B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 1 year ago

84. IT Channel Landscape: What Is the Next Normal? w/ Barrie Desmond

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

The IT channel landscape is never going to look the same again.

There are 4 stages to responding to disruption. Which one are you in?

In this episode, we interview Barrie Desmond, Head of Global Marketing and Business Development at Exclusive Networks, about thriving during disruption in the IT channel.

We talked about four main ideas. First, accepting the next normal & not looking back, second, the 4 phases to responding to disruption: react, recover, reflect, reimagine, third, why you need evergreen enterprise, and lastly, 2 spaces where the IT channel should reimagine

Check out this resource we mentioned during the podcast: Barrie’s LinkedIn post about the next normal

To hear this interview and many more like it, subscribe to The B2B Revenue Acceleration Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.

You were listening to bb revenue acceleration, a podcast dedicated helping software executive stay on the cutting edge of sales and marketing in their industry. lets get into the show. Hi, welcome to be to be a revenue acceleration. My name is earlier with you and I'm here today with buried amount Chieft, storyteller at exclusive networks. How are you? Very fantastic. Thank you very much, no problem. The problem. So today we will be speaking about an article that cut my attention on Linkedin that you put together about the next normal in India tea channel landscape. But before we get into the topic, and despite the fair you've already been a guest of our podcast. Would you man just introducing yourself quickly and introducing exclusive network is for anyone that have been, you know, asleep for the US when tels and don't know whis Clevis. Thank you very much. Yeah, so I'm buried ASMUND and the head of global marketing and business development, but really I'm the guy that tells the story and you know, really tell us the story from where we've been at exclusive where and where we're going, the vision and aspirations and exclusive really has been at the forefront of the emergence and demanded a cyber security so we're very specialist and probably a will niche player in Cyber Security and cloud transformation and they are the two areas in which we've focused on and over the last ten years or so we've built out a global footprint specialize in in these sectors. Were in about thirty nine countries, raft about or fifty L so offices and one thousand eight hundred people, or the majority of which focused on cyber security and cloud transformation. In fact, were so special that the highest ratio of engineers to salespeople in the distribution layer of us, or the food chain of getting technology to market. So you know, someone told me once niche's a great it said, because you know it's sort of this sort of defines maybe a narrow market, but if you're number one in your niche you can do okay. And I would say we are the number one cybersecurity distributor value I did, or value creation distribution player in the world. That sounds very good. Sorry, what I introduction. I like it a bay from you now. So, Barry, I know that everybody's a little bit fed up of speaking about covid night. So I'm just going to make a quick, quick mention of it. But we started with covered. Everybody was speaking about it mid March, all of April and then in May everybody was sticking about the new normal or, Oh my God, are we going to adapt? What's going on? I'll make kids going back to school orst of great stuff, and you know that scholarship put together and that you publish some linkedin that. The game got my attention. You speak about the next norm, which is basically, you know, get on with it, you need to adapt. Let's move on. But can you be celiberate a little bit more of your concept for us? Yeah, I think you know, when people look back and probably do a bit of reflection and what's happened over the last few months. You know, an old Scottish bloke told me once that you only he never loses, either wins or e learns. And and I think lots of people are learning. The biggest lesson I've learned, and it really was apparent to me over many years. It just probably couldn't articulate it probably is that this whole period as has helped us focus on the main benefit of what everybody does and that's outcomes. You know, we're we're much more focused on the outcome of...

