Channel companies have limited resources, so are they best served investing in cloud technologies that customers are using today, or what they’re likely to use three to five years from now?
The answer is both, of course, but tomorrow’s successful channel leaders will focus more on the future than the present. That can be a scary proposition, but it’s less so if you’re closely monitoring macro business and technology trends.
In his keynote titled, “Investing Ahead of Technology Demand: Seeing the Future and Making Bold Decisions,” kicking off the Business Success Symposium at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo, April 17-20, in Las Vegas, Tony Safoian, president and CEO of SADA Systems, will share his strategy for making smart investments in cloud infrastructure, artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) — people, tools and services.
In a nutshell, caring about customer success today and beyond will help you win the long game, and that means having the courage to direct scarce resources to business opportunities that have not yet fully developed.
In a Q&A with Channel Partners, Safoian gives a sneak peak of what he’ll share with attendees.
Channel Partners: What are some of the drawbacks of not having a future-focused investment strategy?
Tony Safoian: There are several. First, there’s the competitive challenge. If you don’t invest ahead of the curve, your competition will, capturing market share that could have been yours. Second, companies without a technology vision risk exposing themselves to security problems and tech sprawl, as workers inevitably “go it on their own” with unauthorized solutions. And finally, a weak tech-investment strategy will hurt your ability to recruit and retain the best workers. No one wants to work at a company that’s behind the times.
CP: What are some of the ways a future-focused investment strategy can benefit partners and the customers they serve?
TS: Providing a first-class, modern work experience in terms of tools and systems allows organizations to compete better in the marketplace. For example, SADA uses Facebook’s real-time enterprise collaboration system Workplace, which has made it easier for us to manage and support our clients’ activities, make decisions faster, have cross-department transparencies and engagement. SADA was also a launch partner for Workplace by Facebook, which demonstrates the confidence Facebook has in us, and positions SADA as an innovator among other systems integrators.
CP: How do you begin planning for a future-focused investment strategy? Is moving away from a present-focused one difficult?
TS: We go about this in a variety of ways, but it starts with listening. It sounds cliché, but we truly want to hear about our clients’ business pains and technology challenges. Another part of our strategy has to do with making small bets on …