Skip navigation
1 2 Previous Next

Partner Communities

29 posts

Like many people, I was shocked to recently learn that the ride-sharing service Lyft is paying more than $300 million to host its app and platform on Amazon Web Services (AWS) over a three-year period. Similarly, a couple years ago we learned that social media leader Snapchat signed a five-year, $400 million hosting deal with Google Cloud.

 

For those who question the value of cloud computing, these numbers will not help. But it’s important to recognize that, while public cloud hosting can add value, it is not the only answer. And, as many early adopters are discovering, it’s often not the most economical one. It’s tempting to leverage a public cloud provider as an “easy” way to digitize your business, but the perceived low cost of entry could become the lock-in to higher long-term costs — a trap that many executives only become aware of later.

 

Blog.jpg

According to IDC, by 2020, 60 percent of all enterprises will be implementing a new IT foundation as part of a digital transformation strategy — and a cloud computing approach is typically part of that foundation. In modernizing their IT infrastructures, companies need to not only worry about a rapid launch and a low upfront investment, but they also need to ensure an adaptive, flexible platform and a high return on investment over the longer term.

 

Recognizing this challenge, Hitachi Vantara has doubled down within its partner eco-system. To unlock the greatest value for our customers — over both the long and short terms — Hitachi has identified partner business models and industry competencies that address our customers’ most pressing needs. Our unique offering to help customers capitalize on the power of cloud computing combines the strengths of Hitachi and Cisco.

 

As a technology leader, Hitachi has collaborated with Cisco for many years. Today, Cisco and Hitachi Adaptive Solutions for Converged Infrastructure leverage leading Hitachi and Cisco technologies in a groundbreaking way. By bringing together best-in-class storage from Hitachi with industry-leading servers and network equipment from Cisco — and, based upon the validated design, with virtualized deployments easily managed by VMware's vCenter — your business can take on digital transformation in a fast, cost-effective manner, while still accessing the most advanced technologies available.

 

Cisco and Hitachi Adaptive Solutions for Converged Infrastructure can be further extended to utilize a unique set of artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics and virtualization tools. These solutions allow you to monitor system functions in real time and react quickly to changing requirements. You can easily identify duplicated and rarely accessed data, reducing storage costs and freeing capacity. You can use integrated tools to quickly move data among private and public cloud environments. You can automatically meet pre-defined security and compliance protocols.

In addition, Hitachi Vantara is the only vendor to offer a 100 percent data availability guarantee and an open architecture that supports private, hybrid, public and multi-cloud environments across standard interfaces. Depending on customers’ needs, Hitachi works with companies to help them own their data and maintain control, while also exploiting a variety of platforms and mobility options.

 

While public cloud providers can spend the majority of their time trying to make things work, Hitachi and its partners are free to focus on real value creation. Over time, this flexible delivery model allows Hitachi and its partners to address new application deployments, the development of multi-cloud environments and other changes that reflect your evolving business situation.

 

A Solution That Makes Sense

 

Why is this a more effective way to digitize your business model? It’s simple. By taking advantage of the long-term relationship between Hitachi and its partners, your company can access best-in-class data center modernization and cloud offerings in an adaptive, scalable, affordable manner. Instead of signing up for a multi-year, multi-million dollar hosting contract — without knowing what your day-to-day technology needs are yet — your business can modernize your IT infrastructure in a more flexible manner, adding capabilities and capacity as they are needed.

 

Hitachi’s collaborative model provides world-class converged infrastructure, with all the associated benefits. Namely, you get simple management of all storage, compute and networking components; scalability on demand to support current and future workloads; and constant uptime based on a unique 100 percent data availability promise. Pre-integration and single-view management enable your team to spend more time working on transformative projects and less time simply “keeping the lights on” in the datacenter.

 

The unique value proposition underlying Hitachi Vantara’s partnership approach not only meets the challenges you face today, but also positions your company for the future.

 

Check it out yourself! Details on Cisco Validated Design are available here, additional information on Hitachi Vantara can be found here or read the datasheet here. Read about Hitachi Vantara’s double-down commitment to our partners in the recent CRN article here.

 

CVD.jpg

By: Marcus Maddox

 

MarcusBlogImage.png

 

As a Global Alliance Manager at Hitachi Vantara, I am seeing an evolution in regards to how we are partnering with other companies. The competency alignment and expansion occurring between Cisco and Hitachi is exciting to see unfold. These two industry leaders have an incredible legacy and heritage in the technology industry ancestry and more importantly are embarking on multiple joint initiatives to drive digital transformation.

 

It is interesting when you examine the dynamics of this partnership and see how valuable culture, ethics and competency are to drive the focus and effort. I find this both in my personal and professional life. Whether I’m bring together respective Cisco and Hitachi Product Management or Sales teams, or I’m working on the lighting of a photography subject knowing the desired outcome is how you achieve the intended result.

 

Hitachi has incredible depth of experience with IT/OT which us unique. Cisco is well established as the “Intent Based Networking” company. If one considers an IoT solution deployment today, it requires a multitude of companies to collaborate to reach the result that delivers real benefit for the customer. The extensive information technology (IT), operational technology (OT) expertise that Hitachi brings to the partnership is strong advantage overall. Hitachi has more OT and IT capabilities than multiple Cisco Partner companies combined. In fact, it would take multiple Cisco partners to match the Hitachi capabilities in this market space.

 

Hitachi’s 100 plus years of operational knowledge and experience matched with more than 50 years of IT innovation is unmatched. Cisco’s has established and proven capabilities in networking and compute, from individual to enterprise, coupled with the secure movement of data. Together Hitachi and Cisco, present a force unmatched in the industry when it comes to solving IoT challenges. The benefits to the customer are clear – they get more from the Hitachi and Cisco partnership that they could from multiple companies working together on a single IoT initiative.

 

Together we can drive massive change through this partnership above and beyond traditional IT infrastructure. Yes, we have our Virtual Storage Platform validated with Cisco’s Enterprise UCS compute that allows our customers to quickly deploy and adapt a solution that will evolve as their data needs change due to business requirements. The power in the partnership truly lies in the combined capabilities and talent of two strong companies, Hitachi and Cisco. This combination allows us to work together to address the business challenges with a focus on intent and outcome.

 

Both Industry leaders offer the security and confidence to ensure resiliency, reliability and security required in today’s dynamic environments. Global Financial institutions to large healthcare companies trust us with their critical data. Hitachi and Cisco are focused and aligned to deliver outstanding business outcomes for our customers. We are committed to collaborate on new strategic paradigms and approaches on hybrid or multi cloud environments. Whether you are leveraging a data instance management to do a copy or to add protection in converge, it’s no longer just the portability and movement of data, but the protection and monetization that’s needed in order to enhance the core by extending value beyond what we are even considering today.

