Monday, February 20, 2017

The Three Pillars of The Gig Economy

Most everyone has heard about The Gig Economy by now.

One aspect of The Gig Economy is new and growing. There is a new layer forming that is changing the way The Gig Economy operates.

But, for those that haven't here is the quick description. More details will come out below, but a general definition of The Gig Economy is:

A Gig Economy is an environment in which temporary positions are common and organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements.

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The Rise of the Intermediaries (click to tweet)

Have you thought about The Three Pillars of The Gig Economy?

  • The Gig Worker
  • The Gig Intermediary
  • The Gig Employer

The first and the last one need to exist for an interchange of goods and services for cash (or other compensation)

The middle one is continuing to grow and as it grows it gains power. This is an area to watch. It’s one that has been growing for the past few years. It’s also one that is set to be disrupted. That will be the topic of my next post on The 4th Pillar of the Gig Economy,

Power to Control The Gig Economy

But, today … the The Gig Intermediary is real and a force to be reckoned with.

Also, consider The Barter Economy. It is arguable that The Gig Economy sprung from The Barter Economy.

The allure of a Gig Economy has created a group of workers and employers. Each seeking to maximize their value and benefits while reducing their costs. Where costs can be defined in a myriad of ways.

In order for each to do this a set of intermediaries has popped up. Initially, it was a few websites that allowed Gig Workers to throw their skills on a what is effectively a bulletin board. That model has morphed into more advanced searching, parsing and sometimes payment systems that connects The Gig Workers with The Gig Employers.

It has also led to a group of enterprising vendors to act as the intermediaries. Where in the past these vendors worked somewhat autonomously and staffed projects on a more direct basis with full and part-time employee based staff. They are learning that The Gig Workers are really good and they want autonomy. They don’t want to be full time employees … even though they may work well-over “full time hours” in any given week.

They have gotten very smart in their ability to navigate the The Gig Employers systems to optimize their time, effort, and compensation. This is not a bad thing. It’s a smart way for these companies to expand and grow their business in the way The Gig Employers expect.

In the not too distant future … this is going to change. The 4th Pillar of the Gig Economy is taking hold. Those that do not adapt will fade away.

The Generational Economy

The great news for all three pillars … Age is not a factor.

Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, and Gen Z are all welcome. So are those from The Silent Generation. If you have skills … they are likely valued by someone … somewhere.

Those with skills … Should Apply!

imageOne group that is taking advantage of all Three Pillars of The Gig Economy are Boomers.

Boomers are playing in this space.

Boomers are HIRING in this space. Boomers have The FEM Factor.

They are working with, hiring and working for Millennials … as I noted in Working with Millennials in the Partner Community

This will serve them well to become part of that middle layer and also to be both the worker and the employer.

Watch this Space

Remember … Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, and Gen Z are all welcome.

Why do The Three Pillars Matter?

Reputation Management is a big part of this. When Gig Employers are looking for Gig Workers they want some level of assurance that the person can do the job.

This is where Gig Intermediaries come in.

  • Gig Intermediaries can build up a roster of Gig Workers and Gig Employers. It works both ways.
  • Gig Intermediaries will collect and collate a roll call of potential Gig Workers and Gig Employers for this effort. As most successful Intermediaries are apt to do they will cover both sides of the situation.
  • Gig Intermediaries will provide a level of comfort for both the Gig Workers and Gig Employers that they are getting the right people for the right job. And, that both sides will be satisfied … with the work, the compensation, and everything else that goes with a Gig Project.

What's in it for both sides (Worker and Employer)?

The theory is that it leads to frictionless commerce. The reality is … perception is not always reality.

Below are The Three Pillars and their possible perceived benefits from their place in The Gig Economy:

  • The Gig Worker - freedom, work where they want, when they want, have a higher gross income, put hard earned skills to use.
  • The Gig Intermediary - organize labor, earn income from managing talent, gain oversight (power) over the Gig Workers and Gig Employers.
  • The Gig Employer - reduce costs, have a truly flexible workforce, enable variable cost options.

