It's the How, Not the What
Director of Product, Marketing and Sales
Every month I have a regular column in Comms Dealer magazine where I share experiences in the partner channel and general musings on the industry as a whole. The columns aren’t available online so I’ve included the latest one here. I recommend you subscribe to Comms Dealer though; it’s a great read for resellers and their vendors…
One of the things that helps our work in the channel is the link between our direct business and using that breadth of experience to support partners who are looking to grow into new areas; expanding on that theme I'd like to share some key takeaways from attending the recent IT Directors’ Forum.
For those who don't know the event, they sit you on a cruise liner for three days, make you eat too much, drink too much and give you the opportunity to meet around 100 IT directors from all sorts of organisations – figured I could handle at least two out of three!
This year some key trends came out; everyone is looking at Office365, people get hosted solutions will become the new normal and interestingly Wi-Fi and device management were causing big headaches.
However, what really struck me was that most of our IT director colleagues already have a pretty good grasp of their key priorities for the year ahead and what their options are. None of them had come onboard looking for ideas as to what to do, nor did they really want to talk about generic business challenges like ‘being more agile’ and ‘consumerisation’, although they all do grasp these megatrends and understand their importance.
What they really wanted help with, from their supplier and partner community, wasn't the ‘what’ or the ‘why’, but rather the how. They know the benefits of ensuring people are always connected and allowing them to work in new ways. They also know that tools like Office365 or Hosted UC can enable that. What many are really struggling with is the practicalities of buying them, rolling them out and ensuring adoption through offering a great experience to all of their users.
So, this year I think we should work together to stop telling customers what to do, and to start helping them understand how to do what needs to be done and support them in making it happen.