 

I suppose it gets back to creating that very special photograph. It takes the right light to best capture the color contrast, mood, and tone. This is something that can be left to chance (i.e., a snapshot) or you can employ the knowledge, experience, and proven talent of someone who knows when the right time is for the right light. This is the person or team that knows not just how to use a camera, but more important what the desired image should look like before the shutter is clicked. To create outcomes that matter is no different. Technology understanding is important. Even more essential is an understanding and appreciation for the intent and/or outcome. Miriam-Webster Dictionary defines photography as the “art or process of producing images by the action of radiant energy and especially light on a sensitive surface (such as film or an optical sensor)”. Technology is at the core of the Hitachi and Cisco partnership. At the same time, there is talent (and maybe even an art) involved in what Hitachi and Cisco can deliver for their customers.

 

I’m ready to help our joint customers advance digital transformation in 2019 ensuring outcomes that matter their business. There’s never been a better time for this partnership to grow and expand.

 

Learn more here.

 

Rugby.jpg

In rugby, a team is made up of players of all shapes and sizes - everyone has a critical role. It is a true team sport played between two teams of fifteen players on the field requiring an incredible amount of technical ability, determination and communication required to get the ball over the line. As the adage goes, it takes a village. It also takes teamwork, leadership, competency, flexibility and strategy to win a game – just like in business.

Many of our global partners have had to adapt their commercial approach to get over that next hurdle, that next milestone, or in rugby terms, the gain line. What often challenges them the most is the shift from a traditional CAPEX cost model to a true OPEX model with consumption-based abilities and cloud-like economics for services delivery. Not exactly a ruck or a scrum, but a true disruption has occurred in the traditional IT business, creating challenge and requiring longer-term thinking. Whether creating service wrappers for our infrastructure platforms or deploying an appliance on the Edge, our partners need to be creative and agile to create scalable, cost-effective solutions that drive outcomes for our customers.

Our partner ecosystem is a team. And, like in rugby, every team member is a contributor to the whole. Our global system integrator (GSI) partners, for example, bring to the table in-depth vertical knowledge, best-in-class solutions, and transformation expertise. They often leverage the best of Hitachi Vantara, our data expertise, our IoT assets, analytics solutions and world-class infrastructure offerings - as a key elements of their own offerings. enabling us to drive bigger end-to-end conversations about data center modernization and cloud acceleration, intelligent data governance, and data-driven insights. With these partners and teammates at our side, we can cope with challenges, changing client requirements, and half-time adjustments. Together, with alignment and collaboration, we can strategize, innovate and develop a differentiated plan and execute to perfection.

A good team wants to maximize and leverage the strengths of their teammates. We want to help our services partners successfully differentiate. We want to collaborate with our partners to co-engineer and co-create high-quality solutions and services that allow customers, with their wide-ranging lists of requirements, challenges and opportunities, to derive value from their data. With our new FY18 Partner program, we want to empower our partners, giving them the flexibility to engage with us in a way that best fits their strengths, their competencies and their business objectives irrespective of the playing field conditions.

The best rugby teams also learn from their wins and their defeats. They examine the competition; repeat what worked; reward and develop talent; and recognize where they can improve. To be clear, Hitachi Vantara is determined to build a championship team – one that is prepared and able to address the most complex customer challenges. Interested in being on the winning team? Reach out to me to discuss how we can win together.

Motorcycle.jpg

Choo-Siang LEE is a leader in APAC of our Hitachi Vantara Partner Ecosystem and Alliance Management.

 

I have had many global experiences, through work and travel, and I have realized the importance of being at the forefront of any technological milestone. In my market, Hitachi Vantara is known for high quality and high standards in storage devices. This same sentiment is growing around software as services and our expanded object storage abilities with analytics as the foundation for IoT. Since these are basic building blocks for IoT which address real world applications they are the direct correlation to creating tangible and innovative business outcomes.

 

I believe that value lies in not only delivering our partners value within our infrastructure solutions, but with our deep seeded interest and knowledge on the data strategy journey. I’m proud to work within our ecosystem of partners to enable, build and execute against these constructs. The diversity of thought and experience is outstanding in our partner community, from analytics partners who are working on data construction models for customers, to visualization partners who design dashboards. The beauty of our new flexible partner program which launched in the beginning of the fiscal year truly allows us to partner effectively from one end to the other.

 

Through working internationally, I’ve found more and more reason to delve deeper into our strengths. In our market, everyone is looking at new use cases which are delivering on the IoT opportunities. Through cloud technology, cloud infrastructure, and the cloud service from our enterprise customers to our fortune 500 customers, to our regional and global system integrators, re-sellers and technology partners, we prove again and again that we have a deep well of experience to draw from.

Frequently when I’m traveling, I share our partner training framework in how we identify, recruit, onboard and activate our partners across all six countries. For our Pentaho partners, we completed wave one within our partner ecosystem to review the competencies in the ecosystem and now with wave two afoot, it’s a phase that incorporates analytics solution offerings, re-selling services, and technology solutions. Through this investment of learning, we are suddenly experiencing the positive results that comes from emphasizing technical curiosity and deliberate exploration of new avenues. Within our current ecosystem, whether from a sales or marketing perspective, all systems are a steady green; go.

 

Our data strategy is formed around the deployment of data, monetizing the data, the SEAM framework and allowing the rich data driven insights for data center modernization to create a bridge to intelligent data governance. This framework also called Stairway to Value helps us understand how well a customer can utilize data to achieve competitive advantage.

The very final stage and most important part of the journey is then the monetization of the data largely driven by data pipeline. Which is exciting as most company’s data, engineering and data prep allow all three silos to come together. So, for us it on this data road can see the end to end ecosystem which visualization, analytics and monetization and we look forward to working with our partners to help our customers monetize it.

SEAM_imageinsert.jpg

For me as a rider, I feel that the road we are traveling together with our partners is hitting the Apex and I welcome you to come along for the ride. So, do follow me and Hitachi Partners on Twitter as we will be roaring through the digital streets to continue the conversation.

road-bike-594164_1920.jpg

 

 

As an avid biker, I have learned to do well in this sport by managing both the physical environment and the technology of my equipment to my best advantage. I know that my safety and the enjoyment of this sport requires an acute awareness of the road, including the angle of the trail and the slope of a turn, as well as an indepth understanding of the technology of my bicycle. If I ignore the signs, and do not react in that moment by shifting gears or adjusting my seat, a very good experience can turn catastrophic.

