Archives For Cloud Computing

cloud1Where Should You Focus Sales Efforts in 2016

The trends are important.  Whether you resell technology or sell for a vendor, you need to know what CIOs are up against…if you call on the SMB, think of the owner as the part-time CIO. Both are going to leverage technology if they plan to grow.

Know the Important Trends Before You Make Your Next Sales Appointment

Regardless of what President Obama claims, WSJ continues to report a shaky economy. That translates into tighter spending.  This morning’s WSJ reports three significant trends…

  1. BIG DATA is where the gains are. Big data represents a promise for future decision making – better decision making. Especially in the enterprise, data analysis can lead to better marketing, better hiring, and greater efficiency. The value proposition here is Competitive Advantage! One of the four key value props I wrote about in From Vendor to Adviser.
  2. CLOUD is strong. People are moving to the cloud to achieve greater efficiencies. That means they want to see a reduction in TCO – Total Cost of Ownership.  This too is one of the four value props I describe in my book.
  3. Third, there is a slowdown in SECURITY – but the WSJ is talking about new companies and IPOs, not security spending. IT Spending as a whole is down by more than 5% this year as compared to last (According to recent WSJ reports), but security spending is up.

If you understand Cloud and Big Data (And we should mention IoT as well here), you know that using these technologies demands a change in the security strategy. Tie the two together and you’re well positioned to drive security business. If you call on the SMB market, you should be adding the DETECTION side of security to every existing contract – it’s an almost guaranteed up-sell opportunity.

© 2016, David Stelzl

PS. I still have some seats in the SECURITY MASTERY SALES PROGRAM – These are for resellers only, sponsored by distributors and manufacturers… Where You’ll Learn Exactly How to Make Security Sales Happen. (CLICK)

p2BpCAshley Madison Digital Assets

For some reason people still think their data is safe with someone else…  

First it was Adult Friendfinder, now Ashley Madison, hacked…

In this most recent attack, 37 Million users are waiting to see what their online profiles might look like posted online somewhere. Back in March it was 3.5 Million users, taken from Adult Friendfinder.  The hacker says he did it for money, and was looking to shame government workers.  In case you’re not familiar with these sites, they specialize in extramarital hook-ups.

Speaking of this week’s hack, Brian Krebs writes, “The data released by the hacker or hackers — which self-identify as The Impact Team — includes sensitive internal data stolen from Avid Life Media (ALM), the Toronto-based firm that owns AshleyMadison…In a long manifesto posted alongside the stolen ALM data, The Impact Team said it decided to publish the information in response to alleged lies ALM told its customers about a service that allows members to completely erase their profile information for a $19 fee.”

Apparently that delete function doesn’t really work…but in the data world, you can almost never count on delete, actually deleting!

Why am I writing about Ashely Madison?  There are a few important lessons here…

1. First, no site is safe from hackers – and like this hack, disgruntled employees or customers should always be considered in the long term defense planning.  Many of your clients assume their employees and customers are safe. They’re not. One small problem can set off a business crippling sequence of events. Will Ashely Madison recover from this? Regardless of whether you agree with their business, the point is, it’s their data and their business – it could be any business.

2. Since no site is safe, people should be thinking hard about the data they entrust to someone else.  People forget, but passwords don’t work. We should all be considering what data we put on a device that connects to a network…of course most of us have most of our lives online right now. How hard would it be to erase your bank account?  It’s just data at this point.  It’s also true that altering your medical data could disqualify you from a job or lead to all kinds of questions being asked.  Data is an asset – the stakes are growing as we put more of it online.

3. When you move to the cloud, something most businesses are doing to one degree or another, the data is owned by someone else. Of course the cloud based provider will tell you it’s still your data, but when you say, DELETE, don’t be surprised if your data isn’t actually deleted – which brings up the $19 fee Ashley Madison charges to delete. Can you believe it? You have to pay to have your account deleted. And from what the hacker is saying, they don’t actually do the DELETE. They just collect the money. Do I hear another law suite coming?

