifications – this is just information they're hungry for. They want be able to get it, and digest it, and in a quick, easy fashion, which ChannelEyes provides.
ChannelPro-SMB: Any features that you're planning to add to ChannelEyes in the near future?
Shari Godgart: We are just about to launch several new features. The first one is a vendor homepage that's right around the corner. That would include things like company branding, company information, new partner qualifications for their programs, downloads, and links. So that has been a much-anticipated one by the vendors.
We are planning "suggested feeds," as well. We're going understand the algorithms from the users, so if there are people in their company following other vendors that they're not following, we'll be able to suggest feeds that they should be following.
We have a new Feed Explorer in a beautiful tile format, which is easy to navigate, and that is right around the corner. We'll also be bringing in an RSS reader so we can bring in the news highlights on products, categories and blogs. And the last thing is – which we're very excited about – the mobile version of ChannelEyes.
[These features] are right around the corner. We're talking less than a month away for most of these.