Last week was a busy one for me — I hit two channel events in two countries! OK, I will admit I was only in Boston and Montreal, but still … I had the opportunity to hear a lot of chatter and some great advice.
So first, from Gavin Garbutt, CEO for N-able Technologies, who presented a market overview and projections for 2013 at the N-able global summit, I have tips for going from good to great:
#1 Have a plan for success, which must include goals and objectives that you need to measure against every month.
#2 Know your customer, then help them develop a strategy for their IT using your insight into their environment.
#3 Keep solutions simple, cost effective, and intuitive.
#4 Standardize and automate IT processes for scale.
I think those rules provide a playbook for success in any business, let along IT. You will note a common theme – fully understanding your environment and your customers in order to be more efficient, more effective, and more profitable (all of you!).
Now, earlier in the week, I had the chance to hear advice from a panel at the Ingram Micro VTN invitational. That group had three recommendations that were a bit more solution provider centric.
Paul Dippell: Focus heavily on cash flow; it is going to be hard to get funds next year, so you need to have a safety net.
Robert Faletra: You need a plan to get more customers. The barrier to entry into the channel is so low with cloud and managed services that competition is heating up, and it is going to be fierce. Think lead gen, marketing, retention.
Tiffani Bova: Being an IT generalist is fine. But if you want to grow, you need to get more focused, more narrow. And if you’re going to the cloud, you need to go now.
All great food for thought as we start planning for the coming year.