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Category Archives: Life

Parenting in the Digital Age

When my son Nolan was born, now 8 months ago, I had this idealized image of how I wanted to parent.  I wanted to give him 100% of me, no phones/computers/tv interrupting our precious bonding time together.  Working full time, we only have a few hours together and I wanted to make the most of it.

8 months later, the tides have changed.  While I still try to give him 100% of my attention, I haven’t really gotten that far away from technology and am amazed at how quickly this new generation is adapting to technology.

Take for example the iPad.  My son, in his very small time here, has already learned that he can “talk” to family members on the other side.  We have completely migrated off all cell phone use while at home and instead communicate exclusively via Skype and Facetime.  Nolan has learned the sound of the ring tone vs. others in our house and will perk up excitedly and crawl over to talk with his grandparents.  Additionally, when he is really upset, we will purposely call grandma and grandpa and he will immediately calm down and start to play with them. (Apparently, mommy is only fun for so long).

Then comes the notion of no TV/Internet.  Nolan is fascinated with our computers and it makes me challenge the idea that interacting with modern technology is necessarily a bad thing.  My generation wasn’t really immersed into technology the same way that today’s generation is and we are considered to be technology pros.  Is it a bad thing to want my son to have experience on digital devices and start learning the skills that will make him competitive when he is older?

There are a lot of pros and cons to technology and children, I think moving forward I need to learn to be more flexible and help my son learn while still providing the mommy time I cherish.

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Posted by on November 5, 2013 in Life

 

Do sales reps expect more from other sales reps?

In most industries, professionals hate working with their own kind.  This is especially true when you talk to doctors as they tend to self diagnose.  This leads me to wonder, do sales reps do the same?

Over the past week I have had the privilege of trying to hire contractors to do various jobs around our new house; from new flooring and replacing the carpets upstairs to updating all of our single pane windows.  These are all real jobs with real money already saved and allocated for that no one seems interested in working for. 

In sales, there are four major categories we are looking for to understand if the sale is legitimate: Money (budget is allocated), Timeframe (relatively soon), Need (reason job needs to be done) and Authority (who holds the purse strings).  In any other circumstance I would expect this to be highly qualified and sales reps jumping at the opportunity to work with us.  Instead, I practically have to beg for contractor’s attention and absolutely zero follow through.  So I come back, am I just expecting too much out of an industry that has yet to take on a real sales process?

What I look for when selecting a company or contractor:

  • Access to technology.  It’s the 21st century people, learn to use a computer.
  • Follow through.  Why should I trust you on the job if you can’t respond to an email?
  • Recommendations.  Listen to I want and expand on what I’m thinking, it’s not hard to have an opinion.

What I’ve learned most this week: treat others the way you want to be treated.  Hopefully these experiences just make me better for the customers I interact with.

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2013 in Life

 

Making Time

In a world where long hours and always being on are expected how do you learn to balance the demands and challenges present with work with being always available to your family?  This is a dilemma many of my “working moms” friends discuss.  How do you find time to be there for the major milestones your children are going through?

With more women challenging the idea that you can “do it all” or be “superwoman”, I am finding that companies are becoming more flexible to help accommodate this new generation of working mothers.  Gone are the days where young parents are willing to work 50-60 hours in the office to get ahead in their careers, instead we are starting to see demands for flexibility in how and when we work.  Additionally, families are choosing careers that offer balance in schedules.

How are we doing this?  By choosing companies that respect and help young families balance and have a focus on flexibility to achieve family harmony and a successful career. 

In my current role, our team was challenged with covering all US hours: 8 am EST to 6 pm PST.  Unfortunately, this would normally mean missing dinner and bedtime with my son.  Instead of having to make a case around family unity and the importance of this time together, our management team suggested a schedule that allows me to take 4 hours in the evening to do “family time” and meet the needs of the business.

Our generation is redefining not only gender roles, but the way we interact with our companies and are demanding that businesses understand our priorities around the family unit.  I am excited to be a part of a new age where career progression and family unity can co-exist.

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2013 in Life

 

High Availability

Well, today is going to be a big day for blogging.  In a company that stresses the importance of high availability and continuous availability the unthinkable happened…we lost access to the internet.  Before today, I didn’t realize how dependant we have become on this availability.  IT in general has touted the benefits of “the cloud” around cost savings and availability, allowing companies to take advantage of economies of scale and share IT costs with other businesses.  But, what happens the day your internet provider loses connectivity?  If you are like us, the business goes down.  While we will not lose any of our critical business data, we are losing valuable business hours.  Without access to any of our business applications, I can tell you I am at a loss at what to do today.  So, I will continue to write as I have had very little time to do so lately.  Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2013 in Life

 
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The Online Diet

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For those who didn’t know, I was blessed with the birth of my son Nolan in February of this year.  He has been a joyous addition to our family and makes every day more amazing.  That being said, his first few months were not easy ones.  He was born three weeks early, or more evicted because I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia, and then while at home he had been very colicky and hard to settle.

