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Better Sales for Italian ICT SMBs – a Promising IAMCP Italy Meeting   Leave a comment

Italian translation – here – traduzione italiana.

On 15th  June 2012 IAMCP Italy – the Italian chapter of International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners – organized a meeting on “Improving Sales Processes” for Italian Small and Medium Businesses in the Information and Communications Technology sector.

The audience included IAMCP Italy members, other Microsoft partners based in North-West Italy, and members of the ICT branch of the Genoa chapter of Confindustria, the association of Italy’s industrial enterprises.

Many attendants enjoyed the combination of keynotes from IAMCP members and external experts, and the choice to combine classic subjects such as solution selling with more unusual subjects such as neuromarketing and the role of social networks in communicating the brand and value of Small and Medium Businesses.

Two highlights I found especially relevant:

  • An inside story of a social network communication accident that a medium enterprise customer of an IAMCP member incurred; it was an especially impactful example for this particular audience.
  • The importance for a small enterprise of social network relations that employees and partners build individually, over and above those that the company itself develops through its corporate social network presence. The resulting opportunity may require special enterprise relationship skills in Italy, where the relation between an enterprise and people working for it often stops at confrontation.

Among external speeches, I found especially interesting:

  • An overview of roles and ideas around the general notion of sales, developed by Fabrizio De Maria, founder and general manager of White Dove.
  • A portfolio of real life sales cases with large and medium ICT enterprises by Gianmaria Odello, co-founder and executive partner at TBK Consult.

The presentation by Veeam, the sponsor, was especially remarkable. Beyond contributing to the event’s success by allowing IAMCP to make it accessible for free,  Veeam delivered a relevant, effective sales presentation, especially tuned to the audience and better than the average of similar presentations I have attended, even more so in this market segment.

The best and most significant surprise for me has been how IAMCP has been able to generate and propose through its own members contents that meet or beat in quality those provided by external speakers.

I take this as evidence that IAMCP has a significant opportunity to contribute to developing and sharing best practices for Italian ICT SMBs, together with many other organizations active in this domain.

What may be IAMCP’s specific role here?

In Italy, the ICT channel is especially rich in very small businesses – and its Microsoft-specialized component even more so, both on average and among excellent solution providers.

IAMCP does focus on Microsoft’s platform. For this reason, it may well be better equipped than many organizations to propose best practices that are relevant for this market segment, whatever the platform.

I look forward to IAMCP Italy producing and communicating insights that help such smaller ICT companies to find sustainable growth mechanisms in a consolidating market.

Heartfelt Thanks for Diverse, Insightful Birthday Wishes. Channel Analysis Here   Leave a comment

Richness and diversity of birthday wishes are two of the welcome side effects of online social networking.
Thanks, again.

One way to return the courtesy: a simple channel analysis of their sources in my particular case:

  • in person: 2%
  • phone: 2%
  • SMS: 2% [text messaging over GSM phone standard]
  • email: 1% [across corporate, business and leisure accounts]
  • twitter + linkedin 0% [these social networks avoid prompting contacts about my birthday]
  • corporate social network 0% [even as it does prompt contacts about my birthday]
  • facebook > 90%

Among social networks, people are obviously voting with their fingertips.

Posted April 28, 2011 by Gianluca Marcellino in Uncategorized

Back From Dubai, on With Collaboration   Leave a comment

Our regional and global business owners for our first joint focus domain have met in person. We shared scope of this domain and what is new in our new global and local direction that will help drive this. From earlier case-specific contacts and experiences we derived expectations for programmatic cooperation. Finally, we have agreed to fulfill them going forward.

Earlier experiences indicate that to achieve the results we envision we will need special resources, more than each of our teams currently expects.

In this perspective, the main result we have achieved so far is clarity, even more than agreement, on what we want to do. This will help us request and obtain the resources we will need whenever we will discover that need.

What of all this may have been specific of the local context, so that meeting in Dubai has made and will make a difference?

  • The history of earlier local contacts, and the opportunity to clarify what is being consistent and what is being different from earlier experiences
  • Individuals, who will be engaged in our cooperation today and have established personal rapport that will help us going forward
  • Business practices of this region, that some individuals engaged know thoroughly, on both sides, and others perceive.
    Meeting in person in Dubai implicitly leverages these specifics as part of the common ground to build upon.

The ultimate measure of the value of meeting in person, and in the region, will be how these points will help us overcome the barriers we will find, when they will surprise most. Time and our actions will tell.

In terms of personal experience, I see two factors that have helped us establish this starting point:

  • a perception of overall stability and consistency in how Dubai and Emirates have evolved over the last few years – at least from my own extremely limited perspective
  • the peculiar kind of hospitality that I perceive as part of business practices in the region

Originally posted on http://gianlucamarcellino.spaces.live.com.

Posted April 16, 2009 by Gianluca Marcellino in Uncategorized

Diving into Diversity, Due Dubai   Leave a comment

An important, long-planned business trip starts today for Dubai.

The purpose is to leverage the new focus my company has in this region to help the alliance I am responsible for to reach a new level.

Diversity is a key for our mutual business value, all the more so in this region.