Your mileage will vary … in The Gig Economy [click2tweet]

A mini-survey … answer in the comments or drop me a line.

  • What do you think?
  • Are these the benefits you expected?
  • Did you receive them the way you imagined?

Here are some of the expectations and non-expectations I have observed.

Expectations:

  • The Gig Worker - I'm skilled. Hire me!
  • The Gig Intermediary – Aggregates and collates skilled workers and in-need employers into a searchable database. 
  • The Gig Employer – I need skilled Gig Workers. Where do I find them?

Things NOT expected (for all three pillars):

  • Training
  • Pensions
  • A place to work (to get work done - this is in flux as some Gig Employers EXPECT “their” Gig Workers to be in a physical place. This is ok, but the smart Gig Workers will factor this into their costs (driving – time and vehicle costs, wasted time commuting and not being available for other Gig Work.
  • Work life balance (that is On Your Own (OYO)

The Gig Economy is in Flux

The current trend that allows for the existence of The Gig Intermediaries is changing. I know people in all three pillars of The Gig Economy. I have worked in all three pillars. I expect The Gig Workers to be needed for many years. I expect The Gig Employers to also continue to need Gig Workers. However, I see the need for the current model of The Gig Intermediaries is changing. That’s the topic of my next post.

Things are changing. I know my career has changed over the years and I expect that will continue to happen.

Whether we are ready or not … The Gig Economy will be a part of how we work.

Where do you fit?

  • Which pillars will you fill? (Perhaps all 3)
  • Can The Gig Economy survive?
  • What are your observations on The Gig Economy?

Drop your thoughts here. Inquiring Gig Workers, Intermediaries, and Employers want to know.

My next post will be about The Fourth Pillar of the Gig Economy. (click to tweet)

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Did this strike a chord with you? I would appreciate it if you'd share it with a friend, colleague, or better yet … a Gig Economy enthusiast!

This is cross posted on Medium and LinkedIn

I have contributed 200+ articles to Entrepreneur, Elite Daily, Yahoo, US News and to the #1 Career blog for Millennials, the Personal Branding Blog

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It's 3 AM ...

I started this post last November. It was salient and relevant then and perhaps even more so now.

It's 3 AM ... Do know where you partner is?

LI - 3am Red Phone - Do you know where your partner is

Spammers, Scammers, and Phishers

This has been on my mind lately. I have noticed some incredibly well crafted and sneaky phishing attacks in the past few weeks and months.

There is much more to partnering effectively than having an army of security personnel monitoring your business.

Protect This House

However, lately there has been a lot more attention paid to some of the insidious efforts of spammers, scammers, and phishers.

Partners are the Lifeblood of Many Businesses

chain-1027864_1920Partners provide that all important link to connect your business with the world and the world with your business.

Partners make it possible for you to focus on YOUR Business.

The Realities of Partners:

Good partners are there when you need them.

Great partners are there before you know you need them.

How do they know this stuff?

Because they are professionals. They have seen it all before. And, on the rare occasion when they haven't seen something they can use their years of expertise to work through the situation and apply a timely fix for what ails your systems.

What's in it for you?

As noted above ... You get to run your business.

You don't need to worry about security, backups, logins (resetting passwords, etc.), and other things that you can comfortably outsource to a trusted partner.

It’s Much More Than Security and Resetting Passwords

You can also trust partners to help you grow your business by envisioning solutions, building them out, and keeping them running.

It's 3 AM ... Do you know where you partner is?

The good news is ... the great partners are already there behind the scenes working on your behalf.

When you see you partner ... hug them and let them know you appreciate what they do.

PS - I have it on good authority that partners are cool with hugs.

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Did this strike a chord with you? I would appreciate it if you'd share it with a friend, colleague, or better yet … a partner!

This is cross posted on Medium and LinkedIn

I have contributed 200+ articles to Entrepreneur, Elite Daily, Yahoo, US News and to the #1 Career blog for Millennials, the Personal Branding Blog

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Thursday, February 9, 2017

FTA's, Mentors and Millennials– Secrets to Trade Show Success

When it comes to creating a successful trade show model, one that can go on year-after-year, there are three things every organizer should consider and adopt.

