How Well Does Cloud Fit Your Vertical Focus?
By Gennifer Biggs, security, storage, and managed services editor
Because I missed the presentation by Patrick Ciccarelli, CEO of Varsity Technologies, I made a point to get some time alone with him to talk about his message to the group gathered for the Cloud Summit hosted by Ingram Micro in Dallas on June 3. Ciccarelli runs a vertically focused IT business, which tackles a blend of project work and managed services for its customers, mainly K-12 educational institutions and nonprofits. "We have found that cloud is very relevant for our customers, and that they are very engaged in the concept," explains Ciccarelli. That often means interest in cloud solutions provides a foot in the door for Varsity to have much more complex, strategic conversations with its customers.
"We may start talking about the cloud, but we end up talking about their business," says Ciccarelli. "They may call us and think that cloud is a solution for them, but they don't how or why … that is where we take up the conversation." Those consultative conversations – and I'll stress that this advice has permeated the cloud event – mean drilling down with your customers about their business, their goals, their problems and then determining how technology, both cloud and traditional solutions, can resolve those issues and help drive their business to success. Ciccarelli says, "We go in already knowing they are ready to tackle an IT problem, and that's a sign that they are ready for a strategic conversation."
He stresses that once you know the problem, and you have technology that present a solution, tackling the issue of delivery model – cloud vs. traditional on-premise technology – is easy. "We are there to architect a solution, sometimes it is on-premise, sometimes it is hybrid, sometimes it is cloud," says Ciccarelli.