 

Much like recognizing the connection between the technology of my bike and the awareness of the road, I recognize the importance of technology and the partnerships we are building within the Hitachi Vantara Partner Community. In my role as the Vice President of Global Partner Strategy and Programs, my team and I are constantly driving to increase our value proposition through our offerings and through collaboration with our partner ecosystem. The Hitachi Vantara Partner Program and its offerings create a mutually rewarding platform for growth.

 

We see our partners as an extension of our organization. It is the basis and the key element of any successful partner program. It’s encouraging to see the swift adoption of our new program through the building of joint business plans, agreed by both parties to ensure a collaborative and successful partnership. Our success relies on our partners recognizing that we are invested in them and that we have identified critical intiatives and enablers to increase the likelihood of a successful relationship.

We are, for example, working with one of our larger distributors on joint IoT Solutions that are market ready, combining our intellectual property to create an accelerated offering for our customers. Through this initiative, they are building packaged offerings based our competencies. This is exciting as no other organization has the comination of IT and OT expertise, technology assets and domain expertise that we can deliver. With over 100+ years OT and 50+ years IT as a part of our Hitachi DNA, we have what is required to address critical business challenges faced by our distributors, partners and their customers.

 

It always comes back to the fundamentals, and my true passion lies in building a first class partner program that offers tools and processes that drive and enable our partners.

 

The Hitachi Vantara Partner Program is evolving into a program that does just this, and I am proud to be one of the driving forces behind its inception, evolution and success. We are proud to be featured in

CRN’s Cloud Partner Program Guide.

 

0?e=1546473600&v=beta&t=xcYlpXmYkRDh7dHeu1isqzUqLOqpZUpNilpIZk2ySg8

Our partners rely on us to help them accelerate their “time to market” and to continue to leverage and cultivate the relationships that they have already established. The most important part of the puzzle is identifying what is most valuable to the partner and then tying both team and relationship together. Additionally, we amplify this relationship through marketing and services through our joint solutions. Our partners utilize through our Hitachi Vantara Partner Marketing Hub our go-to market services offered there. Essentially, we work as an extension of our Partner Marketing team. We enable the understanding of the Big Conversations which allows our partners to offer a complete solution and in turn, provide incremental value to their customers.

 

While we understand that some of partners may need more time to fully embrace these new methodologies, many are still intent on understanding individual strengths of other partners in the ecosystem before they will engage in partner to partner collaboration. This will ultimately allow maximum collaboration which harnesses the strengths of each partner as a trusted advisor. It all depends on the individual entity. We offer our partners the ability to bring their expertise and encourage them to utilize our Hitachi Vantara SME’s to foster knowledge transfer within their own organizations.

All of our online training is free so our partners can address any technical gaps that may exist. We are constantly investing in new ways to simplify the learning pads for our partner community. At any stage of learning cycle, our partners can either test out or take a complete series to drive the knowledge into their own teams.

 

We have a plethora of resources available for our partners, through Partner Connect and the Hitachi Vantara Marketing Hub, where they can find sales blue prints, tools and assets to use as a part of their enablement journey. We see data as the business capital of the digital era.

SimplifyingDemandKimKing1.png

IntelligentDataGovernanceCampaignScreenShotKimking2.png

intelligencedatagovernancekimkingsimage3.png

 

So, whether I’m turning cranks to deliver new value for our partner program or I’m biking 100 miles a day for the Make A Wish Foundation, I find it’s always about being the best that I can be. Please leverage all the resources we have to offer in our Partner Connect portal. And as always if you ever have any feedback or ideas, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the partner support team.

HVGlobalPartnerSupportDesk.jpg

 

golf-3635306_1920.jpg

Big Iron

Whether I’m using my iron driving into headwinds in golf or moving away from a big iron project to the real big dog projects of today in content solutions, I always enjoy a good challenge.

With golf, I started out by learning from my father. I was his caddy when golf wasn’t a popular sport. At the age of ten, I recall using iron, my mind and monitoring the wind to drive down the fairway. Although I’ve had three holes in one, I personally find the challenge of monitoring conditions to develop a strategy, adjust my swing and approach each aspect of the game with a plan.

This is similar to moving big iron in our data center projects that migrate to the cloud. I work with partners who align with each customer’s desired business outcomes and help them evolve through these times. Change is based on the needs of the business, and often as frequent as weather changes on the golf course. As a result, so many of our partners are spending a lot of time helping their customers build exciting new applications into the cloud. In addition, partners are working to ensure organizations are compliant or creating a bottomless back-up are all examples of solutions we encourage our partners to carry forward to their customers utilizing Hitachi technology.

Why are our Hitachi Content Platform Solutions far superior in meeting these challenges? Because the technology helps end users solve their business problems or outcomes to meet compliance guidelines, build a bridge to the cloud and it’s great for file systems. Other benefits of HCP include:

· A singular platform for backup and archival, data mobility, cloud and big data storage

· Deployment flexibility

· Enhanced workforce productivity

· Visibility and control of digital assets in private, hybrid or public cloud configurations.

Although the gravitational pull for big iron is strong, we find that our Hitachi partners are winning with our Hitachi Content Platform.

Here’s what I find exciting about that: Our partners make our content solutions sing by the varied and successful ways they implement to help customers drive business outcomes. Just like choosing the right club out of the bag to get the job done right. And we support our partners with a beneficial partner program and strong training to enhance their knowledge of content solutions and so much more. This enables them to maximize a customer’s existing investments with a data center modernization project all the way to using analytics to monetize their data with solutions like Pentaho.

Fortunately, I’m working with a great partner enablement team that empowers our partners to converse at a higher level around our offerings. Between our training, subject matter experts or our universal solutions, we are hand and shoulders above anyone else in the industry, which is why Hitachi Vantara is such a great place to be a partner.

Collaborating with partners to put our mutual customers first and drive their success if our primary mission. This is where I spend most of my time as the Vice President of the America’s Partners at Hitachi Vantara. I love hearing from partners who may start out working on a backup problem with a client, but learning how it evolves into deeper conversations around compliance, archiving and other operational projects. That’s our end game.

I spend a lot of time speaking with partners and customers about the move away from traditional ‘big iron’ projects as they move toward content solutions, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the ‘big iron’ in my golf game!

0?e=1546473600&v=beta&t=5iQdMrNhg9uZi3vR3j9zZc2vH7_LF-rT_8ZLYoxJZdg

When you have an end goal in sight, you must apply all your skills and experience and combine them effectively and efficiently to earn that one thing. Working as Senior Product Marketing Manager at Hitachi Vantara, and competing as a tennis player have both taught me the importance of recognizing what one must bring to the table in order to elevate my game. Whether it’s playing singles or doubles or working on the Hitachi Content Platform object storage solution, values like focus and drive combined with intelligence from data-based insights are assets to be leveraged for a bigger and brighter solution.