...what we do, not the task or the process. And and I think you know, what we've seen during the COVID crisis is some real dislocation in the way in which we do business. But the outcomes are the same in many respect yeah, I and and in sometimes they're better. So in in the cybersecurity world, you know, when we go to talk about the four phases, I sort of observed we're going through the reaction phase. We seen a rapid deployment of remote working and then we decided then what you know, they needed the the the appliances to work, they needed access to their normal daily work tools, applications services, and then we had to maintain the integrity of that. And so what we've what we've what we've witnessed is is people react and put those quick fixes in place, if you like, and can, you know, and continue to operate. So from a continuity perspective, we've seen a lot of resilience in business, resilience in the channel and we've seen some extraordinary stories in the channel where, you know, channel partners of once again, you know, I created this Hashtag, Hashtag channel. Together they've gone to extraordinary lens to deploy and to enable companies and partners and collaborations to work. Yeah, and and I think that's a great lesson for all of us and in the way in which we operate from a business perspective. I think you know, from whether it's a physical dimension like offices and meetings, of facetoface and stuff like that, we've also seen that we've changed and adapted in the way in which we work and in many respects we've had better outcomes, not just expected outcomes. We are from a management perspective. You know, one of the great things about exclusive is what what I call we have what I call the center weighted approach to our structure. So it's not that hierarchical. It's sort of cell based, network base. There's intelligence at the cores, want to call it intelligence, but there's also intelligence at the edge. Yeah, and you know, having that structure, then you know your agile and there's a lot of agility in a lot of adaptability. Now people say, I think people get mixed up between agility and adaptability. You know, you've got to have both. You know you can you can be quick to act, but unless you change, it's still good. Yeah, so a lot of companies may have said, Oh my God, you know, I got to put so many people on Furlough, reduce the cost base of the business and, you know, but they're not adapting o they yeah, they're just shrinking and maybe operate on a lower scale. But then I've seen some mildous cases of businesses that decided not only would they be agile, but they would adapt. So I've seen companies in California who were thinking about doing curbside fast food, you know, in these trucks that you see or these trendy containers, and they had an eighteen month business plan to do that and they did it in two days. Yeah, right. So you know, what I'm saying is they were agile. They haven't put any they have a sacked or made people redundant. They completely changed the way in which they've a dressed. So the outcome, even better outcome, is they've had a continuity program put in place and they've been resilient to this and they continue to survive and, if that, thrive in this basis, in this climate. So really, you know, it's it's actually my reflection on the last few months is with challenge convention. We've had amazing amount of resilience in the channel to from a continuity perspective and the outcomes, and now we're much more focused...

...on the outcomes. I mean I've seen some task driven jobs and functions within an exclusive which never in a month of Sundays would you consider they could have been done from home as yeah, but now they are and in fact better. You know, the results were getting a better on basic back back office tasks like operational the operational function, like the credit and cash collect function. We've we've really focused on that. Of course, cash is king and, as that example proved you, we've innovated and we continue to innovate to for us to be able to do our job and serve first and and I think that's another hallmount of companies that have strong values, came strong customer values, of strong people values, is that their their instincts were to serve first and sell second and and we very much did that. You know, it was about could we help you with the rapid deployment to say in the UK we've had some of these nightingale hospitals set up in like the Millennium Stadium in Wales and you know, I've heard of the stories of us, you know, going to extraordinary lens to help reseller deliver that solution to these offices and to know, to offer our services first, to offer knowledge transfer and education services first, and innovate in other ways, you know, in terms of transferring knowledge, increasing our customers awareness and sometimes even into the certifications and the qualification side of things, offering a backup for organizations that were under stress, you know, so becoming a proxy for them with their twenty four by seven support calls, helping amount with designs and you know when people are back to you know, not only rapidly could call remote ends, but actually look at the central infrastructure and architecture. There's a lot, a lot of companies have set out their infrastructure to maybe handled a couple of you know, cut up the hundred could, you know, simultaneous connections or concurrent connections, and now you got a couple of thousand and you're like, Oh, you know, it can't code. So how do we help there? Do you think that adaptability will carry on, because it was force on us and and and you've been able to adapt and you felt that decision were made quicker, that things were done at a much quicker pace, which is fantastic. But is Jalu only sitting in a management position? Seeing concept coming to life is so beautiful. But do you think that will carry on? You think that that'said off, or do you think people actually need to have a little bit of the pressure of a covid s nineteen two, two two to get that done? And that will go with time. I think if people turn the clock back, they stupid and they deserve to fail. Yeah, I think we've learned. You know, as I say, you don't you don't lose your win or you learn. And if they're not winning and not learning, and the stupid and they has fared after and yours and and you know, we've learned to make decisions quicker, for instance. You know, I always say I may be wrong, but I'm not confused. So make the decision and put all my energy, under whatever percent, into make an happen. If it's the wrong decision, fail fast, wipe yourself down, learn and move forward. Yeah, you know. And I think the decision making cycle as accelerated, but it if they will be less cycled. And so again it comes back to the way in which is structured and organize. There's a very strong command and control, hierarchical approach. You'll see that those companies didn't bear well doing...

