In Episode 24 of Growth Swarm, John Siefert, Bob Evans, Scott Vaughan, and Tony Uphoff offer highlights from the events they attended over the past few weeks, including Google Cloud Next, Oracle CloudWorld, and Community Summit North America.
00:12 — John introduces Bob, Scott, and Tony, and explains how all of them have been at various industry events over the last few weeks. He asks Bob, Scott, and Tony to share a few highlights of the concepts and trends that were prominent at these events and that they have all been recognizing.
01:49 — Bob recently returned from Google Cloud Next and Oracle CloudWorld. The focus of both events was customer needs and customer-centric solutions. Although Google Cloud and Oracle have broad, incredible technology stacks that are worth talking about, the focus on customers is an important theme that will continue to be seen going forward. Evans also found that he was impressed at how the Oracle event was full of partners, partner coalitions, and partner ecosystem elements, which is a great opportunity for the once ruggedly individualistic Oracle, a company that traditionally “didn’t always play well with others in the sandbox.”
03:48 — John says that from viewing Oracle CloudWorld content remotely, he was able to see the strong focus by keynote speakers such as CEO Safra Catz and Co-Founder Larry Ellison on Oracle customers and partners who are enabling more customer wins. Oracle is shifting in perspective from viewing itself as the “overall hero” toward its customers and partner ecosystem.
04:39 — To John’s point about Oracle, Tony says there has been a “profound shift in the way that technology is evaluated, purchased, integrated, and deployed.” The customer-centric point-of-view expressed at Oracle CloudWorld leads to a deeply vertical focus. Oracle’s efforts toward this felt natural. The cloud industry is now in a “multi-cloud, partner-oriented ecosystem world,” and it is phenomenal to see companies adopt a customer-focused model. The concept of “who” takes on “much more complexity” and significance in this conversation, since technology is now delivered as a service.
07:44 — John says his experience at Community Summit North America confirmed the ascension of “who” in conversations and decisions around technology, since many companies now send six or seven people — almost an executive committee — rather than just the CIO. “Who” also came into play in terms of the expansion of the partner ecosystem to a plural “partners” ecosystem, since more partners are needed to help companies work with technology as a service, and this leads to all sorts of co-creation and other opportunities.
09:14 — Scott says that the economic model and relationship with customers have become “one as a service, a subscription on the vendor side, and that is recurring revenue,” but that upwards of 60% of revenue is being generated from existing customers.” People are “waking up to the fact” that customer relationships are formed beyond a level of just sales and marketing and are beginning to consider the entire customer lifecycle, which involves products, operations, and other departments. He says prevailing themes at marketing and sales conferences have been about acquiring more customer data to better serve them.
11:41 — John says that he and Tony were on a call with Cedric Wells, IT Director, Gorilla Glue, who will be speaking at the Cloud Wars Expo in 2023. Wells described the data modernization projects his company is going through and the importance of its partner ecosystem.
12:28 — Tony says that Wells wants to structure his Cloud Wars Expo panel to feature the company’s partner ecosystem. Tony “loves seeing” technology vendors move into an understanding of customer focus, rather than just the features and benefits of a product or service. This will generate “deeper engagement.”
14:46 — John shares a few highlights from Community Summit North America, which took place in Orlando a few weeks back, with about 4,500 users of the Microsoft user system and 100 partners from the Microsoft partner ecosystem. Particularly notable was to see how many companies have already migrated towards cloud-based environments, and they want to know what’s next, which is where partners can help. The fact that Community Summit North America is a “for-user, by-user” event created unique opportunities for collaboration between various attendees.
17:38 — John also says that the attendee feedback confirmed that a lot of this kind of activity couldn’t have happened virtually. It had to happen in person, and it was a “balance between celebration and learning.” That’s what happens when people come back together after a couple of years, and just one of the many advantages of live, in-person events.
20:41 — Bob says that at Oracle CloudWorld, there was a presentation featuring various product leaders who discussed major customer pain points. Now is a remarkable time for tech companies to see the world from the eyes of their customers and “pull in an ecosystem,” rather than venturing into the cloud world alone.
24:06 — John says that customer focus — and the customer demand for companies to create a partner ecosystem — is something that “everybody needs to pay attention to.” John encourages the audience to continue to tune in as different Acceleration Economy analysts will be attending various events over the next few weeks, including BMC Exchange and Celosphere.
Register here for your on-demand pass to view all content from Partners Ecosystem Digital Summit. The digital event, which took place on April 20, focused on analyzing the business and IT imperatives around cloud, AI, automation, data modernization, and cybersecurity that define the future of partnerships.
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