Executive Address Celebrating a milestone achievement
Tech Data’s Business Builder Tour 2014
Kicks off in nation’s capital in April
TechSelect Member Profile We catch up with PureLogic IT
TechSelect Spring Partner Conference Comments, suggestions? Tell us what you think! firstname.lastname@example.org
Four day retreat in Kelowna, BC
HP Partner Conference
Bringing the Cloud to PartnerOne
Is Storytelling a Grown-Up Business Strategy?
Telling a good story is more useful than you think
We sit down with Stephane Durand of Tech Data Montreal
Editor Jillian Cahill Art Direction and Design Julie MacAulay Contributing Writers and Editors Mary Bonnici, Irene Buchan, Jillian Cahill, Robert Dutt, Tracy Blalock Project Manager Ralitsa Naydenova Tech Times is published and distributed six times per year to channel resellers across Canada. ©2014 Tech Data Canada Corporation. Prices, promotions, offers & terms and conditions of sale subject to change without notice. Errors and omissions excepted. All manufacturers’ names are registered trademarks of their respective corporations. This publication comes to you free from Tech Data Canada Corporation. We received your mailing address from your Tech Data customer account information. To make changes or to unsubscribe, please contact your Tech Data sales team at 800.668.5588 or notify us at email@example.com. www.techtimesmagazine.ca
Celebrating a Milestone Achievement Dear valued partners and friends, Fiscal 2015 is an important milestone for Tech Data Canada. It marks the 25 year anniversary of the acquisition of Parity Plus by Tech Data Corporation and the introduction of Tech Data Canada to the Canadian reseller community. Over the past quarter of a century, we have seen many changes in technology and at the same time, we’ve seen so many of our reseller and vendor partners grow and develop their businesses in the Canadian IT channel. Over the years, Tech Data Canada has evolved. We’ve been named Distributor of the Year seven years in a row as voted by resellers across the country, our Business Builder Tour continues to be at the top of your list of industry events worth attending, we have a strong vendor line card to help solution providers in Canada meet the needs of their end customers and we have built solid partnerships in the channel.
is just the beginning! We’ve grown for the past 25 years and will continue to provide you with the solutions you need to grow your business and be successful in the channel for decades to come. Thank you for your continued partnership. Sincerely,
D. R. Reid President, Tech Data Canada
With the increasing complexity in technology over the years, we’ve continuously been able to support solution providers across the country and offer them innovative solutions from our growing list of vendor partners. We’ve witnessed the growth in digital technology, smart devices, cloud computing, social media and more. Through all of these changes in the industry over the years, Tech Data Canada has remained committed to providing all of our partners with best-in-class service and support. I’d like to personally thank all of our valued partners on behalf of Tech Data Canada for helping us achieve this milestone. This
HotSpots FS970M Series Allied Telesis is pleased to announce the release of the FS970M Series. The state-of-the-art QoS capability of this product line ensures reliable delivery of advanced network services, such as voice, video, and data, while effectively controlling the increasing traffic needs of today’s IP Surveillance networks. Call your Tech Data sales representative today at 1-800-668-5588.
Eaton’s virtualization solution allows you to: • Seamlessly integrate with VMware’s vCenter Server™ virtualization management solution. • Measure and manage power either inside or outside the data center, even by individual outlet segment for some devices. • Provide disaster avoidance with a planned migration application, such as VMware Site. • Recovery Manager and Microsoft Live Migration. Remotely shut down VMs and host servers TD SKUs: 7674A7, 5822BZ, 3707A1 Call your Tech Data sales representative today at 1-800-668-5588.
Imation RDX Starter Pack The RDX Starter Pack includes the USB 3.0 dock, 500 GB Hard Disk Drive Cartridge and Restrospect Software. It’s ideal for small businesses, Accounting, Legal, Medical and Dental Offices, Video Surveillance and Education. 1. Easy to manage 2. “Set it and forget it” software 3. Drop and drag file access TD SKUs: 4621CG, 02042Z, 17077B, 02734X, 9527BJ, 20421Z, 6914CN, 0518C3, 5612BE Call your Tech Data sales representative today at 1-800-668-5588.
