By Jerzy Szlosarek, CEO & Co-Founder, Epsilon
The biggest challenge – and opportunity – in cloud-centric networking isn’t about tech. It’s about people and understanding that networks are changing and adapting for a cloud and digital generation. In our own business, we’ve had to transform our products and services to be “cloud-centric” and reshape how we serve the ICT channel. It hasn’t been easy, and we’ve learned a lot along the way.
When Epsilon was founded in a coal shed in West London many years ago, we never imagined we’d need to completely reset how our employees think about our business. Back then we focused on providing basic interconnect services to carriers and service providers and simplifying the connectivity experience. As demand for cloud-based services has grown and traffic volumes have exploded over the past 15 years, we’ve had to adapt our business to think at scale while addressing far more complex interconnect scenarios.
The cloud has changed end-user expectations, and that has driven our channel partners to transform their businesses and, in turn, our play in the market. It has meant taking both some gradual changes and some big-step changes in our business. I think we’ve learned what it takes to be successful in serving the channel in the cloud era.
Here are our key points to building a cloud culture and making it matter to channel partners:
- On the bus or off the bus: We had to look at our staff across the business and decide if they were ready for a new way of doing things. They had to be prepared to commit to changing processes, team structures and outlook. We needed to build our team around people focused on the future. The result was immediately removing legacy ways of doing things and barriers to changing our business. Channel partners benefit from having support staff solely focused on getting it right for them.
- Understanding where we add value: As we evolved our business, we needed to understand how we would change internally. It made us think about what we do well in the business and try to stay focused. We love to be part of something new, and we’ve thrown ourselves into creating the vision for the business, our DevOps and innovation projects. This is what we’re passionate about. We’ve hired more developers than ever before, and these guys are coming into our business and teaching us new possibilities. Epsilon is truly becoming a digital-service-provider business and we think that’s incredibly exciting.
- Rocks and sponges: Shaking up the team also meant new hires. From the reception desk through to engineers, we want people who can learn. Sir Clive Woodward, England’s World Cup rugby coach, describes these people as “sponges.” Woodward chooses players that may be less talented but who are ready to learn. Teams of sponges are better than teams of …
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