Through working with innovative data storage solutions and exploring new market opportunities, I’ve been fortunate enough to meet with many of our customers and partners who are working on data management projects where business capital is at the center of new products and solutions for our customers.

To that end, it’s an exciting time to watch these partners take the lead in showing customers how to manage and govern their data and draw meaningful and ongoing business insights from the vast flows of their own data. A key challenge is that customers often can’t simply start developing this type of digital transformation strategy from scratch; previously established business processes and requirements must continue to be supported while modern solutions are implemented. Among the most important values delivered by the best object-based storage solutions is future-proofing based on broad flexibility and an adaptive architecture, which provide seamless support for traditional and future requirements and allow customers to grow and transform to keep up with the speed of business.

When an object-based storage solution is most successful, it’s based on a partnership with a supplier who is aligned with client’s needs and has competencies with respect to current and next generation use cases across many vertical markets. Like the relationship between a tennis player and a coach, a pairing where partners are tightly aligned in terms of goals is pivotal to success not just in a single match but in terms of a career. A strong team--whether on or off the court, requires a strong ecosystem of people, with the right tools and skills in terms of technology and strategies, to help ensure that for any challenge there is a path to success. With respect to object storage, there are many challenges for which you can work with your partner to develop an ideal solution. To name a few:

  • Governance and Compliance: Consolidate storage silos on a secure storage platform to address corporate governance and regulatory compliance requirements.
  • Archiving: Conserve tier one storage capacity by transferring less frequently accessed data from application storage silos to a storage solution designed for massive scalability.
  • Multicloud Initiatives: Centralize data and then use metadata-based policies to automate secure data placement on the right storage tiers – on premises or across public clouds - to align with business goals.
  • NAS Offload or Replacement: Manage file data growth more efficiently. Move less accessed data to object storage to and to lessen the administrative and cost burdens associated with current data protection processes - or else completely replace traditional NAS storage with a modern object storage solution.
  • Backup Optimization: Replace tape-based storage with cost effective object storage.
  • Data Lakes: Repositories for storing vast amount of raw data, including files, multimedia and IoT data, in their native formats until they are needed
  • Managing Data Growth: Place aggressively accumulating data on a centralized storage solution offering seamless and limitless scale along with management ease.
  • Cloud Application Integration: Leverage native cloud APIs to store application data securely on premises instead of within potentially insecure or less cost-effective public cloud services.
  • Big Data Search and Analytics: Rely on sophisticated search and analytics to derive actionable insights across multiple object-based data sets.

Today’s object storage use cases span traditional and contemporary environments, within and outside the data center. They may be considered rather mundane by today’s standards, like perhaps corporate email archiving. Or, they might trend towards modern IoT use cases like industry-specific sensor related data storage and analytics for various vertical markets, such as pharmaceutical manufacturing. Addressing the specific needs of modern customers often requires the expertise of partners who can seamlessly extend our business to end-users and provide meaningful consultation in the context of their own businesses. We are delighted to be on-boarding these niche organizations as new partners by harnessing their industry knowledge and expertise in technologies that have been integrated with our data storage solutions. So, if you are a partner with vertical or niche expertise – now is a great time to get involved with object storage.

What makes today’s object-based solutions interesting are the outcomes that they deliver. The ideal situation is when you can work with a trusted partner to develop and deploy object storage solutions that tightly align with one or more business goals. You may want to gain visibility and control of your data from across the data center, remote offices and end-user devices to maintain corporate governance. You may want to enable collaboration across your organization and gain insights from your own data that speed time to market for your products and gains you a competitive edge. You may want to significantly reduce costs associated with storage silos, rapidly growing tier one storage, and backups by taking advantage of both private and public cloud benefits. You might want to reduce compliance related data discovery from weeks down to hours. You might be a service provider looking to add new revenue streams by expanding into object storage-based services delivery. Or, you might want to transition from a self-managed storage solution to a pay-as-you-go subscription pricing model at your own pace. In fact, all these outcomes - and more - are possible with a single solution.

Our Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) solution is not just an object storage repository - it’s the foundation for a portfolio of integrated products. The HCP product portfolio is the only solution set in the industry that lets you build your own secure multicloud storage repository using the HCP object store AND an on-premises file sync and share solution with HCP Anywhere, a Cloud or File gateway using HCP Anywhere Edge, and a big data search and analytics solution using Hitachi Content Intelligence. Today, nearly 50% of HCP customers own more than one portfolio product. Based on a uniform look and feel across the portfolio products, a single administrator can manage all these aspects of HCP at petabyte (or even exabyte) scale. By evolving the HCP portfolio according to customer needs, we’re able to address wide ranging customer challenges and use cases that our competition simply can’t match. It’s for this reason, we have over 2,200 customers that span all verticals, including enterprise organizations, service providers, government agencies across the world, and more. The opportunity for our partners is in helping customers begin by solving challenges from a single use case and then eventually leveraging the integrated portfolio products to expand the scope and breadth of the HCP solution to address many more. Indeed, some of our customers use a single HCP portfolio implementation to address as many as 20 or more use cases.

In the case of tennis, when it comes to taking stock of feedback acquired across many racket swings and many matches, data is paramount to driving change. No one is unbeatable; pursuing the path to victory requires insights to know how to exploit your opponent’s weaknesses and to allow you to know where to place serves or groundstrokes to render your opponent unbalanced and unable to leverage his biggest weapons. Insights also guide you towards being able to anticipate where your opponent’s shots are likely to be directed so that you can react faster and more efficiently and effectively. Similarly, in business, using the right technologies and business strategies to derive the best insights allow individuals, communities and organizations to maximize their full capabilities and potential. After all, we simply want to make the most out of our one shot.

For any questions about Hitachi Content Platform, Object Based Storage Solution or Tennis, I hope you will follow me on Twitter and at the Hitachi Community. I look forward to hearing from you!

Tim Desai is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Hitachi Vantara, where he focuses on object storage solutions. His experience includes product marketing, product management, and business development for storage, software, servers, workstations as well as content delivery networks. Prior to joining Hitachi, Tim held senior roles at Dell, EMC, Data General and Digital Equipment Corp as well as several startups.

weightlifting.jpg

I work as the Global Lead of Cloud Service providers at Hitachi Vantara. And in my spare time I do a variety of sports including weightlifting. Through Hitachi Vantara I find my days filled with a few opportunities to do something that couldn’t be done before. It crosses over to my sports hobbies where I look to vary the way I train but also maintaining the focus of improvement. A constant bar that keeps moving up and up, accomplishing bigger and better. Outside of the gym I can constantly improve in a very similar way, building relations with business providers who could be considered competitors, or in working with our customer’s complex cloud engagements. Now more than ever this work is immeasurably rewarding. It’s an exciting time to work on business opportunities with the common goal being nothing less than business success.