Go for Gold with Intel Technology Provider Earn 250 points when you qualify by December 31. Sign up with Intel® Technology Provider and experience all the promotions and benefits that come with being a Gold Partner. What is Intel® Technology Provider? Intel® Technology Provider is a global membership program for businesses that resell or recommend Intel technology. You can enroll in Intel® Technology Provider by going to http://techpartner.intel.com/TDCN and clicking the “Join Today” button. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
HotSpots Solid Performance @ a Compact Price Optimize your Intel® NUC with an Intel® SSD With Intel® SSD 530 Series, your computer will easily handle your multi-tasking needs. Intel® NUC Kit + Intel® SSD 530 series / 80 GB = $43 off TD SKUs: BN9432, BN9433, BN9434, BN9435, BN9436 Call your Tech Data sales representative today at 1-800-668-5588 for details and all terms and conditions. Valid until June 28, 2014, while supplies last; subject to change without notice. No backorders allowed.
See It. Control It. Protect It. With Kaspersky Lab Kaspersky Lab provides a fully integrated security platform combining anti-malware protection, endpoint controls, vulnerability and patch management, data encryption, and Mobile Device Management -- managed from a single console. Kaspersky is a “leader” in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant of corporate endpoint security. Manage and protect all from one place with Kaspersky Lab - now you can. TD SKUs: 2637BQ, 2907BQ Call your Tech Data sales representative today at 1-800-668-5588.
LENOVO’S THINKPAD X240 ULTRABOOK™ PORTABILITY PERFECTED. The 12.5” ThinkPad X240 Ultrabook™ is thin, light, built to last, and ready for business. Power Bridge technology lets you go ten or more hours without plugging in, vPro gives you the ultimate in manageability, and plenty of other features let you take your business on the road. TD SKUs: 8146CC, 8110CC, 8159CC, 8161CC, 8193CC, 1441CM, 8206CC, 8208CC Call your Tech Data sales representative today at 1-800-668-5588. .
LENOVO’S THINKSERVER RD 440 STORAGE-RICH. REMARKABLE VALUE. The Lenovo ThinkServer RD440 is a value-priced, 2U rack server offering impressive storage capacity, easy manageability, and power-saving features. It is a dual-socket, 2U server that offers flexible configuration options so you can create the right system for your needs. TD SKUs: 3327CH, 3087CH, 3329CH Call your Tech Data sales representative today at 1-800-668-5588.
HotSpots Canada’s best 6-year warranty! Your customers can take advantage of Canada’s Best Warranty on NEC P Series displays! All NEC P-Series Large Format displays purchased from April 15-September 30, 2014 qualify for a FREE warranty offer with product registration. NEC’s extended warranties provide coverage for all parts and labor for a full 6 years under the original warranty. Eligible TD SKUs: 7204CC, 7205CC, 7207CC, 7208CC, 7210CC, 7211CC, 7213CC, 7214CC Register products at www.necdisplay.com/product-registration.
Panasonic Toughpad™ FZ-M1 The Panasonic Toughpad™ FZ-M1 is the world’s thinnest* and lightest* fully-rugged 7” Windows® tablet. Powered by Windows® 8.1 Pro and a 4th generation Intel® Core™ i5 vPro™ processor, the Toughpad FZ-M1 features a long life, user-replaceable battery and a daylight-readable, highsensitivity multi touchscreen and is certified to meet MIL-STD-810G and IP65 specifications. TD SKUs: 2268CK, 1547CL, 2269CK, 8702CL * As of January 6, 2014 Call your Tech Data sales representative today at 1-800-668-5588.
New Hot Dominion KX III - KVM over IP Switch, Raritan is Bringing Sexy Back! A flexible and scalable solution with complete and total access and control. Military Grade Security & Reliability and optimized for high performance applications. Ask about Raritan’s enhanced KVM over IP switch. TD SKUs: 2951CG, 2952CG, 2953CG, 2957CG, 2955CH, 2956CG
VMware Sales Bytes: 30-minute method to increase virtualization sales Sales Bytes are targeted to individual Partner Sales Reps and provide small, digestible pieces of content kitted together to help partners quickly get up to speed on VMware solutions. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.techdata.mBytesTD Call your Tech Data sales representative today at 1-800-668-5588.
