At their core, entrepreneur CEOs aren’t so much salespeople as human bridges, leading customers away from a problem and towards a solution. Sometimes, however, those solutions can change while the customer is halfway across the bridge, necessitating some quick thinking and realignment. Technology as a whole has been one of the most challenging paces presented to entrepreneurs. Successfully representing tech solutions requires hard work, intensive research, and an unprecedented familiarity with customers’ business practices.
Hot Off the Digital Presses
Printing is a clear example of just how much things can change in a very short period of time. In 1998, the shift from analog to digital adoption shook the printing world, allowing offices to create marketing materials, reports, and more with incredible ease. As those needs began to outgrow simple office equipment a scant decade later, managed print services happily took the reins.
In less than ten years, the demand and solutions for printing grew from a humble, slow-as-molasses experience reserved for well-to-do offices to a full-featured service that, in some cases, is now as easy to order as a pizza.
The Roots of Digital Infrastructure
Robust phone systems were an absolute must for larger companies in the 1980s and 1990s. Each worker needed to have not only their own extension on a corporate phone line, but their own desk phone, as well. As the 90s gave way to the new millennium, high-level executives might have even been given a company cell phone. Each of these necessities became a natural fit for entrepreneurs, who came bearing branded phone systems, corporate cell phone plans, and more.
Today, the idea of a huge, branded phone system is nearly as outdated as an original dot matrix printer. VOiP, or “voice over internet protocol,” is the prevailing approach to phone systems, which often don’t require traditional telephones at all. Instead, entrepreneurs offer products like SaaS, or “software as a service” approaches that incorporate messaging systems on work computers for inter-departmental communication. For customer service solutions, headsets that interface with the VOiP system plug directly into computers – no phone required.
Those coveted work cell phones have given way to apps on personal smartphones, an extension of the BYOD, or “bring your own device” movement in business. A smaller, though no less important angle on SaaS, today’s entrepreneur might highlight digital features, such as bluetooth connection and in-app messaging, rather than physical features found in previous incarnations of work technology gadgets.
The On-Call IT Department
While not precisely SaaS, the physical on-the-payroll IT department has evolved as well. Rather than having a presence in the office, remote connectivity has opened up a whole new world of services and solutions for computer workstations. Managed IT services, purchased on timed contracts, allow workers to call in and describe problems to a rotating call center-like roster of IT professionals.
These IT workers can then connect directly with the computer in question and implement nearly any fix from afar, short of unplugging the computer. Abraham Thomas believes that the contracts and ability of these new remote workers make an attractive proposition for modern entrepreneurs, if the growth of the approach has anything to say about it.
An entrepreneur CEO finds their strength in adapting to the market and client needs: technology included. Treating the world like a nail and their product like a hammer isn’t good salesmanship in 2019; according to Abraham Thomas, Director Sales & Marketing at Intrinsic Technology Group, “to succeed, entrepreneurs need to recognize, appreciate, and adapt to change”. The upside? When they do, their VOiP-connected, remote-IT-managed, SaaS-infused phone is likely to be ringing off the hook.