For the past several weeks, since taking on the responsibility for hosting Peer Incite research meetings, I've been looking for IT professionals with interesting stories to tell, who are willing to go public and present at upcoming meetings. I'm looking for the vexing challenges that practitioners faced and how they solved them.
Today I was asked a question that I hadn't been asked before, so I thought I should post it here in order to solicit the communities' thoughts, while also sharing my opinions. Here's the question:
What's in it for me?
That's a good question. Here are my top 10:
- People have brands. Presenting at a Peer Incite research meeting will enhance your personal brand.
- Companies have brands. Presenting a solution that you designed or selected, and your company has implemented, will position your company to your customers as a thought leader in IT best practices.
- Every IT solution has corner cases, where it simply shouldn't be used. It's impossible to know everything, even about the solutions you have selected, and unless you are the first and only company to implement the solution, the collective community knows more than any single individual. You can avoid missteps by hearing from others who have identified the corner cases.
- Surprise, surprise...sometimes supplier marketing exceeds real-world capabilities. This is almost a derivative of the previous item, but not quite. When you've bought a Swiss Army knife, and you're happy with the straight blade, and you're thinking that you might use the saw blade to cut down a tree in the future, it's really good to get a reality check from someone who has tried.
- Suppliers need to hear from you. They will build better solutions for you in the future if they hear more about your challenges today.
- It's better to give than receive, and you can show the world that you are, in fact, an eleemosynary individual.
- IT industry analysts spend a good part of each day listening to and dissecting supplier pitches, supplier positioning, and competitive dynamics, and forecasting the overall IT market direction. They will participate in the calls and offer their perspectives...at no charge. Typically they charge a lot.
- You'll get a 360-degree view. Other participants on the call will include IT professionals like yourself, financial analysts, design engineers and developers from suppliers (including those that offer alternative approaches to the one you implemented), and solutions engineers from value-added resellers.
- You'll reach a huge audience and have greater impact. If you've spoken at an industry conference, this will be much bigger. While each call varies, there may be more than 100 participants dialing in on the call. In addition, several hundred more will watch the live streaming video. The video and audio streams will be archived and available for replay, eventually reaching thousands of listeners.
- No one gets hurt, and everything is open. After the call, a minimum of six research notes will be published by the analysts, providing perspectives for CIOs, asset managers, IT practitioners, and suppliers. They will be posted on Wikibon, and if errors are made in the posts, you can correct them. You can also contribute your own post. All of these are also distributed in the next edition of the Peer Incite Newsletter.
Action Item: If you have an idea for a Peer Incite research meeting, contact me directly at email@example.com. Please provide the topic, the speaker, and the company. If your company has a policy against using their name in a public forum, that restriction can be accommodated.
When chairing Peer Incites, I check my competitive hat at the door. That said, I do serve as an independent, non-investor director at StorMagic and a board advisor at Starboard Storage Systems. I also serve as an external advisor to numerous companies. I maintain a list of current, active clients on my company's website: WaldenTech. I have worked on all sides of the industry:
Organizations who wish to share confidential information with me should execute a mutual non-disclosure agreement between their company and Walden Technology Partners, Inc. I am not an employee of Wikibon, and although a frequent contributor am not covered by their non-disclosure agreement.
Organizations that wish to participate in a Peer Incite research meeting, but, for competitive reasons, do not wish to have me chair the meeting, should contact the Wikibon office.