Business Builder Tour Stops in Ottawa, Quebec City and Montreal! Our award-winning Business Builder Tour made its first stop of the year in Ottawa in April, followed by Quebec City and Montreal in May. Once again, the tour includes stops in six major cities across Canada including: Ottawa, QuĂŠbec City, MontrĂŠal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. At each stop, solution providers had the opportunity to interact with leading IT hardware and software manufacturers along with Tech Data executives to discuss strategies and opportunities. Industry solution seminars provided insight into current technology trends and how to meet growing end user demands.
Close to 1,000 solution providers attend the six city tour across Canada each year. It is an opportunity to meet industry experts for the first time and to build upon existing relationships. Tech Data Canadaâ€™s executives and sales specialists attend each stop throughout the year to meet and engage with solution providers to discuss strategies for our mutual success Thank you to all of you who attended our first three shows and made them a great success. Be sure to visit www.tdbusinessbuilder.ca to find out when we will be in a city near you!
â€œAmazing show and fantastic customer attendance! I am looking forward to all the other shows!!â€? Susan Fraser, Buffalo Technology
TechSelect Member Profile In this issue of Tech Times, we learn how TechSelect membership has helped PureLogic IT strengthen their business.
Q: Tell us a little about your organization:
We are an Ottawa-based VAR specializing in solutions from Desktop to Data Centre, delivering superior technical value to our clients to achieve the best return on their investment. PureLogic IT focuses on providing full turnkey solutions that include, but is not limited to Storage, Networking, Converged Infrastructure(s) and High Performance Computing. We have been in operation since 2008 and have experienced tremendous success and immense growth over this time. We currently service the Canadian Federal Government, as well as Corporate Enterprise and Small/Medium Business sectors. Recently, we opened our Calgary office to better service our clients on a national level. Q: What are your thoughts on the industry in general?
There is and always will be continuous data growth. As a result, many of our smaller clients are becoming much more open to embracing the cloud while our enterprise clients are looking to build in efficiencies and migrating to Converged Infrastructures. Q: What challenges are you facing and how do you overcome them?
Ever-changing technology is always difficult to stay ahead of. This requires extensive training at every level within our organization. Keeping up with those changes and completing the necessary certifications can be challenging at times. We are also seeing increased competition as clients have more and more options in VAR’s, technologies and cloud offerings. We approach every opportunity with the clients’ best interests in mind and continue to strive for excellence in customer satisfaction.
David Bouchard - Managing Partner, Myles McKay - Director, Business Development, Coreen Bouchard - CEO, Shari Vermette - Operations Manager
Q: What would you like to see from vendor partners?
We would like to see simplified partner programs that are straight forward and easy to track. We also would like to see clear defined training paths for specialization and certifications. Q: What are your organization’s goals for the next five years?
PureLogic IT has both three year and five year goals that we constantly measure through weekly staff meetings and monthly executive meetings. We also believe that it is important that all of our staff are aware of our goals, thus enabling them to participate, develop and ultimately help drive the success of our company. • We plan on extending our private and public cloud offerings. • Continued growth geographically across Canada all while maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction.
• Increasing our services offerings. Q: How has the TechSelect program helped you? Or helped you meet your organization’s goals?
PureLogic has benefited greatly from many of the interactions with other members across Canada. There are many diverse offerings from the TechSelect membership which in turn has strengthened our offerings to our clients. Further, the vendor interactions at the TechSelect conferences are fantastic. We would likely not have had the opportunity to meet with as many vendor executives if not for the TechSelect program. Q: What is your outlook for 2014?
The outlook for FY2014 is very good overall. We see a lot of potential in the SMB space in cloud computing as well as continued growth in building private clouds for larger customers.