I should say there are “at least” three things to align with Microsoft speak. If you have ever worked for Microsoft you’ll know this term.

pieces-of-the-puzzle-592798_1920

Two of These are Constant

Catering to these three elements / audiences is is the key to a successful long-term trade show effort. Two of them should always be in the mix of a great community engagement effort for a successful trade show. The 3rd one changes over time as one generation moves on and another slides in to take it’s place.

In fact, catering to these three audiences is the key to a successful business. That's the topic of another post. (stay tuned)

An event can only survive if they can keep people coming back year-after-year. In order to do this they need to keep them happy. Which could mean different things to different people. But, the gist is … Happy People Come Back.

And, Happy People … Tell Their Friends!
Word of Mouth (and Tweets too) is Critical

This is the challenge every event manager and every company needs to help their clients with today and especially tomorrow.

imageMy Suggestion is … by focusing energy and effort on FTA's, Mentors and Millennials any business, and specifically a trade show and community effort can be successful today and tomorrow.

It’s a team effort.

All Hands on Deck.

In order to insure FTA's, Mentors and Millennials are engaged it’s critical to insure they know what’s going on and one way to get the FTA’s indoctrinated and engage is to assign a mentor to them. This is not a new idea. But, it’s one that deserves a new look and some new attention.

As for Millennials … they are either entering the workforce anew or have been in the workforce for a while. The key with Millennials is that they are at the stage in their careers where they are making decisions that impact the organizations they work for in big ways. Of course, there are a lot of millennials starting their own companies. In both cases making sure they can be well cared for FTA’s and/or engaged as or with mentors is critical for getting them into the community.

Below I’ll break down each of the three groups and share a few thoughts about them. I’d like to get your thoughts too. Share a comment here.

If you like what you see … please feel free to “Click to Tweet” this post.

FTA = First Time Attendee

As I have noted before in multiple blog posts about FTA's there is a very strong correlation to FTA's initial experience, perception and their desire to return.

This experience starts at the sign up for the event. In fact, it really starts with word-of-mouth and starts long before they actually go to the sign-up page.

  • Before – Long before the event is scheduled to start there needs to be an easy way for potential attendees to understand the value proposition. This needs to be easily communicated and it must be easy to share via social media and other means.
  • During – In the middle of the event people often can use a little guidance on what do to, where to go (to eat, learn and share). This includes social engagement efforts too. It’s a good idea to have a Social Squad (Microsoft does this) effort staffed with friendly faces (and partners) to amplify the messages and messaging.
  • After – In a sense the event never ends. At least this is the way it should be. The attendees may need a reminder or two about this. A great event manager has thought about this and has set up a way for people to stay in touch even when they cannot physically be in touch. Community365 is the wave of the future.

Mentors

One way to help FTA's understand what's going on and be able to hit the ground running is to create a class of mentors. Some of these mentors might be employees of the firm, but the best mentors come from the community itself. I have acted as a mentor for numerous events including the formerly known as Microsoft WP see. I have really enjoyed my time as a mentor and I appreciate getting back. One thing I've learned about being a mentor is I think I learn more then the mentee.

Millennial's

It should go without seeing that millennial's are entering the workforce more and more every day.

10,000 millennial's are reaching the age of 21 every day

In case you didn't know there are 10,000 millennial's reaching the age of 21 every day. They are starting companies at an unprecedented rate and they are also joining companies because they're graduating from college and entering the workforce in vast numbers.

Pro tip: Don't discount the boomers. They have The FEM factor (click to tweet)

In 2015 millennials out paced others in the workplace for the first time (See Pew Research report)

Millennials surpass Gen Xers as the largest generation in U.S. labor force
Source: Pew Research Center

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Build a Community – You’ll be glad you did

The trend is to develop a place where first-time attendees, mentors and millennial's can connect with each other and also with the broader community. By showing the FTA's, mentors, millennial's where the front door is and helping them navigate the community everyone wins.

