Welcome to the last instalment of the 2015 Associates blog. What better opportunity than to reflect, and give you an overview of my first year at Computacenter.
This year has absolutely flown by. Looking back to when I first joined I was new to the IT industry, was unsure how a large business worked and had little knowledge about what the role I had applied for looked like… what was I getting myself into!? What I believed however, was that I would be joining a programme that would help me through these unknowns and set me on the right path on my journey… I was not wrong!
I was barely four weeks into the programme before I was whisked away to Celtic Manor for the UK Kick-Off. This was the point when I really understood what Computacenter is all about. A weekend of intense learning and vendor engagement followed by England vs Wales at the Milennium Stadium, the awards ceremony and an introduction to the FMES jacket (which I now know stands for Full Margin Equivalent Sales). This was a big highlight at the beginning of the programme and a true representation of how Computacenter Inspires Success.
Onto the programme… I split our time into three areas:
- Understanding the Business
- Understanding the Industry
- Understanding the Role/Customer
Understanding the Business
Although you are continually learning about all three, I think the H1 rotations were all around understanding the business, the way it operates and an insight into how Computacenter meets the requirements of our customers. There was a lot more to it than just understanding the different business functions though. For me, this was about Understanding People Matter. People have been more than willing to assist myself and my colleagues, a really strong value of Computacenter’s that I will certainly emulate going forward.
Understanding the Industry
During H2 we were expected to understand the industry and how Computacenter align our propositions. I spent time going through the traditional lines of business; where I soaked up the knowledge and wisdom of specialists, sales managers and chief technologists regarding the industry, how it’s evolved and why Computacenter are well placed for the future. I felt lost when terms such as two-speed IT, cloud, Industry 4.0 and software-defined were being discussed, but again, the people within the business were there to guide me through. By Being Straightforward I was able to digest an increasingly complicated industry.
Understanding the role/customer
What struck me as an organisation is how we really do Put Customers First. The associates are all aligned to a sector/line of business, where we spend time within our team to learn the role and how to navigate within customers. What’s evident within each sector is our understanding of our customer’s business which, as Harry mentioned in the previous blog, is a necessity in order to provide the right solution for our customers.
“Best of breed is not always the right answer, the latest and greatest is not always the most sensible choice and instead it is our job to cast a critical eye over our customer’s business needs and construct a solution that is proven to help them on their IT journey”
On reflection, what has stood out to me are the ‘Winning Together’ values that symbolise Computacenter. This first year has been a great introduction into the business, thank you to you all for your time and effort, we all appreciate it. Thanks for reading, I now pass the baton over to the 2016 Associates.
Sales Associate, Industry Sector
The security market is continuing to heat up. For once it’s less aligned with the potential for immense revenues (that potential and reality has been ever present in the security arena), but more to do with an acknowledgement that do nothing results in – “nothing”.
I have enjoyed meeting numerous enterprise customers at such an early stage in the year and the consensus is the same – “not sure which elements to keep or kill, not sure if investment in traditional platforms vs. accelerated deployment of new software centric or cloud security elements is the way forward”? And for once the concerns are common and consistent (less trail blazers or total laggards than you may think).
As someone working within a company calibrated by customer desires, I am already revisiting the security vendor strategic stories of 2015 to determine how they intend to navigate customers to a better place through 2016. And I am sensing a change across the board with new messaging, revised strategies and arrow head focus on a handful of key strategic attributes. The first one is visibility. Management and visibility of security (and networking) assets and outcomes has been an age old point of concern for many years in IT. A handful of vendors have successfully placed security infrastructure and solution management at the core of their value based offering and reaped the rewards, but even those vendors haven’t emphasised with real assertion the importance of seeing all robustly enough.
And the second key attribute is one of integration. The days of multiple, siloed platforms with individual consoles, ring fenced data repositories and inconsistent interaction with other platforms may soon be the solution behaviour of a bygone age (I’m an optimist) – every vendor is now emphasising the importance of increased visibility and superior integration as the cornerstone of their solution playbooks. Thankfully integration doesn’t mean, “Single vendor” with the normal mode one that welcomes third party and even competitive interaction via open APIs or data exchange frameworks. And the end result will be one of enterprises able to see more, therefore do more, therefore defend / remediate better than ever before.
But surely (and I feel the vultures circling) capturing or seeing more without additional layers to correlate, aggregate, evaluate and accurately isolate relevant events erodes more time than it delivers value? Agreed, however at first glance, this is an area of high investment from existing vendors and new market entrants often utilising human insight to augment systems based logic to deliver the best of both worlds.
This may be an early call but I feel the future is looking brighter in the security arena (maybe because finally we can actually see it). With vendors now delivering platforms and solutions enterprise customers can embrace immediately to unlock value immediately, now really is the time for change. But not without thorough understanding of business expectations and security impact aligned with desired operational and posture centric benefits.
Until next time
Chief Technologist – Computacenter UK, Networking, Security and Digital Collaboration.