Chris J Powell

Finding a Mentor

When I started my sales career I was really raw and beyond my time of selling my own services as a business owner I did not have the experience in the world of Professional Selling that I needed.  I was fortunate enough to be surrounded and welcomed by a great bunch of consummate professionals that saw in me a spark and took me under their wing. What is a Mentor though?  Wikipedia describes the modern interpretation of the word as: a trusted friend, counsellor or teacher, usually a more experienced person.  I would completely agree with that term.  In my first 6 months in sales I really struggled.  I didn’t understand the concept of a Sales Process, Funnels and all the other processes and concepts needed.  I focused on what I was in the past…a trusted advisor and support professional, I would focus on the customer service, address needs and then if the timing is right…propose a sale. I was really fortunate that the group of people that I work with are generally very approachable and while each of us … Read more

The World of Digital Darwinism

With the word that RIM and the Blackberry name is now officially on the market another piece of Canadian Technology Innovation (first Nortel and Corel) seems to be coming to an end.  Is this a case of Digital Darwinism at its best?  Are we seeing survival of the fittest moving at the speed of electrons and the transfer of bits and bites? I last mentioned the concept of Digital Darwinism back in October with the falling of entertainment giant Blockbuster but with the push to the Personal Cloud and the ubiquitous connection of every thing we do in our personal lives to some form of mobile device…what will survive? The Mobile ecosystem really has 5 players that cater to our every want and desire but each takes a radically different approach to providing us with the content, entertainment and connectivity.  There are also several outlying and newly developed mobile OS providers that I wanted to touch on as well.  The real question, beyond looking at balance sheets and fiscal returns…who will go the way of WebOS and Palm and who … Read more

When Cloud Storage transforms to Cloud OS

I find it interesting that one of the oldest Online Storage (oops Cloud Storage) providers continues to reinvent what it is and how it operates.  I have been peeling back the layers of Cloud Computing this week and what I am finding is that there is some incredibly robust and solid performers that started off as well for lack of a better term rinky dink consumer services.  I have been a subscriber to the Free Box.net service for nearly 6 years now and I really did not realize that I had been upgraded to a full 50GB of storage! I have heard many horror stories about Enterprise gaffs with the Consumer connection to Box or its similar Cloud Storage brethren like Dropbox and iCloud but when I look at those services…I am just not as impressed as I am with Box and its new direction that includes people like me who love and need more storage all the way up to Enterprise IT Clients that need to enable a service that is secure and able to meet the demand of … Read more

What happen when the Cloud Goes Away?

The Cloud comes with many benefits but it also presents its own set of challenges and cautions.  With the ability to easily scale and the low or no barrier for entry there is always the position that what is here today will be gone tomorrow.  It is not just the fly by night start ups that IT Leaders should be worried about either look no further than Microsoft and HTC announcing the closure of two Cloud Services from their stables. In the case of Microsoft, their service Office Live Small Business will be replaced by Office 365 and operations of the Office Live Small Business solution will end on May 1, 2012.  This has been a long time coming and is not a matter of a provider surprising its customers with a closure but it does go to show that no matter the size of the company, the impact of a shift or a new product line can mean the death of a service that was key to an organization’s Cloud Strategy. In looking at what the OLSB product was … Read more

Wrangling the Cloud

There is a general interpretation that the Cloud is a way for business units to go around the IT Department and provision services without the consent, knowledge or support of the Technology Experts.  While this certainly does happen there is many ways that IT Leaders can step up to the plate and direct the show with solid leadership.  BMC Software recently released a Survey that they did with 327 Enterprise CIOs and before any suggestions on how best to bridge the Risk Management Divide I though I would share some of the key findings from the report: IT is struggling with significant complexity and that is not likely to change in the next two years, according to the study. CIOs are concerned that business leaders see cloud computing as a way to circumvent IT. The business is indeed willing to go around IT to get public cloud services today, contributing to IT complexity. IT tacitly acknowledges that this public cloud acquisition cannot be effectively stopped. IT feels that it should manage public cloud services, but realizes that providing high service … Read more