The next step… And I'm not saying the end result… Is that these people become active and fiercely loyal to the community as a whole.

It's not the end result. It's the next evolution in events and event management

Microsoft is ahead of the curve here

With the recent re-organization of the Microsoft partner community I see this as a positive sign with the "One Commercial Partner" model.

You can read more about it in my post A Microsoft Partner Motion … It’s time! and in Partner LUV … ISV's and Industry Expertise are Valued Most.

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This is not the exclusive domain of Microsoft. This is also not be exclusive domain of technology companies. Every company or industry that creates or participates in trade shows should be looking towards FTA's, Mentors and Millennials.

  • imageSalesforce has Dreamforce – Salesforce has their Ohana. I'm somewhat dubious of how that is actually working based on my personal experiences, but I've been told it's working.
  • National Retail Federation (NRF) – As an industry event they continue to bring people to New York City in January every year where they show how to industry and the vendors that support the industry are working together to develop solutions for the customers they serve.
  • Association for Image and Information Management (AIIM) – As a collection of industry professionals they have continued to morph with the times.

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Each of the communities above has catered to their audience for many years. They have made adjustments over the last few years to adopt the virtual model of “trade shows” and community engagement. In order to continue to thrive they will also need to embrace FTA's, Mentors and Millennials.

Also, each of the communities mentioned above are both physical and in-person events supported by virtual communities that happen year round.

The Keys to Success are Community Driven

imageIn order to maximize the value from FTA's, Mentors and Millennials there will need to be a concerted effort to develop a community. And, like all communities, they need to be places where people feel welcomed and know that they are among “their” people. If this community experience (CX) is not authentic people will notice and the community will die.

The challenge for trade shows is going to continue to need to adapt, adopt and align with FTA's, Mentors and Millennials.

I’m optimistic the industry is ready for this change and I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some of the leaders in this space from Microsoft, CRG, and FreemanXP. (I’m looking at you Kati Quigley, Leasa Mayer, and Marc Pomerleau)

What do you think?

  • Are Trade Shows still viable?
  • What other ways can you get people working together?
  • How do you think Trade Shows can adapt for the future?

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Did this strike a chord with you? I would appreciate it if you'd share it with a friend, family member, or colleague!

This is cross posted on Medium and LinkedIn

I have contributed 200+ articles to Entrepreneur, Elite Daily, Yahoo, US News and to the #1 Career blog for Millennials, the Personal Branding Blog

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Sunday, February 5, 2017

Burning Bridges Can Feel Good

This was originally published on the #1 Career blog for Millennials in Feb 2013.

There is an old saying that goes, you should Never Burn a Bridge. I agree. While it might feel good to burn a bridge I think the advice is pretty good and should be followed … with some exceptions and suggestions.

Burning Bridges Can Feel Good

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Generally I do think it’s better to stay above the fray and not burn a bridge. However, this doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot of cycles trying to keep a bridge from burning … especially when someone else lit the fire.

My point is … avoid burning bridges yourself, but you don’t need to play fireman for someone else’s burning bridge. Use your best judgment and engage when it makes sense.

Also, I’m not suggesting this applies only for business dealings or just to personal interactions. Burning a bridge is burning a bridge.

Let’s talk about a few scenarios where you may be inclined to burn a bridge and a few things to think about before you take the next step.

Different Levels of Bridge Burning and the Effects

Reputation Management

With the rise of Social Media … what you say is there FOREVER. Always remember

There is  NO DELETE KEY on the internet.

What you say today can and will come back to haunt you and you need to be aware of that.

Even though you may have long forgotten a tiff or a kerfuffle with former business partners or colleagues, the internet will remember. Keep this in mind when you go on a keyboard tirade and want to put someone in their place. Don’t let the heat of the moment get the best of you. Take a Step Back. Think about it … cool down and don’t press send. Your reputation depends on it.

