Category: General

The Tricks the Old (Sales) Dogs Taught You Were Actually Dog $%#@!

Over my past few posts, we have talked a lot about vendors’ reseller programs and their relevance in today’s business climate, as well as the need for missionaries to take your technical message and solution to market.  Shifting gears today, let’s discuss how we all think about the most important of business processes: getting the sale.

I was young in technology sales at the time when technology sales were young too, and you didn’t get tossed into the water to see if you could swim or not.  The analogy was that the young sales guys were like the ‘new dogs.’  We were sent to work with the ‘old dogs’ so that they could show us how to do it.  Kind of makes sense, right?

Well, a lot of what the ‘old dogs’ taught us was complete BS. Or, maybe more appropriately, complete dog s$%&. Continue reading

Big Changes Start in the Midmarket

In my last post, I wrote about why we focus on midsize companies. I reminisced the Saturday mornings in the server room of the construction company where my dad worked, where I’d play with the data-entry station while my dad worked on whatever was the IT problem du jour.

If you missed that post, you might check out this video of our CTO, Jason Collier, and me talking about our midmarket focus, where we share a couple of stories about the roots of our market focus.

An interesting thing about the midmarket is this:  It is the most often overlooked segment of the market by large vendors and startups alike.  It’s a difficult market to reach, with layers of consultants and resellers, tight budgets, and small IT staffs.  But, there are hundreds of thousands of companies in the US alone that fit this profile. Continue reading

VIDEO: The Twelve Networking Truths – RFC 1925 Truth No. 5

RFC 1925 Truth No. 5: “It is always possible to aglutenate multiple separate problems into a single complex interdependent solution. In most cases this is a bad idea.”

So to paraphrase truth No. 5, complexity is a bad thing.  However, this is exactly how virtualized infrastructures are built today. Continue reading

Convergence Inflexibility or Virtualization Inception

In one of the more recent blog posts from my colleague entitled KVM or VMware: Why KVM is Right for the Times (Part 1 of 2) these technical reasons for choosing KVM were given:

  1. Native Support for any Guest OS
  2. Efficient Code and Better Performance
  3. Open Source and Flexible

The first two reasons don’t need much explanation, but most people only read “Open Source” in the third reason and move on.  I want to dig a bit deeper into the flexibility aspect, or specifically why other methods of convergence are inflexible and wasting your resources.  Sherman, set the Way Back Machine to 1998. Continue reading

Vendor Programs: Do Resellers Really Give a Damn Anymore?

In my last post, we talked about the difference between evangelists and missionaries, and how the more innovative your product or solution, the more you need missionaries. The idea here is that missionaries do their job not for glory or riches, or even notoriety, but for the belief in the value of the mission itself to those being “converted.” As I said before, the missionary is fearless – he burns with “missionary zeal”. To bring something to market that potential customers (the unconverted) don’t even know can help them, takes that kind of fearlessness – and not just from the sales team, but from everyone in the company. In Startupland, everyone is in sales, every day.

One major challenge young companies have is how to get your channel partners to buy-in to the mission. After all, your resellers are going to represent you to the customer and if they don’t believe, you may never even have a chance to convert that prospect. Continue reading

Virtualization 101: The Phantom Multics

 

I don’t know about you but I have seen enough virtualization 101 articles, blogs, and explanations to make my eyes bleed. And, they all say the same thing.  They talk about which company popularized virtualization, discuss server consolidation, maybe mention total cost of ownership (TCO), or return on investment(ROI).  If the author is really savvy, he/she may mention IBM and the fact that what they are really discussing is server virtualization and explain the different types.  Yet, rarely do they give you a glimpse into earlier versions of virtualization.  You do not get to hear the inside scoop of how virtualization came to be and why it is extremely important for IT.  I want to give you a piece of that prequel. Continue reading

KVM or VMware: Why KVM is Right for the Times (Part 2 of 2)

The Holy Grail of IT, especially SMB IT, is to have a datacenter that’s simple and easy to use. Preferably, as easy as an iPhone or Android phone with enterprise software that is as easy to access and run as Angry Birds is from an app store.

Thanks to KVM and Scale Computing, that vision is possible. And, well on its way.

This blog continues where Part 1 left off and describes how KVM is implemented within Scale’s HC3.

Strategic for the Customer and Scale Computing

Both commercial developers and consumers need to worry about the EMC trap. The company owns VMware and is well-known in the industry for its aggressive business moves. VMware storage partners who are developing converged solutions based on VMware are tying their company’s future to their competition. It’s quite probable that EMC could create a hyperconverged version of VMware that only runs on EMC storage gear. All other vendors could be locked out, severely limiting choices for vendors, resellers and especially users. Continue reading

Evangelist or Missionary: Which one are you?

In my last blog post, I mused on why we don’t drink bourbon in the office anymore – like JR Ewing of Dallas used to – and why his habits and business dealings made him such a compelling (if sometimes evil) character, and even a guide for certain positive business behaviors.

Today, I want to talk about Technical Evangelists and Missionaries. “Technical Evangelist” is a role aspired to by a lot of people in Startupland, or in the IT industry at large. Guy Kawasaki from Apple made this into a glamor position in the industry a few years ago. After all, it’s fun to get out there and talk about the cool new stuff we are creating in this tech world and how customers should want to hear about it –  and, of course, how great and smart we all are.

Really, what does the Evangelist (any kind, technical or religious) actually do? The Evangelist says he is going to speak on a subject and people will go to where he will be, because they want to hear what he has to say. They may agree with him, they may disagree with him. They may love him or hate him, or what he says and stands for. They may give him their money, or snap the TV off. (Check out any number of religious televangelists and see if you don’t agree.) But the point is, people will go and listen to the Evangelist because they are interested in hearing what he has to say, period. Continue reading

Limit the Buzzwords, Please!

Virtualization, cloud, SaaS, IaaS, software-defined datacenter, follow-the-sun computing, big data, VDI, etc.  As a 15+ years industry veteran of startups and small and medium-sized companies (I know, I know, I’m a young pup to some of you), I must admit that I have used these buzzwords.

As a Sales and Systems Engineer and Manager, and Director of Sales/Systems Engineers, I know these topics have defined conversations at customers in the Fortune 1000 – and beyond. Companies such as Salesforce, Facebook, Sony, and Texas Instruments have leveraged myself or my peers at previous companies that I have worked for (such as VMware) to explain how they will affect internal processes. These concepts are transforming IT as we know it and their discussions dramatically impact a mature business.

Continue reading

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