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The Season is Changing

Outside the weather has distinctly transformed from warm long days to crisp autumn. With it comes short showers, falling leaves and a smell of crisp wet air. Everyone in New England looks forward to these few weeks between summer and winter where the air has dried up and the landscape is brilliant with color, the last reminders to enjoy the outdoors before winter begins.

Growing up in Arizona, there was no anticipation of seasons or longing for winters to end. We had two seasons: Hot and Really Hot. Well, that may be more of an exaggeration but I remember not thinking about the leaves changing or looking forward to the fresh green of just budding trees and flowers. There is a different kind of appreciate for what is around you when you know it is fleeting.

Like every fall, since moving to New England, I am excited for the beginning of this new season and look forward to the first snow fall. I know come March that “new” feeling will be fleeting and once again summer will be beckoning, but for now I’ll enjoy the fresh autumn air and the anticipation of that first snow.

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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

 

Backup vs. Continuous Data Protection

personal-cloudOver the past couple of weeks, I have run into the same question from many of our customers: “Do I need CDP and can EMC help?” so I wanted to take a moment to go through this concept from a high level view.

Customers often have a need to make a secondary copy of their primary data for either regulatory compliance or security against lost/theft/corruption.  This is typically done in the form of a “backup” or offline secondary copy.  Most of these “copies” are done in batch shifts either off hours or during slow times during the day, and companies are able to keep multiple copies of this data to have different instances to recover from.

Another way customers are protecting themselves is through replication, either asynchronous(batch) or synchronous(every write is duplicated).  In this manner, the company would have a secondary exact copy of the primary data offsite.  The benefit of this type of recovery plan is that you now have a fully executable copy that does not need to be recovered from in order to use so that in the case of a true disaster the time that the company is “down” is minimized.  But, there is only a single copy of the data so if there were any deletions or corruptions of the data that was replicated onto the second device.

What CDP does is combine the benefits of synchronous replication so that there is close to zero data loss with batch backups in that you have multiple copies of the data. And, because we are tracking the data for every write done, customers are able to recover to any point in time, not just when the batch jobs were created.  This provides a huge advantage to companies where data loss of any type cannot happen.

So, is this right for you?  I have to assume every company wants zero data loss in the case of a disaster, but the real question is what is your data worth?  CDP is one of the more expensive types of backup/disaster recovery and so the conversations I have with my customers is around what the cost of loosing that data is and then determining if the cost of CDP outweighs the cost of loosing this data.

Want to learn more? – Click here to register!

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

The New-Age consumer and how I bought a house without an agent

In an earlier post, I wrote about how the consumer market is changing.  No longer are we dependant on Sales Reps telling us why we need their products and solutions.  The internet has made us smarter and we not only are doing our own market research, but we are demanding it.

This past weekend epitomized this new phenom in my life and solidified my ideas that we as sales reps need to be adapting to the way our consumers make decisions.  After months of toil, and many many offers, my husband and I finally signed on a house!  (Yes, yes…applause everywhere!)  This experience was exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time, and how we did it was against the tradition of hiring an agent to represent us.

After the first month of house searching, my husband and I quickly realized that our agent wasn’t working for us.  Being of a generation very aware of the internet and our digital resources we always knew about houses on the market before he did.  Additionally, one of the major reasons for utilizing an agent (understanding the market and how to price a house) completely failed as we were often 10’s of thousands of dollars off when putting in offers.  I could have done better at choosing prices by playing darts blindfolded.

This is when we decided to try our hand at Redfin and their technology focused, consumer driven sales engine.  Now, we were in charge of our destiny and I’ll tell you first hand..it was empowering. 

Everyday my husband and I got a list of new houses on the market.  We would shift through everything and find the ones that matched what we were looking for and make appointments to see the houses online through Redfin’s app.  Then, someone nice from the company would meet us at the house to let us in, allowing us the time to do a thorough inspection on our own terms.  For the houses we liked, we could put in an offer digitally through their app again…and then Dennis (our assigned Redfin agent) would give us a quick call to go over everything (15 minutes max).  It was so easy, and I never felt sold to or harassed for taking my time in finding the right place that would soon be our home.

Were there challenges in finding a home this way?  Absolutely! – but, they are all challenges I don’t believe having a traditional agent would have mitigated and this way we made part of the commission back!

Technology is allowing us as consumers become more educated in the products we are purchasing and business, like Redfin, who take advantage of this changing model are going to continue to see an influx in customer base for this ease of use.

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Made by Me

madeWhen was the last time you looked at the bottom of some merchandize to see where it was manufactured?  In an eye opening conversation with one of my uncles a few months back, I realized that we are no longer “outsourcing” as much manual labor overseas as we are to ourselves. 

Take for example Ikea; we purchase pre-fabbed household furniture that WE assemble ourselves.  “We” are the manual labor. In an effort to cut labor and drive down product costs, consumers have chosen to take on this burden themselves.  I for one am ok with this and am a huge fan of Ikea.  I feel very accomplished with my crooked end tables and chairs with missing screws (enjoy sitting at that breakfast table!)

Additionally, we have seen grocery stores and airports take on this shift of labor from the supplier to the consumer with self-service checkout and digital kiosks. Technology continues to become more invasive in consumerism and easier to replace commodity tasks. 

As we move into this new frontier of “made by me” are we giving up quality or are we gaining the freedom of personal accomplishment and satisfaction?

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Missed the Announcement? Check out EMC Speed to Lead here

bnr_midrange_launchday

Did you miss out this week on EMC’s big Announcement?  Catch up here on EMC TV:

http://www.emc.com/microsites/speed2lead/index-int.htm

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2013 in Uncategorized