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Votacall, the Cloud and the End of On-Premise Hardware?

April 26, 2012

The Cloud is being tossed around alot lately and it's mass exposure in periodicals, financial programs and even TV commercials has made people aware of the technology. We are at the point where experienced IT is not the only demographic that has heard of the term, "the Cloud". What that translates into is a major decline in hardware sales. All of the major market research firms had predicted this years ago and I have to admit I did not believe it (or did not want to believe it) when I was first exposed to those predictions about four years ago. At the time, I was deep in the Hardware trenches, I was married to modules, circuit packs, servers etc. Now flash forward to today, I firmly believe that we are at the beginning of a major shift in technology. It seems silling to deem this the beginning as Cloud technology has been around for years and years, but something has definitely changed over the last 6 months. I base this on what I see, hear and experience on a daily basis when interacting with my team, customers and prospects. People are now asking for this stuff. In the past, the first piece of advice that I would give a new sales rep is that the most significant question you could ask in a Votacall sales meeting is, "tell me what you know about the Cloud". This was designed to provide an opening to discuss something new without jumping right into it. Most times, customers would have no knowledge of the cloud which meant that the first meeting is educational, designed to determine if there is a match. Today, when asked that question, customers and prospects have some exposure or general belief/understanding of the technology. That is a major breakthrough which must be embraced.

The technology is so efficient and cost effective that organizations must look at it when making a decision to purchase technology. More and more customers are realizing that the Cloud has the ability to create efficiencies while truly providing the lowest total cost of ownership.The bottom line is, much like a car once it is driven off the lot, the destiny of Hardware is to Die once it is taken out of the box and powered on. That is a major flaw in the technology itself. So, logically if there was a breakthrough that addressed this flaw wouldn't it make sense to adopt it?

I do believe that there is a place in the market for on-premise technology, I certainly do not think it is dead today. There are certain features and functionality that on-premise does better and there is no denying it. Certainly, on-premise hardware still has a niche. The problem is that many companies have made millions on upgrades, aftermarket sales and maintenance contracts and are still trying to operate as if a revolution is not ocurring. Now the question is who really suffers under these circumstances? The answer is...the customer because it those companies that are either in denial or working on their "fear" pitch which is simply scaring customers into staying with something old becasue it serves their business model. The problem with that defense tactic is that when the customer goes home and makes a phone call, their voice is traveling VoIP. People utilize Cloud technology every day and do not even know it, so in reality there is nothing to fear but fear itself.

Actually that is not true, fear the sales person that does not have your long term interests in mind when pitching a solution.

Andy DeAngelis

Vice President of Sales

All Business Communications

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