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Selling to the CIO: Speaking the language of innovation

Selling to the CIO: Speaking the language of innovation

Successfully selling solutions to CIOs requires understanding the language of innovation, says Dell Technologies' Chris Kelly.

Credit: 2103634388 Shutterstock

Providing innovation leadership is becoming a focus for CIOs as they seek to design business transformation projects.

While previously they were stretched thin between implementing the roadmap, supporting existing systems and spending what little time they had left on strategic innovation, 86% of Asia Pacific CIOs are now increasing their focus on innovation, with 84% actively driving transformation initiatives, according to Foundry’s State of the CIO 2022 research.

The change shines a spotlight on the need for partners to use effective solution selling techniques and be able to run multiple conversations in parallel about different initiatives.

Using these methodologies – and offering the latest technologies like Edge Computing – will allow partners to move their proposals up the value chain compared to their competitors.

Changing the conversation with CIOs

According to State of the CIO 2022 research, 41% of CIOs now having revenue responsibility, and therefore improving customer experience is one of the top three drivers for IT investment – the tech stack for interacting with customers is therefore key.  

Partners who take the time to deeply understand the customer’s financial objectives as well as achieving maximum efficiency in IT operations through automation and intelligent infrastructure will achieve sales success.

Dell’s expert partner ecosystem can bring specialist skills to customers to help them accelerate value generation within the business by discussing insights that are relevant to market verticals – specific to healthcare, manufacturing or financial institutions, for example.

Going a level deeper, partners can discuss use cases or workloads that are specific to those verticals which will help achieve segment-specific financial outcomes.  

Some of the things that sales teams can discuss with customers are: how can a particular technology or process deliver improved customer experience? How does it help to extend the competitive advantage? How can it help to generate new revenue streams?

Helping customers achieve their financial objectives is as important as achieving technology objectives, and this is another area where Dell sees a strong alignment with partners who can offer a variety of commercial models ranging from traditional OpEx funding to various financial solutions and newer consumption-based models.

Supporting rapid customer innovation

One of the biggest challenges CIOs are facing in achieving better financial and customer objectives is the proliferation of data being generated in their business.

It’s from sensors, smartphones, building systems, vehicles… put simply, a large proportion of the data is being generated outside traditional centralised data centre facilities.

It’s impractical to transfer data back to centralised data centre facilities to be processed. Instead, Edge infrastructure brings compute power as close as possible to where data is being generated, so it can be analysed in real-time without data transfer delays.

Dell believes the key to successful Edge deployments is in their interconnectedness of geographically distributed components, with simplified remote management and orchestration of the whole system on one common platform. 

Dell has a unique ecosystem that encompasses its own technology matched with the capabilities of industry-leading independent software vendors (ISVs) which provides an agnostic, diversified and customised solution.

Steering the conversation with CIOs toward how Edge deployments can help them generate real-time insights that can be instantly actioned by artificial intelligence and machine learning systems will help demonstrate that IT investment will generate the revenue return CIOs are looking for. 


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