Nestled amongst a glorious range of mountains, pristine lakes, abundant forests and impressive vineyards, Kelowna, British Columbia played host to Tech Data Canada’s TechSelect community for its 2014 Spring Partner Conference. Almost fifty members, along with both level one and two sponsoring vendors and extended Tech Data team participated in the four day retreat, making this the largest group in attendance on record. Reseller partners heard from leading IT manufactures on the latest technology and opportunities, contributed to workshops focused on sharing of best practices and also took notes from Robert Stevenson, international speaker and author of the bestselling book, “How to Soar Like an Eagle in a World Full of Turkeys”. Evening events were extra special this year as the TechSelect community helped raise funds for Cisco’s ground-breaking charity initiative, Connected North. All members participated in a “Networking Dinner & Charity Games Night” raising $15,000 for the Deh Gah School in Fort Providence, Northwest Territories. Connected North uses Cisco’s TelePresence technology to bring resources to schools across Canada’s north. The Tech Data TechSelect community has made the commitment to assist these students by empowering them with learning opportunities that would not have existed otherwise. “We are excited and proud to participate in the Connected North program in partnership with Cisco,” said Greg Myers, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Tech Data Canada. “The Connected North program allows us to positively impact the lives of both students and teachers by bringing technology and learning innovations to schools in the north.” “I am proud to support the Connected North initiative and help provide kids with greater learning opportunities and educational programs.” said Mike Blackwell, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Graycon Group. “The TechSelect community has given me the opportunity to build many strong connections with Tech Data, several vendor partners and other Solution Providers across Canada”. Tech Data and the TechSelect team would like to thank all those who attended and look forward to hosting the TechSelect community in Henderson, Nevada for our Fall Partner Conference from October 20 – 23!
Tech Data Canada has worked with hundreds of solution providers, vendor partners and employees across the country over the past 25 years to help build success within the IT industry. May 31º marks Tech Data Canada’s 25th anniversary. We are honoured and humbled to share in this milestone achievement with our many partners across the industry. “Congratulations
“Tech Data has been such a fabulous “On behalf of Lenovo Canada I want to congratulate the team at Tech Data Canada place to come to work for the past on the milestone of 25 years of IT distribution. 25 years. It has been a privilege to
work alongside so many to the entire Tech talented people in such Data Canada team! a dynamic industry. Happy 25th to my Tech Data family.” Keep up the great AnnAnniversary Hunt, Director, Sales, Tech Data
Canada (25 years)
Bryan Levine, NETGEAR
“I’ve been a customer of Tech Data Canada’s for many years. Congratulations on 25 years! You have provided so much support to my business over the years and I am proud to say I am a Tech Data partner. I look forward to our continued mutual success in the decades to come.” Roger Osmond, Sentia
We have enjoyed a strong partnership and collaborative relationship with Tech Data over nine years now and our partner network and customers are operating and benefitting from over a billion dollars of Lenovo hardware that was configured, enhanced, financed or fulfilled through Tech Data Canada. Looking forward to the next Billion!” Stefan Bockhop, Lenovo Canada
“Tech Data is a true leader in the IT distribution industry. IBM and Tech Data have a long history and I am extremely proud of our strong partnership. On behalf of IBM, I would like to congratulate Tech Data on their 25th anniversary and wish them continued success for many years to come. “ “We Nancy Briglio, IBM Canada Ltd.
congratulate Tech Data Canada on this milestone anniversary. You have always provided the support and partnership that we require to help our business
succeed.” Lloyd Bryant, HP Canada
“Congratulation to the whole TechData team! Thanks
for continuing to work with us to put our customer first.”
Rania Al-Khooly, TELUS “Congratulations on 25 years. The Tech Data team has been an integral part of ISA’s growth over the last 22 years. We look forward to working together over the next 25 years.” Kevin Dawson, ISA
“Happy Anniversary! 25 years in this everchanging technology industry. What a
Tech Data Canada – a great partner with great people – Congratulations!” Mary Ann Yule, CDW Canada
“To give real service, you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money and that is sincerity and integrity. Thank you Tech Data Team and congratulation on your silver jubilee.” David. Andrews, Soroc Technology Group
Tech Data Canada is 25! The company still has the energy of a start-up!
“This is an amazing achievement for our friends at Tech Data Canada! We wish you continued success for many years to come.” Congratulations to all of our friends at Donna Wittmann, VMware
Tech Data!” - Jim Chalmers, Symantec Canada
“Best wishes and continued success!” John McLaughlin, Next Digital Inc.
“Tech Data continues to deliver
bestin-class customer service and support.
“Happy 25th Tech Data! This has always been a wonderful place to work. The entire team is like an extended family. I’m so happy to be a part of such a great company.” Susanne Tamburro, Manager, Marketing Tech Data Canada (20 years)
“We would like to congratulate you on your 25 year anniversary and
thank you for your continued support of our business in the channel.” Todd Madgett, Cisco Canada
Congratulations on your 25 year anniversary!” David Saele, Think Communications Inc.