I enjoy challenges, facing obstacles and consequently moving past them to reach that goal. For me, the fulfillment lies in organizational business planning for demanding requirements with those who want well defined business outcomes. With on premise applications and a strong desire to move to the cloud there is constant movement and action being taken to maximize success. There are complex business demands that are driving a flexible and agile approach that meets the needs of the end user. In fact, they gain the promise of the cloud within and beyond the four walls of their data center through our partners comprehensive, enterprise grade managed service capabilities providing the benefits of secure, trusted hybrid cloud deployments without losing control but benefitting from an elastic, pay-as-you-go model that public cloud-based solutions bring.

Today we see many organizations considering how they convert and migrate applications to the cloud, but often they can’t do this alone, and they know that not all applications can be moved. They need to work with a trusted and credible partner to deliver their outcomes they seek. Which is why I’m proud that our partner program has been featured in CRN’s Cloud Partner Program Guide for offering partner strategies which continue to meet the new cloud challenges and opportunities our partners face. This best in cloud status is something that we are very proud of at Hitachi Vantara, because it’s taken work, commitment, and dedication.

Whether our partners spin up new services to deliver development operations or helping a client reduce the capital costs of maintaining their changing infrastructure and how they plan to help customers to reduce costs by moving to a consumption-based commercial model. We have the strongest ecosystem of partner solution offerings they are looking to deliver in the future.

It’s a terrific place to be as some clients need compute where other clients need a more convenient cost model that is compatible with their growth and operational needs. Either way, we find that our clients fulfill these through our service provider partners.

In overseeing the program, I’m involved with a myriad of opportunities which allows me to work with our service partners. We are winning together because we are co-creating the best of breed infrastructure for and with our service provider partners and together, we allow our partners who work daily with customers to harness the power of our joint expertise to drive new outcomes.

To learn more about our cloud provider program join us during Hitachi NEXT in San Diego next week or review: https://htchivantara.is/2OturN4  in order to find opportunities to do something that couldn’t be done before.

0?e=1546473600&v=beta&t=xcYlpXmYkRDh7dHeu1isqzUqLOqpZUpNilpIZk2ySg8

SettingtheRightPace_2018_KevinPurcell.jpg

 

I’ve run the New York City Marathon seven times. I understand the pain and determination of being an athlete, but also of solidarity and respect. I always prioritize my time and focus to honor not only my body, but more importantly the dear friends I lost during the 9/11 tragedy. 

 

The thing about running is the same thing that’s in memorializing, and it’s the same thing in business. It’s about planning the way to have the most meaningful impact possible. Whether it’s during training, running races, or as a leader in the partner organization in the Americas, strategizing and planning is at the forefront of any successful endeavor.

 

As Vice President of the Global System Integrators I interact with a myriad of business partners in the Americas, such as:  ATOS, CGI, Cognizant, DXC Technology, HCL,  Hitachi Consulting, Infosys,  Tech Mahindra, TCS and Wipro.  I am proud to work with these partners who want OEMs and manufacturers like us to get creative and be flexible with how we transact with our products and services. When planning for long distance, there is an emphasis on a strong foundation that builds up to create a widened sense of agility and create a wider breadth of potential for any project.

 

             As of now, I’m working on building up that base, making significant changes in how my team organizes in order to create an agile and flexible organization. Through our malleability, we find ourselves comfortable in a rapid pace that before we wouldn’t have been accustomed to. With a fortified foundation we can flex with our partners who are providing a multitude of service offerings in financial services, health care, communications, retail, energy, insurance and in the government sector. 

 

            Exciting times are afoot in the Hitachi Vantara partner ecosystem, as we are investing in joint solutions with GSI partners in core, content, analytics and IoT.  We are engaging and flexing--collaborating on the service by providing resources with these partners to build the solutions. At the forefront of any endeavor is the consideration of how both companies are developing these solutions to market and sell through their sales channels. We have financial incentives for our own sales teams to sell these offerings which is unique in the marketplace because we believe in walking the talk through our people, process, financial and technology investments.

 

            In our new era of flexibility, we are offering capex and opex consumption models.  In addition, we have fantastic partner executive events where we integrate the executive and organizational input, feedback, and surveys into the alignment and program building.  We are tracking success metrics such as customer satisfaction and growth for each of our partnerships to create wildly successful relationships.  We develop and participate in joint workshops with our partners and provide subject matter expertise in specific industries where we develop repeatable offerings that are extremely prosperous which benefit the partner, Hitachi and most importantly, the end customer.

 

KevinPurcell_NYC_Marathon.jpg

          

We are planning for a marathon--not a sprint, and we want our rates of productivity and success to endure, and if training for marathons has taught me one thing, it’s that it’s about reaching the end goal and then reaching for more.   Meanwhile, I look forward to continuing the conversation around industrializing with agile infrastructure and a modern platform in San Diego later this month during Hitachi NEXT with a GSI Partner.

shutterstock_JayMcGloin_Skier.jpg

 

When I’m on a mountain skiing the tracks of the back country or dropping in off cornices I’m thinking about the three B’s:  Big Conversations, Back Country and Beacons.   What is back country skiing?  It’s typically an unpatrolled area inside or outside of a ski resorts boundary or unmarked which creates a distinct experience from groomed trails with ski patrol.  For me as a technology leader.  I find it invigorating to navigate unchartered territories with my buddies while fostering distinct experiences. 

 

At Hitachi Vantara in my role as Vice President of the Americas Partner Sales and Alliances, I’ve found  that navigating my team on a journey with our partners in the big conversation equally exciting as mountain skiing.  We are charting new courses around data discussions which range from machine, business and connected data to differentiate and create new value.  In fact, I’m in new cutting-edge customer and partner conversations daily around return on data and beyond. 

 

Hitachi isn’t just a brand, it’s a talent empire navigating new innovations when it comes to products, services, societal solutions.  What motivates me as a leader every single day is the talented workforce with diverse expertise across our Hitachi Limited portfolio of businesses who are driven by passion to seek out new big conversations that foster new possibilities in our day to day lives.

HitachiBillionsofYen.png

 

Which is interesting as these big conversations make these more of a discussion than a technology.  It’s all about business problems and data transformation.  Then we layer on the extensive knowledge and competencies within our partner ecosystem and you can easily see how the stairway to value is realized from core infrastructure that allows our customers to monetize the data they have today, extract value from it and seek out new possibilities on this data. 

