2013 has been an amazing year for us. We started the year coming off a great 2012. We were recognized as one of Scansource/Catalyst's Top 10 Aruba Networks partners. This distinction was for 423% year-over-year/sales-over-goal growth. But, we were just getting started. 2013 was even better!
With multiple large enterprise and school-district roll-outs we truly came into our own. And by "we" I don't mean me! 2013 saw our first full-time hire in Brandon Williams. Brandon started as a contractor in 2012 and was part of the success of that year. I was proud to have him join CommunicaONE full-time in June of this year and am just blown away by his commitment and skill.
And things just kept getting better. In September we added another full-timer to the CommunicaONE team - Shaine Montgomery. Shaine was new to wireless with a background in network administration. He's come along wonderfully and has jumped in with both feet. I'm excited to see what 2014 has in store for him.
We've had some great projects this year:
Widefield School District 3
Academy School District 20
And 2014 is gearing up to be even bigger!
In 2013 we became one of the select partners to be invited to the Aruba ClearPass Advanced Workshop. Brandon and myself were able to attend earlier this year. The class was worldwide, invite only to attend with a very in-depth training in ClearPass - Aruba's vendor-neutral network access and MDM product.
To say this was a intense and arduous class is an understatement. It was held at Aruba HQ in Sunnyvale, CA and we had access to the engineering team. I can honestly say it was the best training class I have ever been to. I wish more vendors would offer this kind of training. This has really opened a entire new solution and skill-set for us offer our customers. 2014 is going to be huge for ClearPass.
We've also made every effort in 2013 to emphasize training and learning at CommunicaONE. Besides vendor specific certifications we encourage and subsidize learning in vendor-neutral, industry standard certifications.
Specifically, we all took CWNPs Certified Wireless Network Administrator (CWNA) class with Robert Bartz. CWNP provides vendor-neutral, industry certifications for wireless networking. CWNP is a highly respected certification track throughout the networking industry. I received my CWNA in December and look forward to the rest of the team getting theirs in January.
We'll have three CWNAs on staff in 2014! I am personally continuing on and have set a goal for myself to end 2014 with a CWNE. The highest, expert -level certification from CWNP. My goal is to have the most professional, and well-trained team in Colorado. When people think "wireless" I want them to think CommunicaONE.
What's in store for 2014? Some goals are a continuation of previous ones: Training and certifications. I'm doubling down on educating our team and making sure that we are earning the "V" in VAR (Value Added Reseller). Also, adding yet another member to the team.
Some are new goals: We re-vamped the Web site this year, but for 2014 we plan on adding valuable content to it. This will include How-To videos and technical blogging for those interested in learning more about wireless networking and networking in general. Besides just selling products and services I want CommunicaONE to become an "evangelist" and educator for WLAN.
In 2013 we had our first "Lunch & Learn". We are planning on one L&L per quarter in 2014 where we hope to provide introductions, and even hands-on training on the various solutions we offer.
Other exciting things happening in 2014...
WLAN Professional Summit (Austin, TX) This conference will only have 100 people, but will be all WLAN professionals. I will get to meet and learn from some of the top people in our industry. The topics being discussed and the caliber of attendees/presenters will be unlike any conference I've been to.
Aruba Airheads 2014 (Las Vegas) Highly recommended for any Aruba partner and definitely customers. There will be great technical sessions on all Aruba products as well as hands-on training. I signed up to take the ACMX at this one, it's a tough 8-hour exam that will truly test my skills. This is a great conference if you use Aruba day-to-day.
I can't wait to see what 2014 has in store! Wireless is such an exciting field to be in and we're really just in the early days - the "Wild Wild West" of wi-fi so to speak and I couldn't be happier that CommunicaONE is right there in the thick of it.
So, hang on, 2014 is coming fast!
- Eddie Forero, Principal