Taking care of the Mind, like we do with our Computers

An interesting exercise to say the least but the reality is, there is no instant backup button or ability to burn our memories onto a DVD or BluRay.  As I get older I am finding it harder to recall the common things that were once easy recollections.  Now before any of you start to say it may be early onset Alzheimer’s or a symptom of my addiction to the Information Age and the easy use of Google as my personal research assistant I would say that neither is the root cause. I have lately become a student of the David Allen Methodology called GTD or Get Things Done.  His has made me very critical of the things that waste my time and suck away my productivity but it also has brought some great exercises in recall and memory into my regular routine.  Thanks to one of my work colleague’s and Social Media / Productivity Application Guru for the pointer on the GTD series. One of the greatest balance exercises that the GTD Method brings out is taking the time to … Read more

Do you have your JuJu?

The Cloud is all around us, touted as the next big thing it is everywhere and it is nowhere at the same time.  Depending on who you ask, you will get a different definition of what the Cloud is…and it really is dependant not on how technical the person is, but what they expect to get out of the “as-a-Service” du jour. I came across an interesting plugin for the Ubuntu Server today…for myself I knew that Ubuntu came ready for Cloud Provisioning out of the box but I was not aware of to what extent they little Distro that could had gone in building out a very robust and targeted service delivery experience that can place a unique focus on Platform-as-a-Service at both the Operational and Development Level. JuJu is a Cloud Service that builds a community of DevOps directly into your server instance.  I took the time to investigate what the “Charms” and other features are and was impressed with the ease of installation steps involved.  To better understand what JuJu is, head over to http://juju.ubuntu.com for more … Read more

Enterprise Linux Trends

I woke up this morning to find my new favorite website has had a facelift and also did a substantial upgrade to his CMS…congrats on the migration over at www.itskeptic.org.  But after taking the new site for a spin (and really trying not to get distracted by the great content, I circled back to my other favorite site, http://www.linuxfoundation.org and came across their recently released Linux Adoption Trends 2012: A Survey of Enterprise End Users. The significance of this report shows and confirms a situation that I have had anecdotal evidence of for some time in my conversation with hundreds of IT Professionals each week.  Linux is making a strong play in the Enterprise Data Center and is being very successful in pushing out or at least staying equal with the other players (Unix and Windows). There were 5 Key Findings in the report, but the most telling is the reasoning behind the strong growth and that has everything to do with Big Data: More than 75% of respondents expressed concern about “Big Data,” and nearly 72% are choosing Linux … Read more

Do you need to sent that Email?

I have become a victim to my own hatred of email lately.  I send email’s to my colleagues that sit next to me.  Even through Social Media channels I tend to interact more with the “written word” than I do in person or even by telephone.  I seem to have become addicted to the sending of one line emails and deep and complex analytical musings via email…until now! I was digging through some of the partners that I have developed and found an amazing Info-Graphic that I thought I would share here today, The Social Workplace has become one of my favorite places for inspiration lately…thanks again for the link over to http://www.onlineitdegree.net/ who created the infographic below: When I get to the office I will be printing off this work flow chart and placing it at my desk as a constant reminder to think before clicking send.  Run through the Flow chart a couple of times yourself…I bet you will find you don’t need to send that email! Cheers, Chris J Powell

Honesty in Sales Redux

Back in June 2011 I wrote a blog post that continues to get more hits than any other of my 280+ posts.  I did a quick check and I was amazed today that when I do a Google Search almost a year later it still comes up in the top 10 but I stand by what I wrote then as not only my own mantra but a call to all other Sales People out there to live by.  The Consumer or Business Consumer today is far more savvy than previous generations.  Social Media has made it almost impossible to hide behind the common innuendos and half truths that are still all to common in the profession that chose me 4 years ago.  I focus on finding a true balance between the technical aspects of what I do and the sales process that I work within.  It has done well by me and I stand as a testament to Business Ethics and Relationship skills are key to long term business relationships. I often ask my clients and prospective clients to make … Read more

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