I have been a consultant for the better part of 20 years now. Starting at the bottom, computer hardware, building PC’s for a computer wholesale company to where I am now, architecting infrastructure and information management solutions for a myriad of companies.
Over the last 2–3 years though, my role has morphed into more sales focused as I get to engage with clients on a daily basis. Initially the idea of getting “back” into sales made me feel that I would lose touch with what I really enjoy about my job, the techie bits, but after a lot of thought into where I would like to be and what I would like to be doing, it made complete sense. And in the space that I am in, getting my hands dirty, keeps me up-to-date with everything that I need in order to be able to provide customers with the correct guidance.
I enjoy getting people excited about technology, what better way than moving into a role that puts me in front of people all the time.
Now, the role of the consultant has always had a sales component in some way, shape or form to it. Be it convincing the IT department that the product is sound or explaining to business how using the tool would improve their processes. What we have seen over the last 5–7 years was the role of the Business Consultant come to the fore in may ways. Business became the decision makers about technology (a really good thing) with technology now being viewed as transparent; a person with both technical understanding and business visibility became invaluable when wanting to embark on a productivity enrichment strategy within companies.
With all things internet/connectivity/always online becoming the defacto standard for consuming information about anything and everything, the world as we know it, has changed. This has had a direct impact on how companies market themselves to prospective clients. Strategies including influencer campaigns, blogging, speaking at events, e-mail campaigns, direct or indirect( A.K.A. inbound marketing) has taken over from traditional methods of engaging with current and future clients.
Consultants have had to also change how they interact with the industry that they are in. More-so in IT than anywhere else. More-so in the Microsoft space than any other IT platform. The Microsoft space is at the pinnacle of where information and communications technology is going, with the advent of the cloud (say; Office 365), the Internet of Things and all the other fancy terms, PaaS, Iaas, Saas, everything as a Service, IT companies are forced to either move with the times or get left behind, and so are consultants.
Its with that in mind, that my role has changed. More into Product Evangelism than just plain solution architecture/selling, based on industry specific vertical solutions. I am really excited about moving into this sort of role. We have seen great success in this arena with people like Christian Buckley(http://www.buckleyplanet.com/), Benjamin Niaulin (https://www.linkedin.com/in/bniaulin) and Jeremy Thake (https://medium.com/@jthake/latest) providing the IT industry with real world answers, ideas and thought leadership mainly because they are super passionate about what they do.
So, 2017, what does that hold for me. For starters, I’ll be joining the awesome team at Britehouse as a consultant, focusing on productivity enrichment from the 1st Feb. I’m super amped about this.
You will still be able to find me on:
Twitter: Alistair Pugin
My Podcast: 2 Guys and SharePoint
The Information Worker User Group
And a few more exciting initiatives launching in the first quarter of 2017.
See you all in 2017!!
Be cool my ninja’s.