Yesterday at the BEYOND SECURITY kick-off, Lynn Murphy, SVP Westcon, North America opened with some encouraging words from Westcon’s recent strategy meetings – with strong projections for the future. Andrew Warren, VP of Westcon Security shared a strong outlook for security growth in 2014 – citing numerous growing issues which all represent opportunities for growth to those attending this week. Check Point’s Director of Channels and Distribution sales for North America,John Norko, also spoke, giving us an update on where Check Point is headed and what they are doing to help develop a more proactive defense system for this clients (funny to think I was selling Check Point 19 years ago, along with ISS.) It was a great afternoon – and a reunion with many people I’ve worked with over the past 20 years.
Sharing A Vision for Future Change and Growth
This morning, the final day, started with my keynote session at 8:00 AM. Lucky, I am an east coast guy, so the early session was more like mid morning for me.
What is the secret to success in this business? The business of technology sales, reselling hardware and software, consulting on technology projects.?..Simon Sinek shares the need to start with WHY rather than WHAT. Napolean Hill instructs us to Think and Grow Rich. Jim Collins gives us three things: Be the best, be passionate, and develop an economic engine. They’re all right – in a sense they are all pointing to a vision. A true vision that a person is wholly devoted to.
This morning I shared a vision – a vision for what a company could be like if they would really focus on this security space wholeheartedly. The need is great…looking at Target and Neiman Marcus are just small examples of a much larger problem that exists in every company we run into – whether large or small. When you know what you’re doing, and have an excellent solution, suddenly the market isn’t as crowded as it was a day or so ago, when you were selling Networks, servers, and storage.
Out-Pacing Other Technology Areas
Security is big. Andrew Warren shared some growth predictions on the order of 43% for 2014. As I listened to some of these talks I was reminded of the push back I got from resellers five or six years ago when I wrote things like, UC will soon be a commodity with little margin strength left in it (I actually had people in my workshops get mad at me for saying this) – just yesterday, Lynn Murphy called UC a struggling technology area. I turned down a global sales training opportunity for UC technology in 2008 to avoid getting wrapped up in something I knew would not last. Instead, I chose to make security a focus area, while keeping up with some of the other emerging technologies. Security sales have been going strong since 1995 in my experience, and there doesn’t seem to be any slowdown. Those who have struggled to succeed here are simply missing a few key pieces to make it work, or perhaps a unified vision across the leadership to give it the focus it needs.
The fact that IBM, HP, Dell and Cisco are all making big investments in security should tell us something.
What’s the Secret?
So what is the secret to success in the security space for resellers? Well, vision and determination have a lot to do with it – like anything, if you really want to make it work, usually you can. But a vision for what? I think it’s a vision for helping people build the security they really need around the things they really care about. It’s not a product pitch at all. And while we need great security products, and hope that companies like Check Point and Palo Alto,…McAfee, and FireEye, will continue to develop great technology, there has to be someone to understand each company’s unique need. This starts by making a switch from being the VAR to being more the advisor. And this takes vision, mentoring, studying, and passion to make a change that people have been talking about since 1995 – when margins started slipping…It’s time to make that move now.
© 2014, David Stelzl