AndrewHoughAndrew Hough, vice-president mid-tier storage sales EMEA, for EMC2.
Big Data is here and getting bigger by the second yet there remains a mixture of fear and mystery about just how powerful a tool this will be for the sales industry.
In The Human Face of Big Data (Against All Odds Productions, by Rick Smolan and Jennifer Erwitt) Dan Gardner’s introduction uses the analogy of Yevgeny Zamyatin’s book We set in the future where D-503 lives in the One State, an urban nation constructed almost entirely of glass, which allows the secret police/spies to inform on and supervise the public more easily. Gardner says Big Data takes this one step further where “...not only the buildings would be made of glass, so will our skulls”.
A frightening thought for many of us born before the advent of personal computers but, argues Andrew Hough, vice-president mid-tier storage sales EMEA, for EMC2 , from now on ignorance is a life-style choice with little place in the commercial sales environment.
Speaking exclusively to SI, Hough said: “We are on the cusp of accepting that ignorance is now no longer an option – it is a choice!
“Now you can manipulate information if you are a CFO, a CIO or a CEO in real time which allows you to make real- time decisions about what you are going to price products at, what you are going to market with, how you’re going to get out there and release a product. For example, airlines can actually look at how much capacity they have right now, for today, and go out with a promotion over the web to customers they know about, in a secure way, and entice people to travel and fill up that capacity.
“It’s making business really flexible, exceptionally agile and it’s giving people the ability to make real-time decisions. That’s really what EMC has evolved into as a sales force, working with our customers to be very hands-on and able to ask, ‘what are you actually trying to achieve with your information?’ If you look at a lot of companies today, you could divide them into two pieces – they are a brand and they are a factory. So if you look at Vodafone, the brand is to generate income and how do we work with them to make them understand how they are going to make more money? Particularly, with the dynamics of the telecom industry, charges for call carrying are going to diminish rapidly over the next few years so, instead, how do you become an interface for data management, how do they become an interface for applications and how do they attract app developers to come and hang out on the Vodafone network so that then they can open up new income streams?
“We would expect our sales teams to be working with the Vodafone IT department to say ‘what’s the next thing we need to be doing with you?’ So over the last 14 years we’ve moved away from people just selling capacity into understanding what people do with information and how we can bring our solutions to bear to help them.”
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