I took the decision to “go down a gear” after having spent 2 years, as employee number 2 in Europe, building the VMware brand. Flying all over Europe convincing partners and customers that virtualization was the way forward, building a team of local marketers and being part of a cult-like movement was invigorating, challenging and exhausting! Having done much the same for the previous 5 ½ years at Citrix, it was time for a change. Telling my EMEA VP that I was leaving was a bit like asking my husband for a divorce – we’d worked so closely both at VMware and previously at Citrix – it was very hard to leave him, my team and the company. But the world of consulting beckoned and I was looking forward to spending more time with my family, dogs and horses (not necessarily in that order by the way!). hiviz-marketing was born in February 2005 and by the end of that month I had secured my first two customers – Platform Computing and VirtualizeIT (that was subsequently sold to Virtustream).
I have been lucky, and privileged, to have worked with some amazing technology and some fantastic people. My criteria for working with clients is 3-fold; 1. I have to believe in the technology, 2. I have to like the people and 3. They can’t compete with another client – as a “me, myself and I” business I can never have conflicts of interest or anyone questioning my integrity. The thing I love about what I do is that I continue to learn; when working for one company you sometimes get sucked into the corporate culture that involves drinking the kool-aid, along with the bureaucracy and politics. In my role, I ensure I don’t get involved in that and remain objective. By working with different companies and technology I get a much more holistic view of our industry and can offer advice and guidance with objectivity; versus the subjective view you generally get when being an employee.
The companies I work/have worked with have primarily been US start-ups entering the EMEA market and, mainly, within the VMware eco-system. Many of them have gone on to be acquired (Vizioncore by Quest, then Dell, ScriptLogic by Quest,) some have disappeared off the radar (PanoLogic) and some continue to disrupt and provide immense value to their customer base (Liquidware Labs, Nutanix, PernixData). I’ve witnessed many technology movements and my role as a VMUG leader also provides me exposure to many new technologies that sponsor our meetings and annual user conference. The other clear movement is the advancements made in storage during the past 10 years. A techie friend said to me in the late “noughties” that he didn’t see longevity for companies like Atlantis as SSDs would negate the need for their solution, which goes to show there is space for differing solutions.
With a rear view mirror, many of the disruptive innovators in those early days are now major players, with billions of dollars in revenue. VMware is obviously the main one. Some people today think that VMware was an easy sale, a “no brainer”, but creating a market, changing mindsets of IT managers and CIOs is an uphill and a constant challenge. Brian Madden recently wrote an article and claimed:
“The same is true for VMware in server virtualization in the early early-to-mid 2000s. …… This stuff was obvious, it was necessary, and it sold itself.”
I HAD to post a comment on this article because this is such a typical view of someone that wasn’t involved in the hard slog and just sees the results of a successful company and puts that success down to “an easy sell” – WRONG! Looking in the review mirror, yes it’s obvious, yes it was needed, but it took a lot of technical, sales and marketing resource to make it so!
So entering into the next decade of hiviz-marketing, as a 10th anniversary present to me, myself and I, I’ve invested in a new website, please take a look and I hope you like it.
Finally, to all my clients, past, present and future, thank you for giving me the opportunity to work with you – it’s been fun and I look forward to continuing to work with leading-edge, disruptive companies with the most amazing people!! I wonder what the next ten years will bring……….