Tag Archive for Tom Fedro

Relationship Management

By Tom Fedro

I don’t understand why, but far too many businesses fail to take into account the importance of relationships. Relationships with employees, vendors, customers, and others determine the success or failure of an organization. It’s amazing to me that many tech companies in particular fail to adequately consider the impacts of their relationships and the value that is earned or lost by them.

Your primary job is not to write code or data sheets. Your primary job is not to create products or presentations. Your primary job in management is developing and maintaining relationships with everyone along your production and delivery system. You can’t let these items go. A great many brilliant technological advancements never see a market because an understanding of the importance of human relationships was missing. Take the time to recognize what your distributors and your clients hold most dear. Don’t try to convince them of your product’s value without first understanding what it is that is most important to them. Work at this, and you’ll find that your sales and production efforts will begin to streamline.

I’ve often had friends ask me “How can you get employees to believe they have a say?” I always give the obvious answer, “Give them a say” and mean it by taking concrete action. Determining how to value relationships in your business is the same. Recognize that the relationships are more than just valuable – THEY ARE your business. Once this is clear you’ll ultimately find your policies, goals, and activities aligning themselves according to that principle. Above all, never forget that business is ultimately about people, even when you spend your day working on software and hardware. The human element is the element that pays for the company’s existence, and you forget about it at your peril and at the peril of your company.

How are you doing? How are the relationships in your business? What are you going to change?

Funds for 130 Wheelchairs Raised at “Run for Mobility 2013″

Tom Fedro runs for Wheelchair MissionBy Tom Fedro

Last month I was fortunate enough to run the “Surf City” half marathon in Huntington Beach California. The goal, beyond reaching the finish line in one piece, was to raise money and awareness for the Irvine-based Free Wheelchair Mission charity.

Developing nations with poverty and economic isolation have an estimated 100 million people who need wheelchairs…yet cannot afford one. Unfortunately, these people are suffering from not only the inconvenience and pain associated with their disability, but exclusion and indignity of complete imobility, relying on others for most of their needs. As stated on the Free Wheelchair Mission’s Web site, “Some are forced to crawl on the ground or wait to be carried by loved ones to reach their most basic of needs. They are subjected to danger and disease. Many succumb to hopelessness. Safety nets are few, and available social services are scarce. Families strain to care for their disabled loved one within an already overburdened existence.”

A wheel chair quite simply changes a life forever.  And not just the life of the user as its estimated that 10 other people, family members, care givers etc.. are positively impacted when a chair is delivered.

Thanks to many wonderful folks in our circle of friends and family we were able to raise enough money to buy 130 chairs this year, impacting up to 1300 people in a tangible, life changing way a half a world a way.

I hope you can come run with us next year in beautiful Surf City USA!  Would love to see you here.

To learn more about the Free Wheelchair Mission, check out this video: Run for Mobility. To learn more or donate, visit the Free Wheelchair Mission Web site.

 

Software Defined Storage is Disruptive

Paragon Software Disruptive Technology storage hypervisorEarlier this month, EMC’s Chuck Hollis discussed two trends he noticed progressing in the storage technology space that he predicted would result in disruptive technology: the increasing presence of a software-defined data center, due to the fact that virtualization is a cost-effective method for expanding your resources without adding additional proprietary hardware, and the ever-increasing demand for storage.

I have to agree with Chuck. For some time now I have noticed the emergence of this market as well and believe there a great opportunity for a disruptive technology to make its move: a storage hypervisor that is hardware agnostic.

The savings virtualization creates is based upon the fact that all of the traditionally siloed functions of the data center, all on their own physical servers, can now be performed via layered software. To quote Hollis,

“It’s a simple proposition: the IT infrastructure components we typically think of as physical (storage, network, security, etc.) will soon be expressed as layered software, running in virtual machines, presumably on pools of industry-standard servers. Cost savings result from the use of standard servers. Resource efficiency results through the ability to pool resources. Operational efficiency results through managing integrated software entities vs. isolated physical ones. And agility results from being able to react quickly to new requirements. It’s a win-win-win-win. We’ve all seen how powerful this is with server virtualization, now we’re just expanding the concept to other forms of infrastructure to create the virtual data center.”

What it boils down to is that the storage industry is trending towards cost savings and efficiency through the use of software on industry-standard servers and commodity hard drives, reducing, or eventually eliminating, the current need for expensive, proprietary hardware and software solutions from folks like IBM, Dell, Hitachi and EMC (sorry Chuck). This is disruptive.

Fortunately, our company, Paragon Software Group is poised to take advantage of this industry dynamic with our partner Starwind Software Inc. we are offering a new solution – Paragon Starwind iSCSI SAN & NAS. Simply stated, iSCSI SAN & NAS is a storage hypervisor that turns any industry-standard Windows server into a reliable, fault-tolerant, and unified SAN and NAS, while taking advantage of “off the shelf” or existing storage devices and network infrastructure.

Its an exciting time in the storage space!

Got Value Added Resellers?? Use the White Glove Treatment

Paragon reseller customer serviceBy Tom Fedro

To be successful in the channel a technology vendor needs to provide its channel partners with not only top-notch products, they must offer the “white-glove” treatment. You may ask what that entails, exactly. As Tevye once said, “Let me tell you.”

Over the last three years our team has spent countless hours meeting with and learning about the needs of the Value Added Reseller community and what these brave technology entrepreneurs are looking for in their partners. We have observed that a successful vendor to the VARs goes far beyond product features and pricing tiers — both of which are very important, but — it really comes down to providing measurably superior pre-sale lead delivery and post-sale technical support that can be relied on when the ship is sinking — which will happen on occasion. These are the two areas where a vendor must spend its time when building its partner network.

Other key parts of a winning partner program includes

  • Joint sales calls; the VAR must view the vendor as an extension of its sales team
  • Lead distribution; 100% Channel Centric – all leads go to VARs
  • Access to sales and technical experts in a heartbeat
  • Joint marketing activities; press releases, case studies and other collateral
  • Aggressive margins with additional discounts for registered deals
  • And, of course, outstanding technical and sales product training

In addition to whats mentioned above, at my company, Paragon Software Group, we like to promote our partner’s successes as well. To that end, read a case study about our partner Argonaut Solutions and how they replaced Symantec’s Backup Exec with Paragon’s Drive Backup — great imaging software at a great price. To read the full case story, go to our Web site, www.Paragon-Downloads.com.

Good Selling!