Ethical and Moral Bankruptcy

There are too many examples of people with no ethics, no morals and no scruples to list here. We all know people like this and we do our best to avoid dealing with them. However, there are those cases where we cannot avoid them and we cannot bypass working with them. In these cases it’s best to keep your distance and to make sure you will not be caught up in their charades. It’s important to do whatever you can to make sure you are not painted with the same broad brush that will inevitably be applied to them.

The point here is … it would be nice to call them out. But, too often it’s not worth your chits to do so. Let them continue doing what they do. Avoid dealing with them. Eventually karma will have it’s day and they’ll be exposed for what they are.

Note: Legal Issues are different.
This section mentioned Ethical and Moral Bankruptcy.
These are primarily character flaws that you can’t and shouldn’t bother trying to control or impact. However, if bad behavior is illegal you should take it upon yourself to report it.

Walk Away and Save the Day (at least your day)

Walk away and wish them well. There are days when you need to step aside and let the Bridge Burners do their thing. If you can … just walk away. If you can’t walk away or completely dissociate yourself from the situation make sure you keep looking for the door and document the misdeeds so that you’ll be able to show what happened. (see Facts aren’t Fungible below).

Sometimes It Just Happens

There are some people that burn bridges all the time and probably don’t even notice. Hopefully this doesn’t describe you. If it does take steps today to start making a change. If you are noticing then you are likely bothered by it … otherwise you wouldn’t notice. Again, as mentioned above take a step back and look at the big picture and see if you can make adjustments to the way the situation arises and how it progresses and most important how it ends.

Facts aren’t Fungible

There is another old saying … 

There are Three Sides to Every Story —
Yours, Mine and The Truth.

Facts have a habit of making themselves known … eventually. It’s much better just to stick with the facts and let the hyperbole be spun by others.

What if it Already Happened?

While it’s not an ideal situation it’s not the end of the world if you have burned a bridge. You can come back from a public goof. As Maria Elena Duron mentioned in her post hereAcknowledge and Own the issue. Empower yourself and your community to work on your behalf and finally make sure you invest the necessary time to work through it and all the ramifications involved.

What About You?

  • Have you ever burned a bridge?
  • Do you wish you could have go back in time and repaired it?
  • Either way … Was it worth it? Would you do it again?

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Did this strike a chord with you? I would appreciate it if you'd share it with a friend, family member, or colleague!

If you wanna talk more, tweet or DM me or write a response here.

This is cross posted on Medium and LinkedIn

I am also a contributing author to Entrepreneur, Elite Daily, Yahoo, US News and to the #1 Career blog for Millennials, the Personal Branding Blog

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

What you can learn from Rules 13 and 14

Stormin’ Norman Schwarzkopf spoke about Rule 13 and Rule 14 at an event I attended many years ago. They have stuck with me.

Rules 13 and 14 are as relevant today
as when he spoke them

LI - Retired Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf - Rule 13 and Rule 14

He was a great speaker. He was engaging with practical, real-world stories. He spoke about leadership, but not as a mandate or dictate. Rather as a commitment to oneself and one’s duty.

Rules 13 and 14

They are as simple as they are powerful

Rule 13 – When placed in command, take charge.

Rule 14 – Do what’s right.

9 short words with a lot of potential.

  • Potential to make a significant impact.
  • Potential to change lives.
  • Potential to change the way people see you in your career.

This is an extended excerpt from my post "What Millennials can Learn from Rules 13 and 14"

Millennials Can Apply Rules 13 and 14 Today

Whether you are a Millennial or some or some other age group you’ll find that by putting Rules 13 and 14 into practice you will be able to get ahead in your chosen field by being more authentic and perhaps a bit more entrepreneurial too.

When people know where you stand they can decide to stand with you

Rules 13 and 14 will also help you stand out in your career and in your personal life. Applying Rules 13 and 14 allows you to communicate more effectively. Think about it. If people know you are in charge (Rule 13) and that you can be counted on to do the right thing (Rule 14) they'll be able to trust and follow you to the ends of the earth.