...this period because they've always waiting for endorsement. They're always waiting for the green light from someone above them. You know, it's more about you know, this is where I need you to achieve. You need to take calculated risks and I'm not giving you all the information. Pep Management teams are making faster decisions on less information. Yeah, getting good outcomes. They will get some bad outcomes as well. But you know, I think the way in which management should lead, or leadership should act, if you like, in the future is this is the outcome I want right and there will you will need an I'll support you in some measured risks and you know the old another desmond saying. You know, forgiveness is easier to get than approval. So take that approach. Move Fast, so your agile, but change and adapt. And you know, I think that is the way in which we will see companies operate in the future. I think they will be out very much. You know, the next normal is is just going to be a hybrid way of working. I think we'll see a lot more remote working, we'll see some homework in woking on the moon and they will be need still for social interaction in the office. And I think again another days when saying I was reminded of I wrote an article ten years ago about, you know, hot home working and working on the move. I said, yeah, because work is a thing you do, not a place you go. So I think we will lose things like that, you know, and those challenging will continue to challenge. Convention will be lot Nimbler, will be a lot more agile and will be a lot more responsive to the market. And if you don't focus on your people and people don't feel good, at least once a day about what they do, which is another manager of ours, you know, everybody should feel good about something they've done every day. Yeah, then they'd be stupid to to wind the clock that, of course. Well, I've seen also is that, you know, working from home as a lot of benefits, which you crud, proves the wellbeing of our people, our teams, allows them, you know, to spend a bit more time with the family, maybe have breakfast with the family, maybe do the school run when schools reopen and, you know, and time shift their tasks to suit them so they're more motivated and they feel better. But also we definitely need, you know, and those social interactions face defay. I've had a couple of meetings that I've put off because they need to be across the desk. You know, the the video is not going to work. Yeah, I think we'll do less at these formal meetings, you know, sort of maybe monthly team meetings will be a video, but maybe we'll have a quarterly team meeting, because there are, you know, benefits of the orget record. Yeah, the being together, you know, working off each other and member when we first started, moved into exclusive from the dish and days, you know, I used to sit on the sales floor. It was you know, there were no q dos for being a director. You just sat in the hot best area and I would listen to guys pitching, you know, for a reseller, a new technology or a new way of doing things, and I listen to them. I say that's a good idea, but have you ever thought of pitching it this way? Yeah, and so you ration. Yeah, you're not. You're not over hearing conversations you're not having the coffee machine conversation. You're not having someone say, Oh, you know, you should, you know, maybe have a one on one with Joey's feeling a...

...bit down demotivated. You don't get that in an official sense. You get outside on the fag break. Yeah, and then you know if you get to go with a vendor. We have a lot of end of we in and knowledge transfer sessions and product meetings and so on and so cooled end this come in and simply the resellers come in for updates and then you go down the pub. Don't yeah, absolutely, that's what that means. The must yeah, but them is the most the probably it's just it's it's actually quite true that the public still close. We should have find a system like a having a bubble around us or something, but it's the feeling for us is very similar. We actually have our resources as king us to come back to the office. We have some people that don't truly have because of the nature of people we have working for us. They may not have a desk or chair or proper station at home to walk. You know, when Boris Johnson said, well, it's going to be two weeks through weeks Max and everybody everything should come back to normal. You know, it was okay for people to walk from their so far from the side of the bed, but you know, imagine. But what are we twelve weeks in, thirteen weeks in, something is mean. Time goes by, but it's we really have a lot of people eaching to come back to the office. We won't be able to have them all in one go. But last year, yesterday, I was actually in your office. Was Made SELFA and marketing team and it was fun. You know, it was fun to have a little bit of bender. It was fun, as you said, to discuss about something, to listen to a cold, to debrief, to speak about the cold, to speak about those our stuff. That's feeling of belonging is is there is a requirement to do it face to face from time to time and can just do it online. I think we we human. I would maybe the next generation will, but I think our generation still need. I still love a hen shake. I'm tempted to give people and check I colla stuff like that's when I see them, I want to touch, which is bad. Always been bad. But you know, I didn't realize this was going to turn into a counseling session for your yeah, I feel much better now, rubs, but no, I agree that. You know, as I said, going down the pub after having those informal of the record conversations, feeling a part of the team, seeing the team, seeing the whites of their eyes and, you know, not in a virtual sense. It's very much something I think there's a huge craving for. And Yeah, I think it's going to be. It's going to be interested in the next few weeks. But surely we will see some sort of measured control save. Yeah, return and you know, working from home. You know, we were doing lots of interested stuff, like you know, saying you've got to have a dedicated work space. We all have these little working from home pads. That I can see is, you know, your tasks for the day. My Big Fat Frog, you know what's the job you've been putting off? What's the task of been putting off? You put there in Your Big Back Rod tells you what calls to me what you're big thank you. So you're going to thank today and for all before you shut the door. You know, one of the four things you want to do before you shut the door. So you know and then worry. You know, do your menu, what we have for breakfast, lunch and dinner, when we do in our exercise in and stuff. So you know we've tried to help our people out blunder day and organism. But I time and you know you next to the cattle or the pantry and I had my do not disturb hat of you heard about that. Another that I've not thought about. That that's a duty flat. That's why do not disturb at so you know, because other people in the house they want to say a loak do you and they want to ask you, do you want to cut a tea or do you want to go mow the lawn or clean them? You know, when I'm wearing I do not disturb hat, even though I'm here working for a moment not to be disturbed like that. Well, you also speak about the the for phase approachses you get a f I gues, a more discipline way to deal with disruption. So react,...