 

The possibilities seem endless to me.  If you simply focus on our healthcare business, we make MRI and body scanning machines and own ten hospitals in Japan.  That coupled with our Hitachi analytics capabilities, we can effectively and efficiently harness the power of the body scanners and MRI sensors records and blend that information with patient records to do more with the data to help diagnose and save lives faster.  It’s incredible to work with the data scientists who are evolving data modeling with regards to our information data models so that we can help transform the future of healthcare.  Imagine how our future will evolve into real time decision making based on increased diagnostic and patient care to improve societies worldwide. 

 

We have expertise in energy, communications, rail, government and retail as well.  Yet, when I think about my lunch conversation today, I was discussing the complex data sets that drive a recruiting company’s value proposition and how they are interested to find new ways to harness the power of the thousands of resumes they process and power their business.   We had big conversations around aligning everything from content types such as resumes, key words, google search results, API solutions, social networks, geo spatial data insights, work history and industry expertise which correlate to faster and better candidate selections and hiring decisions.  

 

Data_Image_Jay_McGloin.png

 

Although the traditional data center partners are still huge for us at Hitachi Vantara, we are accelerating business transformation by holding new conversations, big conversations around data.  We are looking at new partners that are outside the data center to help solve business problems and do more with the data and IoT.  For example, video surveillance partners that are traditional with a bucket truck and a camera on a pole are engaging with smart city integrators and collaborating with multiple sources and agencies to ensure that city buses flow seamlessly and parking is ample and efficient.  So, although we work on data center modernization projects with many of our existing partners, there is astounding interest around cameras and smart factories today.

 

I’m proud to be working with a world class Partner Enablement team who are working with our customers to augment the services we wrap around the solutions and I’m personally managing the metrics on training.  We have an incredible workshop program which allows our partners to work with our experts which has resulted in our partners launching new IoT initiatives.  It’s more than just whiteboarding, they are shadowing our team and working together to create these incredible cutting-edge solutions in the field today.  Which resembles unmarked territory to many, yet to me it feels like another day of back country skiing.

 

Let us continue this conversation during our Hitachi NEXT event in San Diego later this month or follow me on Twitter.

 

 


MaartenBlog_Sailing_Image_2018.jpg

When looking at partnerships and teamwork there is something that every individual realizes--perspective is one of the most valuable things a person can offer.

 

Everyone has a perspective that shifts the way a situation is viewed or a way of working toward a solution. My perspective is that of one who is focused on the end goal. In my spare time I spend my moments on the water, planning, strategizing, much like I do in business. My passion has always been centered around business value creation and end users. Through a variety of activities I see that partnership and collaboration are what keeps more than just a ship afloat. As the Vice President of Partners and Alliances in EMEA,  I’m focused on how we contribute to a part of the community to acquire and develop customers, and consequently how we can create the most detailed and fulfilling experience possible for our clients.

 

I prioritize the end result and plan for obstacles and changes that end up creating a deeper value at the end of the day. I value cooperation and advancement of mutual interests through a collaborative approach that enriches dialogue and heightens awareness of potential partnerships. Whether it’s working with our customers, building new service offerings, re-selling our solutions, or working alongside my middle man and fore decker in my Regenboog sailing boat, I see the same traits proving themselves to be incredibly impactful. 

 

Currently, my team is working on building an evolutionary ecosystem of partners in a rapidly changing landscape from pure play technology focus to a solution focus with business impact. It’s about taking a new approach and ensuring success through a menagerie of communications and perspectives. I’m motivated every day by the passion in our customers and our partners who are covering the enterprise, commercial and public market.

As a leader, it’s incredibly important to me that I look for ways to focus on not just customers, but on building talent, collaborating and logical problem solving.  While I appreciate strategy, it’s paramount to focus on our goals, our people and process execution.

Although we continue to have rich conversations around storage and business applications, we continue to team up with data insight and data governance partners with outcome-based solutions.  This heavy focus on partners with proficient service capabilities is what allows us to scale our solutions.  Whether they are project or outcome based. 

I feel honored to be working with incredible partners that are diverse in culture, dynamics and competencies.  For example, recently I was in our Emerging Region.  Our partner was selected to execute a large digital transformation project at a large financial services company.  We could convince the partner and this new customer with our outstanding reliability, references and ability to deliver on-time, without risk and on budget. This has been a great success for all parties involved.

 

We see more and more influencers experiencing the quality of our partners and Hitachi. Especially when we consider the immensity of our partner and Hitachi end user base.  There is a dual beneficial relationship where both organizations bring rich knowledge to both our organization and to the end user.  It’s astounding really.  Our partners are working on cutting edge projects from infrastructure consolidation to deploying business application’s, all of which aligns with a concept we call stairway to value.  

 

Our Partners and Alliances are incredible at enabling enterprise cloud, hybrid cloud and countless other services, such as data governance as a service, to name just a few.  But what’s truly remarkable is the prolific nature of the new types of partnerships and business cases being created within this ecosystem. We are enabling these robust and forward-thinking partner companies to create a better tomorrow.

 

Which is why I’m especially looking forward to Hitachi NEXT in San Diego as we have over 50 sessions featuring over 20 customers on data and innovation.    I hope that you will join me during my sessions and learn more about how the execution of digital transformation is a discipline and part of our DNA.

 

NEXTsessions2018.png

Hitachi Vantara recently announced our Partner Resale Optimized (PRO) offerings. This creates a lucrative and efficient approach for data center modernization which is purpose-built for our partner eco-system.  The PRO offering not only delivers the latest award winning Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) but also wraps the precise tools and simplified processes for price quoting to close the deals in the most efficient manner.

 

As a leader in the partnership organization who talks with partners on a frequent basis, I thought I’d offer a quick blog about the new ways you can make fast business decisions across the globe.  From Singapore to Croatia, I’m speaking with countless partners who are working diligently to help make their customers grow their businesses, improving the ability to predict size and scale for each implementation and adjusting with new business models. 

We want to help our partners focus on the customer and business outcomes, not be tied up in back office operations that extend limited value. By building simple “T-shirt size” configurations tied to validation tools, our partners can gain momentum with forecasting sizing and performance requirements with a well - established technology.  This becomes especially true as we free our partners to optimize resource management by investing more time in projects on the delivery side of their business versus the quotation process.  This then ties into the new Hitachi Vantara Partner Program which promotes and delivers an easy path for partner teams to create new customer value whether it’s through their own IP and technology or professional services. 

 

I’m looking forward to watching our partners leverage these efficient partners-only offerings and associated tools to accelerate sales and efficiency with new VSP pricing options. These offerings extend across our partner base from addressing requirements for infrastructure. Especially important strategic thinking partners whom are leveraging the storage platform to stabilize the customer data and extend its value. 

