–By Stephen Hackett
Back in 1971 (when I was still at infant school), Intel released the 4004, its first ever microprocessor. The chip, measuring 12 square millimetres, contained 2,300 transistors. Moore’s law stated that the number of electronic components which could be crammed into an integrated circuit was doubling every year. Still, who would have thought at the time that Intel’s 4004s in 1971 could grow to today’s Xeon Haswell E-5, launched in 2014, with in excess of 5 billion transistors.
Today the race is no longer about processing power, but about size and cost. Cramming as much processing power into the smallest of devices for the least cost, has meant two things:
· Demand for portability
· Increased competition
In the good old days before telcos, carriers, service providers and cloud, companies were able to go out and buy hardware and network from manufacturers at minimal cost, creating the components that would enable them to build extensive customer-facing services offerings. Customers had to rely on innovative smart guys who, together with commercial smart guys, created the systems integrator business. These smart guys befriended any customer willing to buy from them, allowing customers to remain competitive in their own industry and freeing them to focus on making and selling their widgets, without to having to run in-house innovative R&D. Thus, the age of the systems integrator came about.
Cloud Has Changed the Way Customers Buy
Many years later, the confusion between continents caused by competing technology standards has evaporated. The world has flattened; and the technology “Tower of Babel” has fallen and been replaced by IP and cloud as the basis on which the world of communications technology exists.
Today, customers of data, voice and cloud services realise that as fast as they select a communications technology supplier, a newer, faster version by a smarter, more customer-focused supplier could be on its way.
Most businesses fear that after selecting a new supplier and implementing new cloud technology, another supplier will, in all likelihood, knock on their door saying, “Hey, I have a better cloud technology at a price you would love. I was around a few months ago but you had not heard of me.”
Today across Europe, many customers are frustrated with the lack of supplier selection and would prefer a more successful means of procurement. Many customers know that if they go the SI route, they won’t know about how the carrier network or cloud infrastructure has been built until the moment it goes wrong—only to be frustrated by the resolution path, when the SI has to rely on the carriers to mend it.
So why not go to the carrier, telco and cloud company direct and ask them to design your solution? That is—if the customer knows who they are?
How Do Customers Find the Right Solution?
What if the CFO, CEO, CTO, and the rest of the C-level team could stay ahead of cloud technology advances via the support of a non-carrier employed sales rep who is not seeking to meet carrier quotas? Does there exist an independent technology and supplier-agnostic source who will help the executives and owners always be sure that they know what is best for their needs, as opposed to what fills the carrier’s sales target that month?
Good morning Europe—it’s time to meet the independent, agnostic technology advisor. The role of the advisor is to become part of customers’ trusted internal teams, whether the IT project is three, six, 12 or 18 months away, and make sure customers are engaged with the most relevant and exciting potential suppliers. Leaving them to do what they do best: make and sell widgets!
About the Author
Stephen Hackett, Intelisys Global’s lead in the UK, is a 15-year telecoms industry veteran with extensive experience crafting and implementing compelling partner-facing strategies for development of industry programs via indirect sales channels.