This last month has been fascinating – while I’m not getting a paycheck from anyone (details here on that) it’s been incredibly busy. Fortunately I’m finding multiple interesting opportunities and having fascinating discussions about the industry (sometimes both of those in the same conversation). Thanks to all who have been willing to spend time with me on the phone/in person.
In no particular order, here are some things I’m seeing and thinking about.
- Public Cloud – everyone and I mean everyone is thinking about public cloud. Whether it’s 1) partners figuring out how to shift their business model and trying to figure out how many years they have to do it, 2) manufacturers deciding whether AWS is a substrate underneath their products, a competitor, or both (thanks to Chad Sakac for crystallizing that idea), or 3) individuals thinking about their career trajectory, everyone is thinking about how much and how fast public cloud will disrupt or impact their business.
Note: if you’re not thinking about public cloud from a personal career impact perspective yet, start thinking about it now (that’s a personal takeway).
- When vs. what – see public cloud comments above. Everyone knows it’s going this way…but what if you invest too much too soon? You die (as a company). What if you wait too long to invest? You die as well. Scary stuff…but huge opportunity for those who thread the needle and get it right. Some companies are aiming to “get more at bats” by virtue of strong sales relationships, fiscal rigor, and large portfolio. Eventually you have to get on base though.
- AWS training – skip some TV/reading/whatever and learn up on AWS. A Cloud Guru seems good there.
- Ideal Amazon partner – Amazon really only wants “born in the cloud partners”. There’s channel impact as AWS prefers partners that only do services – very different business model than partners of old. If you’re not “born in the cloud”, Amazon may tolerate you but likely never fully trust you. It will be interesting to see if this changes.
- Partners need their OWN products – every partner is trying to figure out what “product” they can create inhouse to set them apart. Approaches range from software development to consulting offerings to managed services. Just being really good at implementing datacenter tech won’t be enough. While that’s not going away, it’s more of a necessary foundation than enough for a multi-year survival trajectory. To extend that idea…
- Strategic vs. Tactical approaches to partner “Intellectual Property” – develop full blown “IT Transformation” consulting offerings or something smaller/more modular? Develop more tactical code integrations? Take a Managed Services middle ground? Some mix of all three? How many bets can you afford to make with how much $$ and time behind each? There’s serious discussion here in the partner community with different emphases depending on the company. No easy answers though – they’re all hard to execute on and require both great ideas and great people (and there’s a shortage of those).
Everyone is thinking about how to have a wide enough offering set to be relevant to their customers but not so wide that they’re not good at enough of what they offer. Yes, this isn’t a new partner dilemma….just writ large across a new landscape.
- Startups – there’s several out there that are seriously disruptive and growing fast. While Nutanix is on everyone’s mind due to the recent IPO, Rubrik and Cohesity are building momentum as well (with Rubrik having an edge there momentum-wise from what I’m seeing). Rubrik is also VERY channel friendly….bodes well for future growth.
- Tech Field Day – Steven Foskett has done a great job with this. You’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t watch the Tech Field Days videos periodically. I’ve learned a lot recently from these.
- Look AHEAD conference – same comment. Go watch the videos posted here if you haven’t already. The two panel sessions moderated by Jason Nash and Dan Adamany respectively were particularly good.
- Opportunities – if you have the right skill sets (see my previous post for the skill sets I’m talking about), there are LOT of opportunities out there…I’ve been pleasantly surprised frankly.
Lots more thoughts….but right now my wrists are sore and I need to work on a job description. 🙂 More to come later…would love to hear feedback via Twitter/LinkedIn/comments below.