 

VSP PRO is the first step to allow them to pivot into different profit centers in their business and spend more time co-creating and working on the business versus in the business.  The VSP PRO allows our partners to continue to drive innovative business conversations with their customers while maintaining their right to the sail through the pricing advantage offered through the deal registration site so that all their focus is on the new customer outcomes versus any cumbersome sales process administration.

 

We are also very proud that we see very little channel conflict and can provide our partners return on their customer-time investment when delivering Hitachi Solutions. Hitachi Vantara’s defined stairway to value of store, enrich, activate straight up to monetize, program detail are available in our partner portal. (Login required) 

 

We know that the right technology is important to drive success, which is why our Virtual Storage Platform recent refresh in combination with our improved PRO technology and enablement tools not only improve efficiency, but they remove barriers for sales.

 

I’m fired up on the way we are making it easier to engage with us at Hitachi Vantara and hope you will continue to reach out to me with new tools, process and approaches that will allow us all to grow together.

 

Greg Bucyk

Global Strategic Partners and Alliances

Toronto, Canada – December 8, 2017 – The Canadian division of Hitachi Vantara, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501), brought the best of Hitachi NEXT to its Canadian eco system.The best of Hitachi Next refers to the announcement on September 19th, 2017 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas where Hitachi launched a new business entity combining Hitachi Data Systems, Pentaho and Lumada to put a laser focus on delivering data-driven solutions for our customers and societies.

 

The best of Hitachi Next, a.k.a. Hitachi Next 2 U Canada, was held on Wednesday, November 29th at Woodbine Entertainment in Toronto and on Thursday, November 30th  at the Brookstreet Hotel in Ottawa. Participating in each city were Hitachi Vantara’s top Canadian Regional System Integrators, Value Added Resellers, Global System Integrators and Cloud Service Providers. We covered compelling topics such as IOT, Analytics, Partner Transformation and Core Sales Plays. On both days, Hitachi Vantara took the opportunity to recognize its Top Canadian Partners from FY16 for their outstanding achievements.

 

The winners are:

Top Performer Partner of the Year           Stoneworks Technologies

Top Innovation Partner of the Year           DXC Technology

Top Cloud Service Provider of the Year    ThinkOn Inc.

Top GSI Partner of the Year                      CGI Group

Top Strategic Partner WIN of the Year      Teramach, a Pivot Company

Top New Partner of the Year                     PCD Solutions

 

“Our eco-system partners are our key stakeholders for addressing and delivering today’s CORE solutions to meet the demands of tomorrow’s IOT business outcomes”, said Peter Kriparos, Chief of Strategic Partners at Hitachi Vantara Canada. “We are excited about the tremendous opportunities Hitachi Vantara brings to the Canadian marketplace and look forward to more collaboration opportunities with our partners”.

 

Participants walked away with a greater appreciation and understanding for Hitachi Vantara’s Partner Strategy and the importance of their roles in co-creating and co-innovating solutions that meet our customers’ needs.

 

Learn more about Hitachi Vantara and its significance to Canada in this 3-min video.

 

Partner event.jpg

 

About Hitachi Vantara and Hitachi, Ltd.

Hitachi Vantara, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., provides information technologies, services and solutions that help companies improve IT costs and agility, and innovate with information to make a difference in the world. Our products, services and solutions are trusted by the world's leading enterprises, including more than 70% of the Fortune 100 and more than 80% of the Fortune Global 100. Visit us at http://www.hitachivantara.com.

Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, delivers innovations that answer society's challenges with our talented team and proven experience in global markets. The company's consolidated revenues for fiscal 2013 (ended March 31, 2014) totaled 9,616 billion yen ($93.4 billion). Hitachi is focusing more than ever on the Social Innovation Business, which includes infrastructure systems, information and telecommunication systems, power systems, construction machinery, high functional materials and components, automotive systems, healthcare and others. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company's website at http://www.hitachi.com.

The Sales Manager

 

Congratulations! You just landed a new job as a sales person for an exciting new industry and high growth opportunity. To assure your initial success, your new company immerses you into the new hire training curriculum.  This involves sales boot camp, online training courses, deep dives on products, extensive role playing, forecasting philosophies, and even cultural awareness. And when your finally ready to hit the field your pumped, confident, ready to kick ass and take names! Which of course you do, because your newly acquired knowledge, combined with your talent and work ethic is a deadly combo for the competition and you thrive.

 

So, 2-3 years go by, you’ve ascended to the top of your peers, winning awards, recognition and a few nice commission checks along the way. Then you get the call. “Katie the West Region Manager Role just opened, we need a rock star like you to rebuild that team, you’re just the person we need!” So you interview, land the gig and move out West to your new and exciting first management opportunity.

 

The first day comes and the new team is so happy you’re here. They haven’t had a manager in 3 months and are desperate for leadership to pull them out of a dreaded death spiral.  They don’t hesitate to drop all the gory details on your lap - sales are at an all-time low, competition smells blood in the water and are all over the customers, we’re chasing deals that never close and although recruiters keep calling, we’d like to stay here, but uncertain of their future.

Although Katie is a rock star sales person, being her first experience leading a sales team, she’s kinda freaking out. Here lies a very common problem that companies fail to recognize. Rock star sales skills and deep solutions knowledge don’t carry forward to the sales manager roles they are promoted into.

 

More often than not, these new sales managers begin their first leadership roles learning on the job. The business will not slow down and the pace will be frantic. Of course the best people will work through it, but will be chasing the business in reactive mode, extending their learning curve, while negatively impacting business until they can come up to speed.

 

So, if you’re finding yourself in a similar situation, or just interested in practical ideas you can implement immediately to build your team and ultimately revenues, read below to a Q & A session with one of the best leaders in the IT industry - Dennis Brien, Hitachi Insight Group – Western Division Vice President of Sales.

 

Q. Thanks for joining Dennis, if you had to hone in on a few key categories critical for sales leadership what would they be?

A. Dennis: Thanks for having me Mike. As I reflect on my current team and teams in the recent past it is clear that our success has been the result of having great people and putting them in a position to succeed. As a leader I think it is critical to understand the people on your team, what motivates and inspires them and then do your absolute best to get out the way and support them with the resources and investment required to exceed their objectives. Communication is foundational to the success of any leader. The ability to clearly communicate – which also means listening – is vital! I would also highlight recognition. Sales people want to be recognized for exceptional performance. It always amazes me what a little recognition will do to inspire a team. We recently began an all hands Quarterly recognition meeting to highlight our successes and the high performers.

