Technology is a tool that facilitates business. First understanding what a customer is trying to achieve is key.

Allison Francis

July 7, 2021

3 Min Read
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Requirements gathering. It is an element of business that many companies overlook, but should actually be used as a driver for business success. On both ends. For Michelle Hyde, president and founder of Hyde Group, discerning and undertaking what the customer is trying to achieve in their business is at the heart of everything.

Background

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Hyde Group’s Michelle Hyde

When Hyde struck out on her own and formed the Hyde Group 11 years ago, she knew that the requirements gathering piece was essential.

“I cut my teeth on really understanding that landscape much more than just trying to be a matchmaker for services with the client,” said Hyde. “I understood the importance of doing my due diligence on the requirement-gathering side of things, rather than simply reacting. So, I set out to change how I operated, and dove into focusing on the client requirements.” 

Michelle Hyde is a member of the Channel Partners Editorial Advisory Board. See the other familiar faces on the Channel Partners Editorial and Business Advisory Boards.

Hyde has always maintained and retained a statement of work (SOW) with each customer as well. In the consulting stage, she gathers information, then sets them up with the right suppliers, will help the customer vet them, negotiate the contracts and implement the services. Because of the all-encompassing nature and effectiveness of this process, Hyde is with most customers for the lifespan of the contract. 

What does that boil down to? Requirement gathering from the get-go.

Pandemic Pivots and Business Success

This is all very well and good, right? Makes sense, doesn’t it? Time to throw a pandemic into the mix.

Thankfully, Hyde’s clients came through relatively unscathed. However, the pandemic highlighted the need for a hyper-focus on a very particular solution — one that is imperative to business success. 

“Last year, I took on a business partner — a solutions architect. Between his technical acuity and my strategic approach, it works out super nicely,” said Hyde. “We decided recently to plant a security services stake in the ground. It has been fascinating. The security of an organization is a very vulnerable conversation to have. Customers want to talk to you about their network, their cloud … their most vulnerable pieces. When it comes to this topic and everything it entails, your client is investing in you as much as you’re investing in them.”

An Unsecure Industry

People want to work with people who are secure, says Hyde. Attacks are happening on large and small businesses alike, so the topic of security is at the tip of everyone’s tongues. As it should be. Companies that don’t heed this are doomed to be left behind, and/or get breached and compromise their customers’ information as well as their own. 

“We talk about the vulnerability of our infrastructure in the U.S. — all of those things are getting daylight shed on them because of the aging infrastructure,” said Hyde. “Having “kind of” a plan is no longer good enough. Customers want a strong offering; they are more and more understanding the risks. Those providers who don’t heed the security conversation are at risk of losing their clients. That is our reality.”

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About the Author(s)

Allison Francis

Allison Francis is a writer, public relations and marketing communications professional with experience working with clients in industries such as business technology, telecommunications, health care, education, the trade show and meetings industry, travel/tourism, hospitality, consumer packaged goods and food/beverage. She specializes in working with B2B technology companies involved in hyperconverged infrastructure, managed IT services, business process outsourcing, cloud management and customer experience technologies. Allison holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations and marketing from Drake University. An Iowa native, she resides in Denver, Colorado.

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