Writing from a sales perspective the year has, once again, been an incredibly exciting rollercoaster ride experience. Emerging technologies to meet the needs of emerging trends, business acquisitions, businesses entering administration, customers experiencing redundancies or rapid growth, disasters that inevitably happen and witnessing the outcome….it’s all happening in IT.
As I get older I feel the years are flying by in a flash of the eye. Perhaps this is the effect of our now constantly busy lifestyles and always being ‘switched on’ or perhaps it is acute awareness of the constant change we experience in work and personal lives. Either way it creates a rapid paced chaotic environment that is fast-forwarding my life!
The rapid rate of change requires me to constantly educate myself. Keeping up with trends and determining the business benefits takes up a chunk of my time. Then passing on that knowledge to my customer base and liaising with them to work out what is relevant for them/their business model is another portion of my day. Why? The greatest value I offer my customer is to consult with them on technology. “You don’t know what you don’t know…”
Excitingly (exhaustingly?) I fly between meetings around enterprise solutions on creating whole networks with software (SD-WAN) through to discussions on improving collaboration via Skype for Business integration. My customers can range from 100 staff through to 2500 staff yet the majority of business problems are common to all. Over the past year the repeating topical trends discussed have included:
• Wireless Solutions – but it’s not just WiFi, it’s all about data analytics and creating revenue streams for the business to expand and grow new opportunities, reach a new customer base or deploy new products.
• IoT – what to connect, when, how, what are the benefits?
• Security – to secure or not to secure….that is the question.
• Digital Media – best use cases.
• Retail Revenue Generation - using the multiple business locations to house technology that will increase revenue – through customer expansion, customer loyalty, product expansion, subletting or collaboration /new partnerships.
• Collaboration – Skype for Business with all the amazing gadgets to support this platform
• AI – increasingly topical; what does it mean for the IT industry, how do we benefit, what are companies doing in this area?
• Cloud – Journeys to and from. Not a new conversation but more customers are willing to consider new players and new options and vendors are bringing out solutions that are more compatible. Think XI Cloud, AzureStack, Alibaba Cloud
• App Development – customers either have apps or use apps or their customers do. Are new apps required? Integration to existing ones? Continuous Improvements actioned and how is feedback obtained?
I finished the financial year on a small but fantastic request from a client to provide a smart vending machine to dispense items to staff by swiping their building passes - that were tracked back to HR with potential to deduct from wages. It’s not a SAN, nor a server…but it certainly keeps me on my toes with pushing the boundaries of how technology can benefit an organisation.
I’m hoping this new financial year will see a customer want to roll out some driverless cars and ask me to pilot drive a Tesla for a few months for them….