Diversity begins with the travelling, really:

  • planned and managed as a one-time opportunity, making the most of available resources, and feeling all the better for it
    a great way to take routine and bore out of travelling
  • ground airline staff kindly agrees to provisions that are fully consistent with the spirit of regulations, and meet today’s business constraints;
    only last year, they would have deemed such provisions ruled out by regulations
  • many fellow passengers on the plane taking benefit of the holidays in their host country to visit their own – and there’s at least half a dozen such countries represented
    with young children sometimes using my native tongue as lingua franca among them
  • most others exploiting the newly established vocation of the Arabic-Persian Gulf region as a global traveling hub
  • the mountains of southern Anatolia, marginally south of Sicily, capped in snow to my surprise – hapless me, Aetna is probably snow-capped, too, these days
  • newspapers, even the airplane menu and airline magazine help me acquaint a little bit to a different environment
    • greater emphasis on international politics obviously conveys close attention and proximity with Indian Ocean and South-East Asia countries that I feel as far as they are famous,
    • opinion and commentary striving for a balance among positions I can only surmise
    • even a view of facebook that’s complementary to those I am familiar with
  • Perfumes, as basic as the plane’s refreshing towels’, feel deeply different – sandal wood perhaps, instead of musk and citrus
  • Our route obviously drives us around Iraq. I look forward to free circulation in and over that country, and to the current business crisis ushering a more balanced, forward-looking management of natural resources such as Iraq’s.

Truly, globalization has smoothed differences. Still, so many remain as significant as ever, and almost as obvious.

Looking forward to these hints of diversity helping me make the most of my new acquaintances and meetings.

Originally posted on http://gianlucamarcellino.spaces.live.com.

Posted April 12, 2009 by Gianluca Marcellino in Uncategorized

Lawrence Lessig at “Meet the Media Guru”   Leave a comment

Here is what I got from yesterday’s Meet the Media Guru meeting:

  • A long, well phrased, argument that dependency on money conditions politics which then fosters people’s mistrust in the political institutions.
  • At the end, an apology of the internet as a two-way communication platform bringing back to people the power to mobilize and challenge authority long lost with broadcast media (recorded music, really, before radio and TV)
  • Within it, a tantalizing hint that some of the features making the internet free are essential for this mobilization and empowerment role. I noted down three – free software, free network and generative application platforms – and I know I skipped one.

What I came looking for and I am still missing: what are these features, what makes them good to empower people participation and mobilization, how best to defend them against would-be and actual, hapless or hapful regulators?

I understand Mr. Lessig has moved on from fighting for the net to fighting for independency of politics from money (corruption). This effort makes him less relevant to the context of free net defense he was summoned to contribute.

Even in its own right, his money-independency argument is well put for the United States, where lobbying is legal and the case needs to be made that politicians, institutions and citizens are better off with lobbying-independent, money-independent politics.

In Italy, monies to politicians are illegal per se, and the assumption of value and lawfulness behind lobbying is completely beside the point.

Looking forward to better occasions to help defend free internet.

Posted March 27, 2009 by Gianluca Marcellino in Uncategorized

Enterprise 2.0 in Crisis Times – notes from the Milan Politecnico event – 2   Leave a comment

The first panel discussion, with speakers from large businesses that have practiced this, turns out more convincing than introductory keynote speeches. The value of injecting 2.0 collaboration patterns in the enterprise appears much more credible from them.

However mediated and embellished, specific real life experiences have a completely different impact from polls and conclusions drawn from polls.

Some lessons:

  • fostering innovative work patterns in highly regulated organizations – like banks, production processes – is clearly challenging, starts out of core processes first
  • use patterns and tools for real work, idle use of tools and patterns around work is whitewash
  • if you touch consumers – and we all do – 2.0 is now. If you hire employees, and all will, too
  • enterprise 2.0 technologies as disruptive and organization-wrenching as PC adoption

Reminds me of the old Apple ad with the company board startled at watching employees walk out with their personal computers. Their, personal, computers.

The second panel discussion, among IT vendors and services companies, is unimpressive.  Asks I welcome:

  • set aside 2.0 slogans and get going – Enterprise 2.0 is just modern enterprise
  • pay the same attention to employees as you do to customers – that’s when employee empowerment will make sense, including 2.0 work patterns

Posted March 25, 2009 by Gianluca Marcellino in Uncategorized

Enterprise 2.0 in Crisis Times – notes from the Milan Politecnico event   Leave a comment

Everybody and their neighbour is here. Mostly gray suits – and grizzly hair, of course: baby boomers obviously bent on driving our way yet another wave, trend, meme.

Ladies are comparatively frequent (10 per cent, perhaps) and younger. A faint blink of diversity – good.

Few key lessons from the results of the survey being presented to introduce the debate (Mariano Corso, Stefano Mainetti):

  • Enterprise change is driven by individual’s adoption of 2.0 tools and practices
  • IT architecture impacts are significant, full support is possible now with significant vendor engagement
  • In the end business and organization will change
  • Crisis – too valuable to be wasted – will help accept, then drive, then sustain structural change paid by short term benefit

Looking at my business, I do see some points strongly validated:

  • impact of individual user adoption – see the company having been taken by storm by IM irresistibly pushed by executive assistants, just few years ago
  • this view very much supports our company’s Technology Vision issued in 2007, 2008 and now 2009 – we read it there first
  • much of what we wrote and understand has been slow in coming: within the organization and with our clients
  • crisis will help

Posted March 25, 2009 by Gianluca Marcellino in Uncategorized

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