Is this a pivotal moment?

Image courtesy of https://www.dreamstime.com/farbentek_info

#COVIDー19 has caused mass disruption to every area of our society and we’re seeing major gatherings being understandably cancelled or with very poor attendance. We’re also seeing businesses taking decisions to stop their employees from traveling, even into the office. As a result, we’re all turning to alternative means to come together and unsurprisingly, vendors of said technologies are offering tactical solutions for those who are not well equipped. For many this will be little more than “business as usual”, but for significant numbers, this will be a massive change. The nature of the enforced change causes me to wonder if this will perhaps prove to be a very pivotal moment in history, when video calling and video conferencing, and collaboration realty comes of age…. Time will tell

How Koopid.Ai are disrupting the Contact Centre space

Here’s a short video explainer for Koopid.ai – and we’re exhibiting at the Call and Contact Centre Expo at the Excel on March 18th and 19th, so please come and say hello and learn more. This could be what your customers have been waiting for.

Want to chat? Then call us on 0800 999 1882 or mail me graham@koopid.ai

Thanks for reading and hope to connect soon

Finding customers for your products, or products for your customers?

We all know that it’s smarter and easier to offer more solutions to your current customers than to seek out new clients who don’t yet know you and what you stand for.

It costs 5x as much to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one

With this in mind, I’m introducing a few ideas that you may be interested in adding to your mix….

Introducing Vgreet from Ascentae – a new distributor focussed on disruptive technology

Video conferencing combined with content management
Vgreet is one of Vpod’s state of the art technology products offering a more human way of communicating with customers, clients and colleagues. The solution uses video conferencing technology combined with Vpod’s unique content management software and enables deployment of video/audio while simultaneously displaying content, similar to a super-sized smartphone. Every business can now have an incredibly flexible communications solution with intuitive touch-screen technology that is immediately familiar to anyone who owns a smart device

Video conferencing combined with content management

Vgreet is one of Vpod’s state of the art technology products offering a more human way of communicating with customers, clients and colleagues. The solution uses video conferencing technology combined with Vpod’s unique content management software and enables deployment of video/audio while simultaneously displaying content, similar to a super-sized smartphone. Every business can now have an incredibly flexible communications solution with intuitive touch-screen technology that is immediately familiar to anyone who owns a smart device

Video communication kiosk

Imagine a giant smartphone placed in a prominent position customised to display your own branded interactive content. Imagine the unlimited face to face interactive opportunities that could bring to your business. That’s what you get with Vgreet. A free-standing or recessed video communications kiosk that enables deployment of video and audio while simultaneously displaying content.

Growing my business is hard

I’d start from the premise of aiming to sell more things to more people. In practice this can result in a range of actions. One of those can be a cooperative sales motion and one could be to expand your portfolio, so that your clients can source multiple products and services from you. If they’ve already bought, they’re likely to buy from you again. Cooperative selling is where you’re partnering with another similar business with complementary offerings and you simply look to sell to each others’ client. I’m seeing a marked increase in this latter approach.

If you a bereft of ideas or simply feel are stuck – drop me a line. Always happy to help

How do I stay on top of the constant changes?

#TrustInPartnership

Whatever your perspective, I think we would all probably agree, that for the IT and Telecoms reseller, things have certainly changed, and continue to do so. The vendor landscape continues to evolve too, with new vendors appearing, with innovative offerings, and many established vendors consolidating as they vie for position in an increasingly crowded marketplace.

For the consumers of the technology (the customers), things are forever changing too. Factors affecting their businesses are arriving at such a pace, and with their business cost base being under constant pressure, many are running on very lean staffing numbers. This compounds to effect somewhat.

What we have is more change and a greater pace of change, more vendors, more innovation, fewer staff, greater challenges and the same amount of time in each and every day.

How does a business stay on top of all of this and remain current with technology that can give them an advantage, or stop them being exposed, as well as attract and retain staff as a great place to work.

In life, and in business, for me, it’s about relationships – building trusted relationships, where over time you can outsource some of this to a specialist or specialists – ensuring you can focus on the business of running your business – and generally, the smaller specialist businesses are more likely to offer you the long term relationship building opportunity, as they are more often than not, owner-run and they are therefore unlikely to leave the business to work at a competitor, leaving you with the what to do dilema.

#ShopLocal #BuyLocal #SupportLocal #TrustInPartnerships

Practice (alone) does not make perfect

Like all walks of life – work, sport, school – if you are practicing the wrong things, or the wrong way of doing something, you are simply repeating your errors over and over – frustrating and clearly limiting your success.

So how do you stay on track with the right things to practice? Clearly a good start point is to exercise good self discipline. This is the foundation for any personal development. Thinking that the issue is “not my fault” and the issue is caused by something “out there somewhere” is a sure fire way to have reduced control of your life. The first step therefore is to take control of yourself and your discipline including your thoughts and “self-talk”. Be sure to catch yourself talking positively with a “can do” attitude, and stop the cannot do and self limiting speak.
Finding a good coach is a smart step too – whether this is within your current role or an objective outsider. A good coach understands that as an individual, you already have all the necessary resources available to you, but they are the difference, that makes the difference.
For example, if I’m playing golf and struggling to get the results I desire, it probably makes sense to have a coach watch what I do in order to help reflect the areas for improvement – I recall this very real example where the golf pro explained to me (after watching me for a while) that he saw the problem with my game. He noted that I was trying to hit the ball…. Seemed initially to be a ridiculous comment…on closer inspection however, he was absolutely right. He went on to explain to me that if I swing the club, the club will hit the ball…. He moved my focus away from my desire to knock the ball into next week (and missing badly), into simply swinging the club accurately and all would work out.. On this occasion, I saw an instant improvement, but of course, the challenge is to keep making those improvements regularly and being consistent. This is something that your coach can bring to your performance.
This same coaching approach will produce a similar effect in sales. The challenge is that many sales managers and business owners are not well equipped to fulfill his role, so your best option is to find an external coach and develop the right habits.