The underlying problem here is education.  Most of the companies you call on don’t understand their risk. They don’t understand where the data is, what’s protecting it, and the odds it will be compromised. I’m not speaking of IT here. I am speaking of the company leadership. IT will just go get a new job – the leadership will be stuck with the lawsuits and the mess to a clean up. In many cases they will go out of business.  Only when they understand their likelihood can they make wise decisions to change their security approach.  Either that, or wait until the hack happens, and then start scrambling for new strategies and technology.

© 2015, David Stelzl

We’re continuing today in our workshop, switching gears from security trends to  sales and marketing strategy.  How successful are you when it comes to moving up and connecting with decision makers?  Many sales people will have a meeting or two upstairs, but how many are maintaining these strategic relationships.  I have found that maintaining these relationships requires some serious attention to delivering regular value at the executive level.  Being a nice guy only goes so far…

Selling high tech solutions means staying on top of the IT and security trends.  The sales process is changing – sales people that fail to move up to a more strategic level conversation are going to miss the boat.  If you find yourself getting lazy with new trends and technology, because your large accounts are keeping you busy, you just might find yourself without a job down the road.  Don’t let success destroy your future.  A few links on recent trends to get you started…

  • Super cookies : A new stealthier way of collecting browsing history, allowing marketers to build more complete profiles of an individual.  These super cookies are legal, and are not deleted when you delete or deny cookies in your web browser.
  • Electronic Communications Privacy Act – it sounds like you have a right to privacy, but in reality the US Government has the right to secretly obtain information from people’s email and cellphones without a search warrant.
  • Virtualization requires a different approach to security, but also offers some new approaches to end-point protection.  Cisco, VMWare, and others are working on this right now.
  • Federated IT approaches – this may change some of the politics when calling on larger organizations.  Cisco and Microsoft are both doing this – how does this affect your future sales strategy? Will this make companies more secure or less?

© 2012, David Stelzl

Several companies ago, one of my employees, our security practice manager, made the comment, “Eventually everyone realizes that security is the place to focus.”  He is right, just about everything hings on security when it comes to technology.  You can have all kinds of ROI, operational efficiency gains, etc. But if it’s not secure, it doesn’t really offer any benefit to the corporation.  Here is Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com reminding us that, security is a core part of the value proposition regardless of what technology you are selling.

© 2010, David Stelzl

Listen in as Randy Sklar, president of Sklar Technology Partners and recent present of his regional VTN chapter interviews me – this clip was made specifically as a follow up to a very successful, decision maker level, educational seminar.  The event received strong sponsorship from companies such as Zenith Infotech – one of the only managed services companies I know of that financially supports this type of event.

© David Stelzl, 2010

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More on Cloud Computing and Google in today’s WSJ:  These sound bites are relevant when selling against cloud computing giants that threaten to take over your business:

1. Google apps = Cloud computing.  Let’s not mix words here…this is cloud computing. This is not about Google – it’s about any major online target that causes someone outside the company to want or need something inside.

2. China is not happy with Google – this could be anyone not happy with a company you are dealing with such as customer dissatisfaction issues.

3.”gained access to computer code for the software that authenticates users of Google’s email, calendar and other online programs,…”  Simply put, online programs means Google applications that may contain personal or business related content.  Google hosts email for businesses and individuals, as well as a number of online apps that are used in both cases.

4. Hundreds of companies…it’s spreading:  Quote from the Journal…

“But some security experts suspect a group of attackers that has penetrated hundreds more companies since Google went public with its attacks in January. “The exact same group has been exceptionally active,” said one person familiar with the attacks Google announced.

The group, which is believed to be Chinese and has been identified by investigators by its attack methods, has broadened its victims to include law firms and utility companies, this person said. It’s been penetrating companies at a rate of at least 20-50 new companies a week, this person added.”

Also note my video comments following a recent talk I did on protecting assets to Tampa based business leaders: https://davidstelzl.com/2010/03/30/tampa-event-post-interview-part-ii-cloud-computing/

© David Stelzl, 2010

New York Times posted  this recently – And thanks to Fred at HP for sending this.  Yahoo email hacked!  Again, China is mentioned as the hacker’s origination.  For those of you fighting against people moving to the cloud – keep these articles in front of your clients!  I spoke about this in an interview a few posts down…creating large targets like Google and Yahoo, with all of our data, just doesn’t seem prudent to me.  Read more here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/01/world/asia/01china.html