Wishing you many more decades of continued success.” Todd Enos, Axiom “Who’s
awesome? We’re awesome!”
Marcus Pozzan, Senior Product Sales Champion Microsoft BU, Tech Data Canada (4 months)
HP Canada co-channel chiefs Andrew Eppich (left, Enterprise Group) and Gary Drysdale (right, PPS) present to partners during the Canada General Session at GPC.
HP will integrate currently discrete cloud and other partner programs under the PartnerOne umbrella as it continues its year-old effort to dramatically streamline its partner structure. Under changes to the program introduced at its Global Partner Conference in Las Vegas, HP announced that distributors, OEMs, ISVs and other groups of partners who had previously been part of other programs will be brought into PartnerOne starting November 1, the beginning of its next fiscal year. Patrick Eitenbichler, director of PartnerOne strategy at HP, called the change an acknowledgement that many partners fit under a number of business models, and that maintaining multiple programs for a single partner made things unnecessarily complex for that partner. Under the plan, all HP partner programs will be tiered the same way – Business, Silver, Gold, Platinum – with a single 24
contract across all partner types, albeit with different addendums and details depending on the specifics of that partner type’s relationship with HP. HP will also move to a single MDF structure for all types of partners with the move, although details will vary from partner type to partner type. “Our partners need to span multiple business models, they need to become more than just one thing, and there are plenty of examples of partners out there who are already doing that,” Eitenbichler said. The company will continue to base PartnerOne, and the tools under it, around its Unison platform, a $100 million investment in partner portal and tools first announced at last year’s GPC here, and brought online starting last May. Along with the basics of a PartnerOnewide portal, the company has introduced new capabilities based on Unison, including a tool that Eitenbichler said is about to automate about 70 per cent of special pricing requests, getting back to partners in a few hours rather than a few days. HP also announced that its cloud partner programs will be brought under the PartnerOne umbrella starting November 1. That will include programs for cloud builders, cloud builders (previously branded as its CloudAgile partner program), and a new program for
resellers of cloud technologies. To reach the top tier Platinum level in PartnerOne for Cloud, partners will have to hold specializations in two of those three categories, Eitenbichler said. HP is making the move because it sees an increasing urgency in partners making the transition to providing cloud services, or at least including options for cloud service in the solutions they market. “Partners need to move in that direction now, while their traditional revenue stream is still going just fine,” Eitenbichler said, adding that those who wait a couple of more years, and try to make the move when traditional projectbased businesses are more pressured than today will find the move all the harder. The company also announced plans to make it easier for multi-national partners to work with HP. Under the new plans, partners will need to earn Gold or Platinum status in two or more countries in order to be recognized at that tier in other countries where they have presence. The program will allow partners to get a single big deal pricing in their headquarters country, and then ship under that pricing in all countries where they’re recognized with PartnerOne status. While HP has made great strides towards getting its partner program all under the same roof, it admittedly still has quite a bit of room to go. While its PPS and enterprise group partner programs are almost fully integrated under PartnerOne, there’s still the matter of its global integrators, alliance partners, service providers, and a variety of HP Softwarerelated partner programs that need to be brought into the structure. Eitenbichler said that the company’s next goal will be to get those units into the PartnerOne framework, and then to start to refresh and enhance the tools available to partners across all tiers. On the Canadian cloud front Closer to home, HP announced at GPC that it would bring its partner programs for cloud solution providers into the Canadian market. At the time of the event, it announced a May timeline for the programs to come to Canada, and HP has since confirmed that those programs have launched here in Canada. continued on page 26>
“Our goal is to make marketing a competitive differentiator for HP,” said Lynn Anderson, senior vice president of demand generation and channel marketing.
In all, HP is bringing three partner programs to Canada – Cloud Builder for those who build and operate hybrid and private cloud, and reseller options for both HP’s Public Cloud and Managed Cloud Service. These programs have been available in the U.S. since last year. “The opportunity here is not just selling virtual compute, storage, and networking, it’s the integration and the ISV community that exists around it,” said Randy Milthorpe, business development manager for HP Cloud at HP Canada. The company is also in the process of launching its managed cloud offering in Canada to go with the new reseller program. Under that service, HP managed CloudSystem deployments located in a data centre, whether that location is owned by HP, by the partner, or by the customer. But in all cases, the partner retains the relationship with the customer. “The partner has the base relationship with the end user customers, and we operate as a service provider,” Milthorpe said. Partners interested in getting the Cloud Builder training and certification will be able to get trained up included with admission to the company’s HP Discover event next month in Las Vegas. Training will also be available apart from Discover. Beefing up partner marketing With former HP Canada marketing and 26
alliance executive Lynn Anderson settling into a new role heading up both global channel marketing and lead generation for all aspects of the company, HP is looking to ramp up its through-partner marketing efforts.