Transformation – things have changed

Digital transformation means many different things to different people and there is a glut of offerings in the market currently that promise you a life of luxury if you take their latest solution for your transformation journey. One of the most impactful solutions that I have witnessed is one I will write about here; It’s from a vendor called Nureva and is available exclusively here in the UK from distributor Ascentae.

Nureva Span is a cloud-based software (and hardware) solution – simply a licence that enables collaboration on any device anywhere you can connect to the internet.

So what?

Well this is the really cool part (as if that wasn’t already cool enough) – Span is a virtual canvas – a virtual white board that allows users from wherever they are, to write, draw, or place virtual Post-IT™ notes onto the virtual board. Share desktop content, add comments with virtual INK, and even follow other users who are leading a discussion – so you are quite literally ALL ON THE SAME PAGE. All users connected to the “canvas” see all of added content and contributions, as you would if you were all in the same office sticking physical notes onto a physical wall and writing comments with a marker pen.

Because this is a virtual canvas, there is no issue with Post-IT™ notes falling off the wall, or the issue that many security conscious business experience, in that the physical office with the physical Post-IT™ notes must be secured when empty and cannot be accessed….. With Span, you simply close the canvas and it is secure.

Take this to another level, and SPAN can be used on physical touch screen panels – multiple panels connected in software to provide a scrolling wall covering of virtual canvas. Huge real-estate for collaborators to work together on, in the same location, joined by remote participants in other locations with similar hardware components, or sat on a lounger connected via Wi-Fi or 4G on an iPad or similar device…..

This opens so many possibilities for commercial enterprises as well as for education – imagine a collaboration session finishing without the need to take your smartphone and take photos of the walls for some poor sole to spend several hours deciphering and writing up to share amongst the collaborators – That is digital transformation

Interested to learn more or perhaps have a demonstration – then drop me a note and I’ll be happy to arrange

Business or consumer?

It’s an interesting distinction often discussed related to the customers you serve with your products and services. The lines became blurred some time ago as the world changed. I’m referring here specifically to the market for communications and mobility. I’m clearly just a regular member of society and as such am clearly a consumer, however, for most of the week I’m a business man. During the week I constantly flip between personas dependent upon the thoughts and actions at hand.

Today is Sunday and I’m heading to a business meeting starting tomorrow morning and therefore my persona is probably more confused than usual, but I look around a very busy train into London, and it’s full of people using their mobile devices to access what’s important to them now. It may be that there are others like me who are travelling to a business oriented activity, or more likely (based on overheard conversation), they are heading to something more recreational. Whatever we are all doing, it’s clear that mobility in our lives is very much mainstream, whether for business or consumer oriented use. What else is clear is that on order to get the maximum advantage from technology on the go, the device needs connectivity. For me, about to embark upon international travel, I’m considering cost avoidance and inconvenience, so I’ll be ensuing that I’m connecting to WiFi wherever I can, and I’ll be relying upon my ipass app and service to do the heavy lifting. I suspect that the people within the Enterprise customer base that also use ipass are similarly taking advantage of this benefit when they are not “at work” or in “business mode” – well why not?

Is Partner becoming an overused term for suppliers?

I was musing language (as I often do) again today and thinking about the initial engagement in any situation, but probably I was thinking mostly about the very first engagement in a sales situation. This could be a conversation, either by phone or face to face, or more often these days, an email or other form of non-real time communication. Whatever the channel, I was considering the impact of language and in particular the meaning that the recipient makes of the words and structure of those critical first few phrases. I am a firm believer that the conversation needs to be about “the client” and not about me and more importantly what the purpose of the contact is! This thought process led me to consider the positioning of the potential relationship and the consideration from the recipient’s perspective as to whether this was at all important at this early stage, or actually at all.

Inevitably when language becomes mainstream, or commonplace, it loses some of its caché and “advantage” (if it ever had any), and can become almost counter-productive as we see it as “hackneyed” or over-used, and this could be the case if positioning yourself as a partner – rather than just another supplier.

I like to seek out relationships whereby my value can be of real benefit to a client and that is all about “valuing the difference”. In this case the difference is the particular skills and knowledge I have acquired over many years in the telecoms and Unified Communications space, and that which can be of use to the client. I might frame this as me being a “partner” rather than a supplier, i.e. my value is not about a race to provide the lowest cost items, but about taking the stress out of understanding the options and possibilities as well as the unique aims and business values the client holds dear. Marrying these pieces together and considering the real business value of the solutions available merits additional value, which is often unappreciated. My view – for what it’s worth is that if you are investing in a technology that is dynamically changing and evolving, and competitive with multiple strong vendors in the race, then looking way beyond the investment is critical and a trusted advisor relationship is definitely desirable – But what do I know