...recover, reflect, imagine. So you want to take a minute or to just to go through the steps, and I guess those steps could be a plate to absolutely everything, anything, any destruction that you may encounter. But would you men just going through the yeah, as I said earlier on, you know, we seen a reaction phase where everybody was trying to, you know, deploy remote workforces, put new processes in place to work safely, to as much as possible, in short, continuity in shore resilience. And you know, from our perspective, was all about integrity, because this period has been a field day for the bad actors, for people to exploit, you know, a huge, hugely increased threat landscape and at what we call a threat foot print. You know, fishing scams. I mean I get I get probably three or four attempts a day for people to have me or fish me because of you know, I'm quite vociferous in the industry and people think are be great to have desmond and exclusive networks a cyber security specialist, and so you just going to be vigilant. So and you know that. That's what went on. Then you saw, you saw. We were like, okay, we've done that and it's working. How do we optimize it? So that's the sort of recovery bit. You know. It was like we put the I always say when you when I was growing up, at my first car, that my exhaust was blowing and I really needed a new exhaust. But someone showed me that if you went to help it, you could buy this magic tape and you put this magic tape around the hook exhaust and it didn't blow anymore. Right, and I felt yeah, and that's the recovery and that's what we did right and it but it work. But you didn't want to stop and do anything because the car was still working. And that's where we're at now. We saw every will. Everything's working all right. We might not be perfect, it might not be ideal, but it is working. But then we're going to go into this where I call it the dangerous phase, which is reflection, which is you know who, you know what should ever replace that exhausted by the tape things was just a shot, some fix burry. You should reply. This is a it's the reimagination. You know, absolutely, don't spend too some time, much time reflecting right, jump into reimagination, to the rethink, the big rebuild, the two big opportunities in the channel upon us. One is to rebuild what. You know, I needed a new exhaust, the new manifold or a new car. Oh, I'm going to reimagine the new car and I'm not going to buy one, I might go out at least one. So there's new consumption models to talk about and people who were so heavily reliant on some subscription based consumption easily expanded to, you know, deliver more teams or more more collaboration tools, and now they should contract they you know. So it's those types of reimagination. While I Shart, how much more cloud storage would I need? You know, where is my desktop? I can O, you know, replicate my desktop in a virtual environment. So I heard interesting stories. I speak to a lot of the analyst in the Manhattan, you know, with the Big pee and the big finance houses, and the one of the VP's they're sent his executive assistant home to work from home and she got home and they delivered her a thin client, I think it was citrits or something, and some Bede stuff, brutual desktop stuff, and then everything was great until she switched it all on. But as a good, dutiful employee, when she left the office, you did the only right thing, she thought, save the company electricity. She hit her desktop. Of Yeah, so there was no way to access even though they quickly deployed right there was no way to access or desktop and they are times speak to a security card and they are on them, you know, the hundred and ten floor...

