… the needs of the customer have usurped the advances in tech when it comes to prioritizing how you talk to clients.
“The new reality for us is mutlicloud, not deployment in one data center … it’s meeting customers where they are in terms of infrastructure, geographies and business units,” said Engates. “The old world was simple; today it’s a very complicated landscape. Security has thrown in a wrench to make it even more complicated.”
“All those things we used to talk about, we don’t talk about anymore,” said Werpy. “When you go into the enterprise, it’s about the application stack. … if you look at the way enterprises are trying to make decisions today … this world of trying to lead with technology has been thrown out. Customers don’t necessarily know what questions to ask or understand everything that’s coming at them… and that’s where the opportunity [for the channel] is.”
And that opportunity is easier for partner businesses that can more quickly react to the changing technology landscape.
“The smaller, more nimble companies can take advantage of the ‘what’s new’ very quickly,” said Miller. “For partners, you get to leverage everything [suppliers] have and go out to a CTO or CIO and … figure out what really plays in the various scenarios (old vs. new companies, large vs. small, etc.). … We have to solve how our customers move and adapt to that. Partners are in the middle going, ‘Whoa’ … so that human aspect is one of those challenges, to be able to educate our partners and our customers.”
Sports fans in the audience got a treat — ESPN’s Chris Berman regaled them with behind-the-scenes stories from the cable network. He also had some business advice that parallels what he’s done behind the anchor desk for many years: “Talk ‘to’ or ‘with’ your audience, not ‘at’ them,” he said.