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Be Bold with Your Technology Investment DecisionsBe Bold with Your Technology Investment Decisions

SADA Systems' Tony Safoian shares his strategy for making smart investments in cloud, AI and IoT.

Edward Gately

February 14, 2018

4 Min Read
Women in Technology

Channel companies have limited resources, so are they best served investing in cloud technologies that customers are using today, or what they’re likely to use three to five years from now?

The answer is both, of course, but tomorrow’s successful channel leaders will focus more on the future than the present. That can be a scary proposition, but it’s less so if you’re closely monitoring macro business and technology trends.

SADA Systems' Tony Safoian

SADA Systems’ Tony Safoian

In his keynote titled, “Investing Ahead of Technology Demand: Seeing the Future and Making Bold Decisions,” kicking off the Business Success Symposium at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo, April 17-20, in Las Vegas, Tony Safoian, president and CEO of SADA Systems, will share his strategy for making smart investments in cloud infrastructure, artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) — people, tools and services.

In a nutshell, caring about customer success today and beyond will help you win the long game, and that means having the courage to direct scarce resources to business opportunities that have not yet fully developed.

In a Q&A with Channel Partners, Safoian gives a sneak peak of what he’ll share with attendees.

Channel Partners: What are some of the drawbacks of not having a future-focused investment strategy?

Tony Safoian: There are several. First, there’s the competitive challenge. If you don’t invest ahead of the curve, your competition will, capturing market share that could have been yours. Second, companies without a technology vision risk exposing themselves to security problems and tech sprawl, as workers inevitably “go it on their own” with unauthorized solutions. And finally, a weak tech-investment strategy will hurt your ability to recruit and retain the best workers. No one wants to work at a company that’s behind the times.

CP: What are some of the ways a future-focused investment strategy can benefit partners and the customers they serve?

TS: Providing a first-class, modern work experience in terms of tools and systems allows organizations to compete better in the marketplace. For example, SADA uses Facebook’s real-time enterprise collaboration system Workplace, which has made it easier for us to manage and support our clients’ activities, make decisions faster, have cross-department transparencies and engagement. SADA was also a launch partner for Workplace by Facebook, which demonstrates the confidence Facebook has in us, and positions SADA as an innovator among other systems integrators.

CP: How do you begin planning for a future-focused investment strategy? Is moving away from a present-focused one difficult?

TS: We go about this in a variety of ways, but it starts with listening. It sounds cliché, but we truly want to hear about our clients’ business pains and technology challenges. Another part of our strategy has to do with making small bets on …

… new technologies, often many years in advance of when they might be useful to our clients. We’ve done this with IoT, artificial intelligence and, of course, cloud. Moving away from a present-focused investment strategy can be scary, but you have to trust your instincts. Some decisions may be difficult to justify, but if you do your homework, your CEO will thank you later.

CP: From a technology perspective, what are some of the emerging ones that partners definitely need to pay attention to when investing?

TS: Multi-cloud is a big deal. Partners need to help clients go beyond simple lift-and-shift maneuvering – that is, moving from on-premises to cloud infrastructure – and focus on issues like application reconciliation, identification of best-of-breed platform services, and truly understanding the best way to build and deliver applications at scale. Another area in which partners can help clients excel is by creating seamless and simple application “experiences,” leveraging standards set by consumer applications. Yet another technology investment opportunity is around new collaboration and online meeting paradigms. Facebook, Google and Microsoft are showing us the way. And finally, partners need to realize that simply moving clients to the cloud is no longer enough; the bar has been set much higher. The opportunity for partners now is to help clients figure out how moving to the cloud can create a tangible return on investment, and take their businesses to a new level.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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