If you haven’t signed up for this meeting yet, you should now. It’s our quarterly meeting and it’s also going to lay out the year ahead in terms of how I’m spending our money to make my partners more successful. If you work with us, you need to hear me out.. if you don’t it still might be somewhat insightful because I happen to talk to everyone – from the smallest to the biggest – so I do have the benefit of seeing the trends that your typical “bigshot I only talk to 8 figure accounts CEO” doesn’t.
What we are up to is certainly no secret, and I have talked to a lot of people about the potential that’s there. There is no size fits all solution and there is certainly nothing that is simple or easy – or everyone would do it at which point only the most efficient ones would survive (see Walmart, P&G, etc).
A few years ago I remember debating people over the clouds potential for small business. I don’t have those debates anymore because those people are no longer around to debate. Ditto for the Novell guys who thought Windows NT is a hobbyist networking system. One thing to remember about our industry is that for the most part, we’re smarter than most others out there. So everyone isn’t sitting around trying to maintain status quo and protect their turn – most are trying to build, innovate and solve problems. As they do, they change the business itself and transform those around them because fundamentally, people do not like to pay to prolong indecision and problems (government aside).
You’re all very wrong about the cloud.
And I say this in general terms when I hear you bitching and moaning about the cloud issues, not as the smartest man on the planet. When I hear complaints about the cloud it sounds like a support issue – latency, bandwidth, uptime, SLAs, change management, etc. Respectfully, those are the issues that have a lot to do with technology in general and where would you rather be – selling people what they want (cloud, services) or trying to figure out a good lie for why a business needs to upgrade their PCs to Windows 8? Microsoft is advertising Internet Explorer 9 right now, burning millions of dollars advertising a product with 0 competitive advantage and 0 recognizable technical differentiation from all other browsers out there. Is that really what you want to bind your value proposition on? Come on.
Here are the real cloud issues:
– It’s still too much work. Some partners spend days to close deals and then take weeks to do rollouts.
– The point above makes the cloud solution too expensive. By making it look like a server purchase that just doesn’t happen to be in their office you’re eliminating the single biggest economic advantage the cloud provides.
– Many find it hard to surround the cloud with their services because the IT space is still stuck trying to move worthless hardware. For the love of god, stop.
– Biggest challenge is credibility. It’s hard to be a middleman with no control over the solution. You get absolutely no praise because it’s someone elses service and you get all the blame when it blows up because you’re the one that recommended it. Talk to Aussies about how their relationship with Telstra is going and you’ll see reasons 1-10 of why you should never touch the cloud, ever.
If you only managed to read the bold faced text you’re good.
Now on a personal level, there have been many rumors about what I’m doing, how I’m doing it and blah blah blah. I’m surprised people still give any credit to the rumors considering how long I’ve been saying the exact same thing and how long we’ve ultimately delivered on what I’ve been saying. If we were going to (as I heard recently) kill our partners we would have done it long ago. I sure as heck wouldn’t be writing this blog to convince you otherwise.
We have to do something about the cost, complexity and onboarding.
Most importantly, we have to provide options. I cannot have ExchangeDefender running like turn of the century Ford.. there needs to be a variety and there needs to be a way and means for our partners to move on to that next step and figure out the long term value proposal.
For the moment… let’s just all get on the same page and figure out how to get each other into as many f’n accounts as possible.
To my ExchangeDefender partners: On Tuesday I will announce how I will make this possible. Yes, it’s going to piss off a lot of my competitors which will in turn launch a lot of backchannel smack talk about how we’re the devil and how I’m an ass and how what really matters is (something other than cash). You know what, fuck em – so I won’t win the Miss Congeniality contest – I’ll be fine. I don’t show up to work each day trying to make people like me, I show up to work to feed my family and the families of thousands of my partners. So yeah, I’ll commoditize anything and everything I see no discernable value in so you can get more business faster. We’re competing against companies with billion dollar marketing budgets and it’s time to stop bringing toothpicks to a knife fight. I know this is going to suck at first but if you stick with me and what I’m building – historically – you’re likely to have a really awesome product and far more $ in your back pocket.
See you on Tuesday, let’s go.