Note: He said Rule 13 and Rule 14 were not created by him.
He told a story about when he learned them and said that they have served him well over his entire career. And, that he had shared them with those in his command much as I am sharing them with you now.

Try them today. Put Rules 13 and 14 into play on your next project. And, pass ‘em on to the team. You’ll likely be pleasantly surprised by the results.

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Did this strike a chord with you? Have thoughts about it? I would appreciate it if you'd share it with a friend, family member, or colleague!

If you wanna talk more, tweet or DM me or write a response here.

This is cross posted on Medium

I am also a contributing author to Entrepreneur, Elite Daily, Yahoo, US News and to the #1 Career blog for Millennials, the Personal Branding Blog

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

When Should Interviews Be Scheduled

This is a short three part series on job interviews. It has been inspired by a few different people and from my own personal experience.

It’s a new world for jobs.

Candidates are different.

Jobs are different.

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But, Interviews STILL need a modicum of sanity. This is not a detailed study. Rather it is a perspective. I would hope People Operations (nee HR) professionals would consider these points as they go about their busy days of finding and scheduling candidates for interviews.

There are a few common options for interviews:

  • Phone Interviews
  • Video Interviews
  • In-Person Interviews
  • Not to mention some of the more esoteric elements of the interview process.

  • The Informational Interview (this is probably a blog in and of itself)
  • The Team Interview (Gang Up)
  • The All Day Interview (Bring a Juice Box)
  • The Dining Interview (Your Etiquette will be Evaluated)
  • Non-Scientific Recommendations for Timing

    These times are focused on what the interviewer expects to get out of the interviewee. There are a myriad of factors that can change these times. Some of the more obvious examples include coordinating around everyone’s work schedules, avoiding traffic,

    Interview Type

    Start Time

    End Time

    Phone Interviews

    No earlier than 6am

    No later than 6pm

    Video Interviews

    same

    These could go to say 10 pm

    In-Person Interviews

    Depending upon the business model – never before 8am

    Ideally, start the last one by 5pm.

    However, this may stretch thru dinner (see The Dining Interview)

    Should You Dress to Impress?

    The simple answer is … Yes! You should put your best foot and face forward.

    Of course, some people will dress for what the interviewee can see. I personally don’t have a problem with that, but it’s something to keep in mind when planning for an interview. For both the interviewer and the interviewee.

    image

    Connected Posts (Links will be added)

  • Part 1 - When Should Interviews Be Scheduled (This post)
  • Part 2 – How early should you show up for an interview?
  • Part 3 – The Follow Up Note – email, snail mail or skywriting?
  • Potential Follow On Posts --- Based on YOUR VOTE and Feedback

  • imageShould you bring your phone into an interview?
  • What about Bots? How to use them to your advantage
  • How to make the most of an Informational Interview?
  • --- Bottom Line ---

    For HR Professionals … schedule interviews when they make sense for your business. But, keep in mind the interviewee and their challenges too. Yes, the interviewee wants to impress. They will agree to a lot of odd things that don’t always make for a great first impression.

    For the Interviewees … consider the HR persons request and be confident in yourself to push back. If you know you’ll have to rush or do things that may not allow you to show off your best skills … push back.

    For Both … The reason I use Laszlo Bock’s term of "People Operations" is because the term Human Resources (HR) is outdated and not indicative of the work they are doing. Or, should be doing.

    People hire people. That will be changing more over the coming decade, but today people are hiring people. Scheduling interview times that work best for people is the right thing to do.

    What do you think?

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    I am also a contributing author to Entrepreneur, Elite Daily, Yahoo, US News and to the #1 Career blog for Millennials, the Personal Branding Blog

    clip_image001Jeff is business advisor, mentor and community engagement expert. He has spent most of his career in the Enterprise Content Management industry. He brings over 20 years of Channel Sales, Partner Marketing and Alliance expertise to audiences around the world in speaking engagements and via his writing. He has worked for Microsoft, Kodak, and K2.