“Our goal is to make marketing a competitive differentiator for HP,” Anderson said in a press briefing at GPC. “That will let us differentiate ourselves from our competitors.” The company will take a number of marketing programs that have been available in limited theatres worldwide to the global scale, supporting partners
on both self-serve marketing efforts and higher touch marketing by connecting partners with marketing service agencies. The first program, dubbed HP CoMarketing Zone, is an extension of the typical co-marketing portal, allowing partners access to a variety of HPapproved marketing collateral from Web banners to telemarketing scripts, that can be quickly customized with partner logos and offers and sent out to customers. The company will also open its HP Asset Hub, a collection of images, animations and other components that range from product shots to “lifestyle images” that the company uses internally, to its Platinum partners free of charge, Anderson said. The second program is a much bigger change, particularly for the company’s large number of smaller solution providers that may not have full-time marketing resources on staff. Under the program, HP will contract with a number of major marketing services agencies, and make their services available to HP partners in a “group buy”. The program will help smaller partners get access to more marketing capacity, and also streamline the MDF process for them. Rather than running a marketing program with the third-party marketing agency and then billing HP for the appropriate MDF, partners using HP-approved marketing companies will skip the need to pay the marketing agency directly, as the marketing company will directly bill HP for MDF-funded programs. approach is reflected in many ways here at GPC. The company boasts more of its top partners in attendance this year than ever before, and higher level executive within those top partners in the house. The effort was spearheaded by having top executives including CEO Meg Whitman and PPS chief Dion Weisler personally call and invite top partners to the event. The marketing approach shows in the agenda as well – in addition to the usual technology-focused and trend-focused breakouts, HP has engaged top consultants including Booz Allen Hamilton, Deloitte, and PwC to present to partners on business issues including how to build an organization for growth, and compensation
“For the partners, it means they don’t have to front their own money, but it’s also a big benefit for us, because instead of $10,000 here, $2,000 here, $5,000 there, we’re having a few big marketing service agencies billing us on the fly,” Anderson said. “It drives efficiency for us, and streamlines things for the partners.” Using HP’s procurement power should also mean partners will be able to get more bang for their MDF buck, as marketing partners will sign on to more friendly terms to work with a variety of partners through HP than they would be able to get working directly with a thirdparty marketing agency. The new marketing efforts also emphasize a “one HP” message, which was front and center to partners at last year’s GPC, and continue this year. Page Murray, vice president of worldwide channel marketing, said that programs like the marketing agency one wouldn’t be possible under the previous system, where each major division of HP (printing and personal systems, enterprise, and software) each ran its own channel marketing. The renewed and HP-wide marketing
HP CEO Meg Whitman makes the case for HP’s “new style of IT” during the GPC keynotes.
approach is reflected in many ways here at GPC. The company boasts more of its top partners in attendance this year than ever before, and higher level executive within those top partners in the house. The effort was spearheaded by having top executives including CEO Meg Whitman and PPS chief Dion Weisler personally call and invite top partners to the event. The marketing approach
shows in the agenda as well – in addition to the usual technology-focused and trend-focused breakouts, HP has engaged top consultants including Booz Allen Hamilton, Deloitte, and PwC to present to partners on business issues including how to build an organization for growth, and compensation
Once upon a time you were sitting
in a conference hall. You anxiously checked your watch every 30 seconds and kept your smartphone front and center, hoping for any excuse to usher yourself out and put an end to the nonstop percentages and bullet points flooding the screen. Fast-forward to another time in a very different conference hall. You sit on the edge of your seat. You can hear a pin drop and hang on every word as the presenter shares a riveting story complete with drama, courage and triumph. As it concludes, applause and cheers erupt throughout the room. Where would you rather be sitting? With practice, storytelling can transform the way you engage and motivate stakeholders, employees and customers. When you consider annual book sales, kindle downloads and box office receipts, our fascination with stories is epic.
