Ashish VaziraniPrincipal,ZS Associates
John DeSarboPrincipal,ZS Associates
Bhargav ManthaManager,ZS Associates
Kyle HellerManager,ZS Associates
More than two-thirds of all IT revenue flows through indirect channels, industry analysts estimate, and transactions between IT providers and their channel partners and end customers generate mind-boggling amounts of data. Unfortunately, too few providers are tapping their channel data’s full potential.
Earlier this week, Forrester released their latest estimate of global IT spending, predicting that investment in technology products and services will increase moderately to $2.18 trillion by 2014. An increasing portion of this staggering investment will undoubtedly go toward new cloud services. But while the IT industry is in the midst of a modern-day gold rush, the channel is scrambling to catch up.
Social-media technologies have fundamentally shifted the way people engage with one another and organizations. Social channels such as Facebook and Twitter have sparked an explosion of business-to-consumer and consumer-to-business interactions, in turn changing consumers' behavior and expectations about how they interact and transact with commercial enterprises.
Over the past several weeks, the headlines have been dominated by Edward Snowden and the NSA "scandal" (quotes added since I don’t intend to get into the politics of this polarizing issue). In case you missed it, Snowden, a contractor who worked with the NSA, admitted to disclosing classified information regarding NSA security programs that monitored phone calls and e-mail traffic.
Data security has always been a concern for information technology leaders and these concerns are amplified with the move to cloud technology. From a technology sales and marketing perspective, the Snowden debacle raises a question that is worth considering: What impact will the recent news headlines have on the transition to cloud-based services?
Few business quotes are repeated as often as Peter Drucker’s famous words, "If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it." In today’s digital age, however, perhaps Drucker got it backwards. As many managers are realizing while wrestling with big data, "If you can’t manage it, you can’t measure it."
Improving data management is particularly important in channel analytics.
Last weekend, sorting through old boxes and organizing all of my belongings in preparation for my family’s move, I paused over a box in the attic that included my last Pennsylvania driver’s license, featuring a 1999 photo of me at 23.
At that age, my life revolved around playing baseball, basketball and working out at the gym. I was young, active, and approached life with the wisdom of comedian Steven Wright: “I intend to live forever—so far, so good.”
Social media and new channels are shifting the balance of power in sales relationships, and many chief marketing officers (more than half, according to an IBM study) are ill-prepared to handle this shift.
But the challenges are not insurmountable. Companies that transform their sales and marketing alignment can take advantage of these changes—and increase market share and profits.
A prospective client recently lamented that his company doesn’t have the capabilities and processes in place to ensure delivery of a consistent, high-quality customer experience across a range of channels. This got me thinking about the best ways to connect customer experience and go-to-market (GTM) strategy.
Gold was discovered 165 years ago at Sutter’s Mill in Northern California. When most of us think of this momentous event, we picture the iconic image of a grizzly prospector bent over a stream frantically panning for gold. Few of us remember Samuel Brannan, the first millionaire of the California Gold Rush.
Many credit Brannan with launching the gold rush when he walked through the center of San Francisco holding up a vial of gold dust yelling, "Gold! Gold! Gold from the American River!" As thousands of hopeful prospectors scrambled to chase their dreams in the Sierra Nevada goldfields, Brannan famously bought up all the mining supplies in San Francisco and resold them at a handsome profit. There is a lesson in his strategy.
Meanwhile back in Technology Land, the lord looked on helplessly as his traders abandoned him for the competition, initially in a trickle and then en masse. The speed with which the shift happened was mind-boggling. With all his money and power gone, he was ruined.
As he reflected on his life (he had a lot of time now), the lord wished he had heeded his minister’s good advice sooner.
What could he have done differently to prevent the slide in trader loyalty while he was on top? And how could he have anticipated the shift in loyalty better?
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