    Connect with me on Twitter @jshuey

    Or connect on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google+

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    Wednesday, January 25, 2017

    Partner LUV … ISV's and Industry Expertise are Valued Most

    In the Microsoft partner ecosystem it’s all about Utilization.

    Microsoft has moved past awareness and is moving through consumption. The ultimate destination (for now) is Utilization.

    Hint: There is a destination beyond Utilization, but this accomplishment needs to be unlocked first.

    Utilization drives the digital transformation efforts that are required for the ultimate success of Microsoft, Partners and especially Customers.

    u·ti·li·za·tion ˌyo͞odələˈzāSH(ə) - noun
    The action of making practical and effective use of something.

    The Future is Utilization

    image

    From Awareness thru Consumption to Utilization

    Over the last 7 years Microsoft has gone “All In” on the cloud. Steve Ballmer spoke about that at the Microsoft WPC event in Washington DC in 2010. As I wrote about in WPC 2010 --- All About Clouds.

    Since then, Microsoft has a new CEO in Satya Nadella. He has doubled down on some of these bets and launched a few new Moon Shots and a Mars Shot. As I wrote about in What is Microsoft getting with LinkedIn?

    In January of 2017 Microsoft announced the next phase in this process with a re-organization of the executives in charge of partnering by creating a One Commercial Partner team as I wrote about in A Microsoft Partner Motion … It’s time!

    The gist of this is … Utilization will be the mandate and the mantra for Microsoft corporate and field resources. Microsoft and the Microsoft Partner Ecosystem has done a good job driving awareness. They’ve done a good job driving consumption. They need to do a GREAT job driving Utilization.

    Don’t confuse Consumption with Utilization -
    - Consumption just means buying it.
    - Utilization means using it.

    Microsoft’s sales efforts and partner efforts are all being aligned under the leader of the Microsoft sales efforts, Judson Althoff. If you haven’t heard much about him before you will start to hear more in the future.

    I look forward to Judson Althoff’s next keynote at the Microsoft Inspire event in DC this July. It’s going to be critical to get the partners onboard.

    Inspired (Microsoft - Gladiator)

    Ballmer (c2010) thru Satya (c2014) to Today with Judson, et al

    The roadmap is set. The leadership is in place. The next steps are to communicate the vision, the plan and the metrics.

    The One Commercial Partner team will include the current Microsoft execs:

    Partners are very smart. They will quickly determine how to use the plans Microsoft puts forth. Or, if it doesn’t make sense for their business they will find other ways to partner and drive their business forward.

    I’m optimistic that this new leadership team understands the market and the challenges. However, as several people at Microsoft know I am willing to help – either from the inside or the outside. My offer still stands. You know where to find me.

    The writing is on the wall … Intellectual Property (IP) creators will be recognized and rewarded. As noted in Redmond Channel Partner writer, Scott Bekker’s, article Microsoft Quietly Shifts Partner Focus to ISVs.

    What does this mean?

    imageIf you focus on Utilization … you will be praised. You will get the attention of the Microsoft Field and Corp resources.

    If you build it … they will come.

    The they in this case is … Microsoft.

    Where to Start?

    Build vertical, horizontal and perhaps vertizontal™ solutions and Microsoft will beat a path to your door.

    VertiZontals is a word I coined in the halls of building 16 at Microsoft. It means solutions that are purpose built for vertical industries, but are horizontal in nature. Meaning they can be applied to many different businesses in that vertical.

    The Future is Utilization. Are you Ready?

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    I am also a contributing author to Entrepreneur, Elite Daily, Yahoo, US News and to the #1 Career blog for Millennials, the Personal Branding Blog

    Image Credits: Microsoft

    clip_image001Jeff is business advisor, mentor and community engagement expert. He has spent most of his career in the Enterprise Content Management industry. He brings over 20 years of Channel Sales, Partner Marketing and Alliance expertise to audiences around the world in speaking engagements and via his writing. He has worked for Microsoft, Kodak, and K2.

    Connect with me on Twitter @jshuey

    Or connect on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google+

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