...and to guide against some security guard from receptor to go and it was a mess. So what does how do we rebuild for the future? How do we reimagine this dynamic, more agile, iterative, what I call the Evergreen Enterprise? Yeah, and the Evergreen Enterprise, from my perspective, is some something that continues to iterate itself, change at that as you're always on the latest version, you're always on the latest release, you've always you know, you're able to expand and contract, you're able to deploy and reverse that deployment, and you've got an infrastructure that is, you know, underlines continuity, resilience and is the you know, you mitigate any risk. So you maintain the integrity of that. What does the Doomsday Infrastructure Look like? And I said, you know, Boring Timothy, you sits in the corner, the risk guy, the no one has ever taken and you know, Note Dis Ole. Suddenly he's become some kings shipped ire or yeah, yeah, you know. So save us, Yelp us. What's from what me secure? My stuff is this fantastic. So that's where I see us doing now, is actually looking at the way we're going to work, look at their new habits that we're going to adopt, an imply looking at the new work patterns, the applications, the services. How do we mean the integrity of you the use of the device? How do we maintain the integrity of the connection? And we may detect the date. They're the systems. And then, you know, sales guys are adapting, marketing people are adapting. We do a more virtual events, of course. How do you you know, in distribution we talk about two currencies, margin and mind share. By and now it's all about the mind share. We still don't look after the margin, because the margin actually pays the bill, but the mind share is important. So we've adapted to build in mind share as opposed to look at for pipeline, and we look I talk about return on influence now as opposed to return on investment. And when people return to the next normal, that influence is going to work for you in gold, you know, and and that's what we've got to so we're going to think the way, you know, be with sales guys now and we're going to have five hundred sales guys for one company tread in the streets of London in the future? I doubt it. Or we might do is have fifty and we might have two hundred and fifty working like this. Yeah, that makes no sense, you know. I mean. So there's there are going to be some districcations, there are going to be some changes, there are going to be some opportunities. Going to be a massive opportunity for the channel here. So it's like work on return, on influence and build the people's mind share and then, you know, reimagining the future. What are those architectures look like? What are those reference architectures look like? But different, you know, for Disserc you know, I had my sister in law talked about waiting for an hour online on being queue website, you know, waiting for an hour online to be served, you know, for an e commerce transaction. And what what's that all about? That means they weren't set up from an application delivery or a good old low balancing perspective right to you know, give that say. They weren't right size. It is a capacity, you know, how much storage. An extra date there if we created where's that being stored? It might be Amazon, as you're Google or whatever. How can you get that back? Is it you know? Is it cost effective to get it back? If you've done it, Howard, the probably isn't. Have you got the right communications it was? So you know, there's lots of board rooms up and down the country, there's lots of boardrooms globally that are really looking at their technology infrastructure and saying, I don't think we had this right. The tape is...

...still on the exhaust. We we either need a new car or we need to subscribe to a new car. We need a brand new exhaust and a redundant exhaust that we keep in the trunk just in case. So so I think there's a huge opportunity to go out into the channel and influence those that thinking. The second opportunity I see for us as we reimagine the future is, I'm you know, there's a big bet that there is going to be a dip. There's a big bet there is going to be some sort of recession and people should be ahead of that game also and adapt to that. And Technology, as always thrived in difficult trading circumstances, in recessions, yes, because we need to automate more and and we have and and obviously we need to improve productivity more if we're going to go through those difficult times. So I think the IT channel should come out at this stronger. There's a huge opportunity for vendors with good, innovative technology of solutions and there's great opportunities for the channel, so long as they have an exploited the situation and so and take an advantage of some distressful circumstances and they would have built up their brand image, their equity, their influence, you know, their mind share, and should really focus on those two areas as they reimagine what the future may look like. That makes sense. We're sexual much fine sidebury. I really appreciate it. You you to the time to be with us today. If anyone wants to get in touch with you, which is the best way to engage your bury, ill to reach out to you and just the normal, the normal ways, give you a call in yeah, whatever. You know, I always I don't really get my details out, not because I'm, you know, precious about I always think if people really want to get old of me, they will. HMM, and means that they I they didn't have my contact details and they found them out. Well, they do is I love a chat with them. Yep, that's well, many things. Once again, bury was as alo as a great pleasure to have you on this show today and you and thank you very much for having me. operatics has redefined the meaning of revenue generation for technology companies worldwide. While the traditional concepts of building and managing inside sales teams inhouse has existed for many years, companies are struggling with a lack of focus, agility and scale required in today's fast and complex world of enterprise technology sales. See How operatics can help your company accelerate pipeline at operatics dotnet. You've been listening to be tob revenue acceleration. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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