Case Studies: VARs Showing VARs The Way

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Alex Brown, CEO of Chicago-based solution provider 10th Magnitude, has completely reorganized his business to focus 100 percent on the cloud while getting away from depending on its own hardware infrastructure. Part of that reorganization is a focus on agile teams of no more than three people, because on the cloud, IT projects are much smaller than in the past, Brown said. Those teams will need a new customer approach, he said. "We're not talking about speeds and feeds," he said. "We're not talking price. We're talking about customer needs."

Moving to the cloud has its challenges for solution providers, including learning how to manage cash flows and learning how to shift from product-focused sales to a focus on long-term relationships. When talking about the cloud, don't emphasize the ability to cut personnel, Brown said. Instead, the focus should be on repurposing people to work on projects that drive their business. "I do not sell cloud based on cost reductions," he said. "That brings in people protecting their position."

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