The Inside Scoop on Stories While PowerPoint presentations filled with bullet points activate the language processing parts of our brain, a story puts our entire brain to work, says Leo Widrich in his article, “The Science of Storytelling: Why Telling a Story is the Most Powerful Way to Activate Our Brains.” Our brains aren’t designed to understand logic or retain facts. Rather, we’re hard-wired to relate to stories— they match the way we think, Widrich says.
A recent Stanford University study even found that stories are 22 times more memorable than facts. Stanford Graduate School of Business marketing professor Jennifer Aaker went on to explain that stories consistently make a stronger impact than numbers and bullets. In her podcast, “Harnessing the Power of Stories,” Aaker cites one study where researchers had students make a one-minute pitch to another student. On average, they used 2.5 statistics in their pitch and just one in ten worked in a story. After ten minutes, listeners were asked to write down everything they remembered. Only five percent cited a statistic and a whopping 63 percent remembered the story.
“Our brains aren’t designed to understand logic or retain facts. Rather we’re hard-wired to relate to stories— they match the way we think.” From Bedtime to Boardrooms Jim Blasingame, one of the leading experts on small business and entrepreneurship, refers to the three Cs of business storytelling in his article, “Use the Power of Storytelling to Grow Your Small Business.” Stories are the perfect way for high-tech companies to deliver high-touch interactions, he says. Specifically, he says stories help businesses connect with prospects, convey their expertise and values, and create customer memories that convert. Aaker references the common Save the Children campaigns to illustrate the power of stories. The charity ran two versions of an ad to raise funds—the
first focused on statistics and facts about problems facing children in Africa; the second shared the story of sevenyear old girl. While both versions asked readers to donate, readers who were exposed to the story about the young girl donated twice as much.
A New Chapter in Your Marketing Content Social media has taken storytelling to a whole new level by making us comfortable having conversations with companies, says Shane Snow, chief creative officer of Contently, in his article, “This Will be the #1 Business Skill of the Next 5 Years.” He advises businesses to start thinking of themselves as publishers, adding that storytelling is quickly becoming an essential skill every company needs to master or risk being left out of these conversations. While you might not ever be a threat to James Cameron, Aaker says storytelling is a learned skill that, once you start practicing, changes the lens through which you—and your customers—view things.
Every Company Has a Story Author of “Likeable Social Media” Dave Kerpen says every company has a story to tell about how they started—you don’t have to be Facebook’s Mark Zuckerburg to have a cool story. Start with the mission and personality of your brand to begin writing your story. Find a unique story about how you got into the business or how your product or service is created. Think about the people or ideas that drive your business. These are the stories that humanize you and make your company more appealing, Kerpen says in Michael Steizner’s podcast, “Storytelling: Why Stories Attract More Customers.” The transition from story to sales pitch is subtle—and starts with making sure you have the right audience, Kerpen says. If you do, the transition will happen naturally. Your story is the means to helping your customers connect the dots between their problems and how you can solve them.
branchingout In this issue of Tech Times, we sit down with Stephane Durand, Account Manager with Tech Data Canada, to hear about life in the Montreal office. Q; How long have you been with Tech Data? I joined Tech Data not too long after the acquisition of Globelle. I will be celebrating 14 years of service in October.
“I must admit, I’m a bit of a geek and I have always liked technology. Our industry is in constant evolution so there is a lot to learn all the time.”
