Look for the disruptive game-changer for your business and define shifting collaboration needs of customers.

December 5, 2022

5 Min Read
Time for change

By Valerie Berezuk


Valerie Berezuk

Every market is evolving and changing. The way people work has a new profile, with most companies embracing a hybrid framework. As a result, the modern office isn’t solely in a commercial building — it’s expanded to include working from whenever, wherever. As these shifts ripple through the world, you have a great opportunity to grow your business.

However, there may be things holding you back. To change the trajectory, sometimes all you need to do is simply change two things. It’s a tried-and-true approach that some of the most disruptive companies have used. One of those is Cirque du Soleil.

What Guy Laliberté Changed to Build an Iconic Brand

Guy Laliberté started out as a street performer (stilt walker and fire eater) and was later asked to assist the government of Quebec with a one-year project — a traveling circus meant to commemorate the 450th anniversary of the discovery of Canada.

Instead of showcasing a traditional circus act, Laliberté changed two very specific things and evolved the show into what we now know as Cirque du Soleil.

First, he removed the use of animals in the show. This move was in response to many animal rights groups decrying their use as inhumane. They were also very costly.

Second, he changed its intended audience, targeting adults rather than children. The circuses that had been around for decades had been kid-centric. This new take on the circus, which included acrobatics, dance, unique fetes, physical skill, and more, was a hit in the entertainment world.

Since then, Cirque du Soleil has become a worldwide phenomenon. The company launched its first permanent show in 1993 in Las Vegas with Mystère at Treasure Island, which continues there. Global engagements have reached five continents, and this new take on the circus has earned billions.

So, how did Laliberté see the potential in a declining industry? And what’s the lesson here that could apply to your own business?

Innovating in a Dying Industry

Laliberté faced what many innovators have — evolving an industry that was no longer growing. Getting people to come out to shows was, by the 1980s, harder as there was a rise in entertainment at home. He was also “reading the room” and removing the literal elephant from it by not using animals.

He saw an opportunity where many did not — he just had to adjust those two things. He is a clown who changed the entire industry. It’s the same type of disruption that many other companies have followed, including Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. They changed how we communicate, consume content, find information, shop, and get where we’re going.

So, what’s going to be your game-changer? How will you define the shifting needs of your customers?

Identify Things to Change to Find Success

The first thing is to identify and eliminate the archaic elements of your business. If it’s costing you money and it’s not producing revenue, it’s obsolete and doesn’t need to be in your organization any longer because it has no value to you or your customers?

As a technology provider, it’s what’s in your portfolio that no longer serves your audience. Much of this is in the category of on-premises hardware and machinery. Today’s office doesn’t need all these things, and they don’t make sense in a hybrid work structure. Evolving your own space and then defining its usefulness to those business owners you’ve supported for years with technology leads you to the second thing to change — moving into an emerging market opportunity.

So, what’s the big opportunity right now? It goes back to the basics of communication and collaboration. It just looks different because people aren’t sitting around a table discussing something or stopping by a cubicle to ask a question.

With people working everywhere and anywhere, communications and collaboration also need to be accessible anywhere, with video calls, instant chat, taking calls from anywhere and sharing documents. All these things are part of a unified communications (UC) platform. The modern workplace is distributed, and people need access no matter where they choose to work, which means that moving your communications to the cloud becomes a necessity, rather than a nice-to-have.

By making this switch, you’ll be able to go back to your base that you’ve been working with for years and offer them something new from your portfolio. You can provide them with a UC solution that’s easy, secure, dependable and cost-effective. This is the market opportunity right now, and it’s helping your customers invest in the type of technology designed to meet their needs and those in the future.

Finding success for your cloud business starts with the right product and partnership. It should allow you to retain customer relationships while your partner delivers the technology.

Valerie Berezuk is head of channel marketing at Intermedia Cloud Communications. A 20-year veteran of the communications industry, she challenges herself to look for ways to simplify complexity and make great impacts with small tweaks. She earned an MBA from Pepperdine University’s Graziadio Business School and holds a bachelor’s degree in theater and television arts from Valparaiso University. You may follow her on LinkedIn or @intermedia_net on Twitter.

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