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Customer Environment Trumps Cloud: How to Refocus Your Conversation

Everyone talks about ‘cloud’ and defines it in their own way. Because of the various definitions and interpretations, the topic of cloud has become an instant eye-roll or sense of boredom when brought up.

And I would definitely be joining in on that group eye roll because cloud is boring. Talking about cloud is like talking to someone about building cars who doesn’t have any interest in cars (other than good gas mileage or safety features). 

Cloud could never truly be ignored, though; it’s something that surrounds us daily, and you could argue that it should be a core principal of an organization’s digital transformation strategy.

Cloud Security

I think it’s time to ignore the varying concepts of cloud.

Instead, think about how your customers’ environments are set up and what pain points they are looking to solve or areas they want to improve. That’s how you identify cloud opportunities. And these conversations don’t require you to be any sort of cloud expert. They only require you to understand their business environment (especially its processes and workloads)

This is what customers care about:

Streamlined systems, integrations and digital harmony, a great customer experience, and high morale among employees. Without these ducks in a row, more work is created, and strain on resources translates to money and time lost, frustrated employees, and most likely, agitated clients.

Organizations today are constantly looking to improve all of these things, but the main challenges they are faced with are limited IT staff, expertise and time. Even if an IT staff exists, they probably don’t have time to manage or maintain a cloud environment in addition to their day-to-day tasks.

Applications, data & workloads are the lifeblood of every organization.

Applications integrate with each other and create massive amounts of data and processes internal to an organization and external to their end users. These processes can consist of people, applications and job steps; another word for this is workloads. Workloads provide an excellent area of opportunity across all facets of a customer’s business, from HR to Sales and Operations to Finance.

Both workloads and applications turn into massive amounts of data which creates more strain on database management or ERP systems. The challenge here is managing and maintaining the data, as it compounds rapidly in a short time. Another challenge for businesses is managing the infrastructure this data resides on. For example, clients that are using AWS or Azure may have trouble managing or customizing the environments as their business needs change, and they may not understand what they are paying for with these services.

The bottom line: organizations can’t move fast enough to keep up with external and internal demand, but they must still ensure everything is secure. This is where you come in. Not by having all the answers, though. If you listen to their problems and bring the right vendors to them with the assistance of TBI, the conversations you have will lead to solutions, and you can ultimately be the saving grace of their business.

My challenge to you is this: Start having conversations with customers and prospects about what is and isn’t working, specific to their applications, database management, workloads and business processes.  Have conversations with the CIO or IT Director, but also go talk with CMO or Director of Operations and get their input because applications are used in all silos of the business.

Bring these challenges and pain points to TBI, and we will help you find best-of-breed vendors that can solve these issues. We’ll help align you and your customer with the providers, and they can have the technical conversation and help drive the deal to a win for you.

Some of our providers that can support cloud initiatives include:

  • Application Management Services – Rackspace, CenturyLink, NaviSite
  • ERP and Database Management Services – NaviSite & Rackspace
  • Web Hosting and Web Content Management – Rackspace / NaviSite
  • Content Delivery Network – CenturyLink, Akamai
  • Managed AWS and Managed Azure – Singlehop, Rackspace

Your next big win could be a result of asking simple, probing questions and uncovering additional pain points. Coupled with your value, the client now turns to you for all IT needs and business challenges.

 

 cta-BIG

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As Director of Sales for the Midwest, Marco leads a channel sales team in the central region to initiate and develop successful partnerships.  He assists in relationship building with strategic business development and alignment of TBI resources to expand partners' technology portfolios with a goal of increasing value to the end-user. Marco is also committed to keeping abreast of what's going on in the marketplace and ensuring it is always top-of-mind within his network. You can reach Marco at msanchez@tbicom.com or connect with him on LinkedIn.