Q: What do you like most about Tech Data? I like the people and the culture. Our teams of specialists are very knowledgeable and are always willing to help. I also like the fact that our managers, directors and executives’ doors are always open if we need assistance. Q: Describe a typical day for you in our Montreal office: There is no typical day. Every day is different. I usually start my day with a few administrative tasks like sending holds or cancellation reminders for example. My days include answering phone calls from our reseller partners, email requests, bid pricing, configurations etc. It’s filled with conversations with reseller partners, vendor partners and Toronto support specialists. Q: What do you like the most about your job? I must admit, I’m a bit of a geek and I have always liked technology. Our industry is in constant evolution so there is a lot to learn all the time. I also like variety. What was true a year ago may be, in several cases, obsolete today. This forces us to stay on the top of new trends and products. Q: What challenges you in your job? Being in a remote office is often challenging as unlike our head office colleagues, I am not able to walk to someone’s desk and ask a question directly. We work through phone or emails to ensure we get a prompt response for our customers. Q: What has been your most memorable moment since joining Tech Data? There are several memorable moments since I joined Tech Data but here’s one that is on the top of my list. I was able to participate in an event with Lenovo at their Executive Briefing Centre in Raleigh, NC along with our TechSelect members a few years ago. It was truly a great experience to share with our partners and feel the friendship that exists within the TechSelect community. Q: Anything else you think we should know about life at Tech Data in Montreal? Our office is made of a small group of people. It’s almost like a small family. Over the years several of my co-workers have become close friends. We also have a large French community of reseller partners, which you won’t find anywhere else in North America. If you feel like sharing something funny or unique about you with us, please do. I am a professional fireworkman and pyro-technician. 2014 will be my 28th season. My passion took me to several large pyrotechnics events such as Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa, Saskatchewan Centennial and even to Hong-Kong for New-Year’s Eve shows.
Kaspersky Lab to extend support for Microsoft Windows XP in corporate and consumer products Kaspersky Lab would like to assure its customers that although Microsoft will end support for the Windows XP SP3 operating system in April 2014, our company’s security solutions will continue to protect these systems beyond the Microsoft cut-off date, in accordance with Kaspersky Lab’s scheduled product lifecycles. The list of products that will maintain compatibility with Windows XP include Kaspersky Lab’s corporate security solution - Kaspersky Endpoint Security 10 for Windows - as well as current and future versions of its consumer protection solutions, such as Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2013 and Kaspersky Internet Security 2013. According to Kaspersky Lab’s scheduled product lifecycles, the following solutions will maintain Windows XP support until at least these indicated dates: • • • •
Kaspersky Endpoint Security 10 for Windows – supported until Q2 2016 Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2013 and Kaspersky Internet Security 2013 – supported until Q2 2016 Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2014 and Kaspersky Internet Security 2014 – supported until 2017 Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2015 and Kaspersky Internet Security 2015 – supported until 2018
During this period of extended support, Kaspersky Lab products installed on Windows XP machines will continue to receive the latest malware signature updates. Please be advised that support will be extended only for Windows XP with Service Pack 3 installed. Kaspersky Lab invests substantial resources to ensure that its products work properly on different types and versions of operating systems. Although the Windows XP operating system was released more than 10 years ago and three newer Windows operating systems have subsequently been released, Kaspersky Lab realizes that many businesses and individual PC users still prefer this system. This extension of our support should provide ample time for these customers to migrate to a modern operating system.
Spring Cleaning efforts by Tech Data employees help those in need in the GTA Tech Data employees generously donated over 200 bags of clothing in support of The Humanitarian Outreach organization in May. This amazing contribution that included men’s and women’s clothing, jackets, shoes and more will enable the organization to provide clothing to Toronto’s homeless for many months. A big thank you goes out to all of the Tech Data employees who supported this great initiative.
Congratulations to this year’s Circle of Excellence award winners! Each year, Tech Data recognizes reseller partners from across Canada that have demonstrated best-in-class commitment to the channel and in partnership with Tech Data. They have shown excellence in revenue achievement, along with strong dedication and leadership. The nominees for the awards are reviewed by Tech Data’s executive team who are looking for resellers who have demonstrated excellence in four key categories: growth, partnership, electronic commerce integration and joint strategic initiatives. This year’s Circle of Excellence reseller award winners include:
• • • • • • • • • • • • •
CDW (National Partner) ISA (Central Region) Scalar Decisions (Central Region) Solid CAD (Central Region) Digica Solutions (Central Region) Applied Computer Solutions (Central Region) Glasshouse Systems (Central Region) Interdynamix Systems (Western Region) Graycon Group (Western Region) Koios Systems(Western Region) Mobia Technology (Eastern Region) KTI Kanatek (Capital Region) Informatique ProContact (Region du Québec)
Tech Data executives will be visiting each of the winning reseller partners throughout 2014 to personally distribute the Circle of Excellence awards. Each of the recipients will also receive a commemorative glass plaque.
Congratulations to all of this year’s Circle of Excellence winners! 34
Tech Times May/June 2014 issue