 

Q. When recruiting for talented sales people, how do you distinguish between high potential and high risk?

A. Dennis: Recruiting is one the most important aspects of being in a leadership position. The level of talent on your team is what dictates your success. In fact, I would contend the only sustainable differentiator for a team is great people. To that end, a bad hire can be a real drain on a team or organization. It is inevitable to avoid a bad hire but a systematic vetting and interview process can minimize the likelihood of a bad hire. One the keys to getting the right people is being very clear about the role, the company, and your expectations. If there is alignment between the role and opportunity and the career trajectory of the candidate you have a great chance to secure high potential sales people. The last key point is cultural fit. Do not go against the grain of culture fit regardless of resume. Different perspective and experiences are great to broaden the team, but inspect for mindset, character and foundational beliefs to assure their DNA is a cultural match.

 

Q. If there is a threat of panic in the air, either a large deal going sideways, upset customer, etc.. What are tactics to best handle a difficult situation

A. Dennis: In our industry the solutions and sales process has become increasingly complex. It is imperative to collaborate and leverage the proper resources to increase your probability of success. I recently read that on average the number of people involved in a complex technical sales campaign has increased from 3 to 8 in the last few years. That essentially includes anyone that is engaged to close a deal. At the end of the day the more experience, perspective and ideas that can be considered the better the odds of success. Another simple rule is the 3 A’s: Anticipate, Analyze and Act. As a manager, you have experience that others don’t. If you see an issue bubbling up, jump on it right away, assess the situation, make a call and execute. You’d be amazed how seamless your business can run, by using your knowledge to prevent small issues become big problems, whether deal related, people, technical, etc.

 

Q. How do you get your team in front of the business and drive it, verses being reactive and chasing the number up till the end of the quarter

A. Dennis: I think for the most part this is a discipline that the best sales people understand and do naturally. The reality is if we have the right people they inherently push themselves harder than I could ever push them. Having said that a good leader will instill a process and set of expectations around building a pipeline and systematically driving the campaigns in a way that ensures deals close within the committed Quarter.

 

Q. Any final advice you’d like to impart on our readers?

A. Dennis: Thank you for the opportunity Mike. I would close by reminding leaders that recruiting is an unending pursuit. Whether they have an open requisition or a full staff they should always be looking for the next talent. Recruiting should be a fun and rewarding part of being a leader. It is easier to find great talent when you don’t necessarily need it!

 

 

Stay tuned for more insight on selling and leadership strategies from some of the world’s leading sales leaders at Hitachi.

 

Do you think you can sell? If there’s a topic of interest, let us know.

 

Thanks!

Mike

The fast paced world of Information Technology employs skilled athletes that perform at an extremely high level.  I call them athletes, because that’s essentially what they are. IT Athletes have years of experience and training, possess deep knowledge, face crisis head on and are transforming themselves as the world around them transforms as well. The IT world is a dynamic ecosystem with a variety of different roles and responsibilities. One role that continues to evolve and increase in its importance is the IT Sales Rep. That’s correct, the Sales Rep!

 

In today’s fast paced world, customers put the highest value on salespeople who challenge the status quo, who bring fresh concepts and ideas, who use creativity and their market knowledge to help their customers’ businesses adapt and grow. As the markets we serve continue to transform, customers are demanding more and more from their sales teams. They expect them to teach them things they don’t know and bring new perspective in solving their IT and business needs.  Therefore, how you you sell has become just as important as what you sell.

 

Let’s spend some time with someone who’s had a history of success, helping her customers with their most pressing data management needs, enabling their business and accelerating their transformation.  The sales representative I’m referring to is Lori Baker, Global Account Manager at Hitachi Data Systems. 

 

Interview - Lori Baker

 

Q: Mike

Hi Lori, thanks for taking the time. I wanted to first ask you, what do you see as the main objective of your role as an HDS professional sales person.

 

A: Lori

Early in my career a sales mentor gave me a piece of advice that really stuck with me.  When you are in front of your customer you are an advocate for your company and your portfolio of services.  However, before you articulate how your solution is competitively positioned, you must do your homework and truly gain and understanding of the customers’ business objectives, areas of focus that are driving those objectives and challenges that may be present in putting the business objectives at risk.

These facts don’t fall in your lap. Gaining a deep understanding of your customers’ requirements takes an investment and commitment on your part to research and gain insight, building your credibility before the campaign even begins.

 

Once you have this insight, you are able to align your solution as a critical aspect of the overall plan in meeting key requirements and/or solving business challenges.

 

Q. Mike

What do you see as key challenges being an IT sales person in today’s environment?

 

A. Lori

The ability to sell in an environment where perception is often reality and hype can be mistaken for value. To understand that true value always comes down to business outcomes.  Don’t get caught up in feature battles, or the latest trend. Rather focus on delivering measurable business value. 

 

Now, that being said, typically your customer will have a longer term vision, balanced with shorter term requirements.

 

What’s crucial is that you clearly articulate that you understand their vision and map your company’s strategy to key aspects of that longer term vision; however, also stay focused on meeting their needs of today. This approach will build your credibility and relevance, showing a map to the future, but still getting the job done for today.

 

Q. Mike

How do you keep your cool, when there’s a multi million dollar deal on the line?

 

A. Lori

Most large deals have mini wins along the way. For example; access to decision makers, PoCs, verbal approvals etc.  You need to focus on each mile of the marathon and not the whole 26 up front.  Also, recognize there will be challenges along the way and often times it is overcoming the challenges that makes a deal come together and gets you closer to yes.

 

Q. Mike

How do you differentiate from your competition?

 

A. Lori

The goal is always to provide a differentiated sales experience.  Products come and go and every vendor has their unique set of technology strengths.  Sales teams that prepare, are active listeners and put as much effort into their presentation as the solution itself always provide the best sales experience. Finally, the effort you put into implementing the solution has to be equal to the effort you invested to win. The customers experience with your solution is critical for your ongoing success.

 

Q: Mike

What advice would you give an aspiring sales person in today’s fast paced, ever changing environment?

 

A: Lori

Mike, I would make sure they focus on three key things;

  1. Be an active listener; customers want to be heard and feel that the solution being proposed are defined specifically to meet their needs.
  2. Build win teams; identify, motivate and support the resources around you. Larger account selling is a true team sport.
  3. Balance urgency with patience; understand how to leverage compelling events  and when it is better to walk away to fight another day.

 

Lori, as always is was great to talk with you. Practical advice that we all can learn from and apply in our daily lives as skilled professional sales athletes.

 

Stay tuned for more insight on selling and leadership strategies from some of the world’s leading sales leaders at Hitachi.

 

Do you think you can sell? If there’s a topic of interest, let us know.

 

Good Selling.

 

Mike