HTG's Sorensen: Cloud Is Moving Faster Than We Realize

What will the next generation partner (NGP) look like as they navigate change: Mobile, social, Big Data, cloud, millennial hires and more? HTG Peer Groups Founder Arlin Sorensen offers answers.

Joe Panettieri, Former Editorial Director

August 16, 2013

3 Min Read
HTG Peer Groups Founder Arlin Sorensen
HTG Peer Groups Founder Arlin Sorensen.

HTG Peer Groups Founder Arlin Sorensen challenged the HTG Vision Summit today with this question: What will the next generation partner (NGP) look like? Sorensen's fear: The cloud is moving much faster than most VARs and MSPs. It's time for partners to adapt far more rapidly. Then, Intel's (INTC) Eric Townsend took the stage to talk about next generation marketing ideas. Here are the key takeaways from the two discussion.

From Arlin Sorensen, HTG

1. Change: "The world is going to change more drastically in the next 30 years than it has in the last 30."

2. Big Idea: Consumers drive where technology goes. Eventually business catches up.

3. Big Idea: Young consumers become the business leaders of the future. What happens when the Millenials are calling the shots? "There is a new batch coming and they think different."

4. It's Not About Money: Millenials ask "why" they are going to work each day — what's their personal mission. Money is secondary.

Ways to get ready:

1. Who are your competitors?: "Today you likely don’t know. But it’s the upstart born in the cloud with no infrastructure that has a sales engine and we don’t see them coming.

2. Customers: "Customers are changing and they want data to make decisions."

3. Technology: "Mobility, cloud, big data are different conversations. But you can’t resist what consumers are doing in the business."

4. Employees: "The hiring process has to change. Talent management will be a big differentiator in the next generation company. Blocking FaceBook is not going to cut it. IF they can’t have access they won’t work for me. Start with “Why” – why are we building this business and why would an employee want to work here?"

5. Change Is Everywhere: IT businesses can't assume that they have it tougher than other industries. "Markets change and we have to adapt."

6. Social Shift: Guest speakers at the conference spoke about reputation management, especially across social networks. "The train has left the station. We must make the right adjustments today."

Bottom line: "Think about what it means to be a next-generation partner — an NGP. Think about what you need to do to be relevant. You don't have decades to get it done. You have a year or two."

From Eric Townsend, Intel

1. Consumption spreads faster: Townsend pointed out that technologies now reach tipping points faster — starting with the car taking decades to the Intenret taking years and social media taking years or months. As a result, your marketing has to be nimble.

2. Millennials: They are 80 million strong and the biggest age group in history. Roughly 27 percent are self employed, and 45 percent want to be asked to provide feedback.

3. Advice: You have got to embrace your new customers — millennials — differently.

4. Time — What Happens In a Minute: 277,000 logins on Facebook, $83,000 in sales on Amazon, 3,000 photo uploads on Flickr.

5. Research: Millennials go to at least four places to do a reference check on your business. So build a strong social presence to win raving fans.

Stay tuned for more updates.

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About the Author(s)

Joe Panettieri

Former Editorial Director, Nine Lives Media, a division of Penton Media

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