Fast-forward two months, and we were able to determine that he has food allergies!  Which, I had no idea that babies only drinking milk could get.  Unfortunately, what that means for me is a diet free of dairy and soy!  This ended up being far harder than one would think.  For some random reason, the food industry lobbied congress for subsidies in Soy products, and so it is found as filler in everything.  What we have had to do then is eliminate all processed foods from our house replacing them with good old fashioned home cooking.  But, how do you cook without dairy?

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This is where the internet has become an integral part of my daily life.  Apparently, this diet is not that uncommon and happens to enough new moms that there are a ton of helpful recipes and resources for those trying to go dairy and soy free.   While the new textures and flavors took some time to get used to, I am grateful for the new recipes and ability to step away from boring meals and keep breads and desserts in my diet.  (Mostly the desserts!)  So here is a big thanks to the many mom’s out there keeping blogs about their experiences and proliferating useful recipes.

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2013 in Life

 

Would you buy IT online…we’re betting on it!

shop_online The way consumers’ purchase has changed. We are no longer a society destined to weekend getaways at the mall and long drawn out sales negotiations at car dealers. We have become smarter in the way we research and make decisions in our everyday lives and have taken advantage of technology to ease the way we shop. With all this technology at our disposal, why then would we expect our business habits to be any different from our personal ones?

What we are discovering is that they are not. More IT decision makers are active online today than ever before, taking advantage of discussion boards and social media outlets before ever engaging vendors. In a recent poll done by LinkedIn, IT professionals are 3X more likely to be engaged online in social outlets than their peers. We are becoming more educated in what our competition is doing, and how to leverage technology to beat them.

Why then are more IT manufacturers and distributors not adapting to this new purchasing model? I expect to be able to go to Nordstroms.com and purchase new shoes and enjoy haggling for my new car through Jeep’s online purchasing department, so one would assume that I would also like to do all my IT purchasing online as well.

While most IT companies are still resistant to this new reality, EMC listens and adapts. The Web & Inbound Sales Team (my new team!) is proof. Gone are the frustrating call center phones that require a customer or prospect to navigate through 10+ prompts and transfers to finally talk to the right team. Now, we have a single phone number that is directed right to our sales team regardless of where in the world you are calling from. Additionally, we have introduced our online store (store.emc.com) where customers can look at different configurations, baseline pricing and request quotes. I am so excited to be a part of a team that is revolutionizing Inbound, dedicating itself to thought leadership, and responding to our customers’ changing buying habits.

As technology becomes ever more accessible, why wouldn’t you want to adapt for your customers.

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2013 in Life

 

How the cloud is transforming the housing market

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My husband and I have just started to think about buying a house again. We had owned our own place back in Tucson, but being first time home owners didn’t realize how naive we were while hunting and settled on a house that ended up needing a lot of TLC. Additionally, we were put off by the entire home buying process then and in subsequent years while searching here on the east coast.

We are a very tech-savy couple, like most of those in our generation, and as such utilize the various online tools available to us while searching for homes. What this means is that we already know EVERYTHING that is on the market, current buying trends and how much houses in different neighborhoods are going for. By the time we bring in a realtor it is just to see the houses we want, making their job practically obsolete. So why then am I paying them 3% of the total price of the house? Are they really doing $3-5K of work? Additionally, are they really working for us? When your commission is based on the total price of the house sold, my guess is no. In Boston, houses can and do sell for $50K less than asking pricing which comes out to around $1500. Realtors would like you to think that they are on your side and that the final price doesn’t make a huge difference in their commissions; but, being in sales and working on a commission base I can tell you $1500 is a huge motivator.

Enter technology and cloud based realtors! I’m talking about Redfin, which has over the past couple of days become one of my favorite tools for house hunting. They completely understand the ‘new’ home buyer and have built their business around the tech-savy consumer; allowing me to do all of the grunt-work of the sales cycle. Their sales rep’s are all salaried with bonuses based off of customer satisfaction, and at the end of the sale they refund their customers the 3% commission! I love this new model! So thanks Redfin for understanding the amazing power of cloud technology and building a business around today’s consumer.

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2013 in Life