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5 Reasons to Consider Citrix Cloud


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Citrix are rapidly moving towards a cloud-first strategy, with Citrix Cloud providing a single control plane to manage and access all Citrix technologies in the cloud. This has become the fastest and most flexible way to securely deliver applications and data to any device, over any network, whilst simplifying the management your secure digital workspace. If like many, you are assessing where certain workloads best reside, here are 5 reasons we recommend you consider Citrix Cloud…

Unified workspace experience
Citrix’s Cloud strategy is very much a reflection of their core strategy; to build the world’s best integrated technology services for secure delivery of apps and data. Citrix Cloud helps unite and integrate all of the Citrix technologies to deliver a more unified administration, delivery and user experience. 

Adapt to changing demands
Today’s workforce are increasingly mobile – using an increasing amount of devices, from a multitude of locations. However, it is becoming increasingly complex for IT to manage mobile workspace infrastructure – with multiple applications to install, ever-changing user bases to account for, challenges in forecasting capacity, constant installing of updates and investing in infrastructure to meet changing and unpredictable demands. A cloud-based strategy helps to solve these problems and in the process reduces complexity, and provides a simple way to deploy and manage secure mobile workspace solutions. This is where Citrix Cloud comes in to help you at any point in your cloud journey… 

Flexibility across any cloud
For many businesses, supporting a multi-cloud IT strategy continues to be a dominant trend with 82% of businesses stating that they have a multi-cloud approach across private, public or hybrid cloud environments. Citrix Cloud gives you the flexibility of choice. You are able to host your apps and data on any cloud or infrastructure platform you choose, whilst having the ability to leverage a common management plane across all Citrix environments. 

Faster time to value
Citrix Cloud is arguably the fastest way to deploy Citrix technology, taking just hours as opposed to weeks to deploy. Essentially, Citrix Cloud is a cloud management service uniting multiple Citrix products. The cloud service is operated by Citrix, and contains all of the management functions that ordinarily would have had to be installed and provisioned separately. The value is that Citrix has already deployed – and integrated – these services into Citrix Cloud so in many cases, all you need to do is activate, configure and deploy them to deliver a secure digital workspace solution. 

Simplified management
Using Citrix Cloud is intuitive. The idea is for you to spend less time learning, integrating, installing and managing – and instead focus on other more important, or strategic IT projects. This approach means reduced infrastructure, centralised control, and SaaS-style updates, which in turn contributes to lower administration cost and complexity. In addition, by simplifying management across multiple Citrix locations, you are able to optimise performance, data sovereignty, compliance and network latency.

Earlier this year at Citrix Summit, the launch of Citrix Cloud Accelerator; a comprehensive set of transition and trade-up offers for customers who own existing XenApp or XenDesktop licenses was announced for those who want to move to Citrix Cloud. If you are  considering Citrix Cloud services as a strategy for your business, there really is no better time..

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Blog, Citrix, Cloud Hosting, IT Solutions, News, Technology, Uncategorized

Citrix Summit Tech Series – HDX . NOW & .NEXT


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Sitting in the airport on the way home from Citrix Summit, I found myself mulling over all the cool announcements and updates that had been shared and how exciting being a Citrix mobile workspace architect will be this year. So I thought I would start a blog series and cover some of these topics. Over the next few weeks keep tuned for an architects view on what’s new and exciting from Citrix in 2017.

My core ethos for virtual desktop and application delivery architectures are easy to follow;
deliver an amazing end user experience and be simple to manage.

After this the rest seems to take care of itself (with the right amount of thought and planning) but its these reasons that keep me coming back to Citrix and in delivering the first ethos the HDX protocol is key (and king). Now there are many aspects of HDX that would warrant putting pen to paper but its ability to deliver on the visual elements are what the user will see every time they interact. So let’s have a look at what’s going on here and to start I think a recap on the last 6 months and XenDesktop 7.11 is needed.

HDX.NOW
So HDX.NOW (my term not Citrix) has had some very nice updates in the XenDesktop versions since 7.6 that enable choice for the admin and deliver exceptional end user experiences. Specifically though before 7.11 we had two main (not limited to) protocol modes, but had to make a choice as the session started on which to use, these were known as:

  •  264 (Thinwire Advanced or SuperCodex)
    Great for Video playback and delivering a great user experience but at a cost of CPU on the server side VDA
  • Thinwire+
    Great for more static text environments. Great on server side VDA resource and great for older or low powered end point devices.

With the release of XenDesktop 7.11 we have a new mode known as Adaptive Display v2 that removes the need for administrators to make that upfront choice. This new mode is simply activated by a policy allowing HDX to run Thinwire+ by default and then switch dynamically to H.264 when it detects moving images within the users session or application. This can be seen in the image below, red and blue are ThinWire regions while the green videos will be rendered by h.264.

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This really cool advancement ensures maximum server side scale, least network bandwidth usage and the best end user experience regards less of content type. Delivering on both my primary ethos at the same time! For more info on this see this Citrix blog.

It’s not just for video that HDX.NOW is providing an amazing user experience. Checkout the video below I recorded at Summit with the amazing guys in the Demo Sandbox.

 

What we are seeing here XenDesktop HDX 3D Pro, Windows10, Nvidia GRID and a Raspberry Pi for the end point, delivering seamless 3D graphics.

HDX is working over only 5Mbps of bandwidth and delivering full screen real time 3D rendering with smooth and responsive interactions (even with me trying to master a 3D space mouse for the first time), HDX reduces the image quality during motion and then builds back to a pixel perfect lossless image when you stop moving. This build to lossless technology allows precise movements in high powered applications with zero quality loss when viewing.

These are just two great feature of the HDX.NOW that showcase some of the power HDX is delivering to customers right now. Now you might think that with such amazing results from the existing HDX protocol that Citrix would sit tight and rest for a while, but this is not the case.

Spending some time with the product guys for HDX revealed what they are calling HDX.NEXT, a complete and revolutionary upgrade to HDX that will be available in the next release of XenDesktop. Having watched demos of XenDesktop running HDX.NEXT over 250ms latency and 1% packet loss I can say the results are amazing. Quicker in most tests that a fat client PC, quicker video response, quicker file transfers and smoother graphics, it’s a game changer for virtual desktops for sure.

On top of the amazing performance increases we also get a 60% (yes sixty) reduction in bandwidth usage and a small increase in server density!! Simply incredible news. Don’t believe me see the results from LoginVSI testing below.

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The continued improvements in HDX over the last few years have ensured the solutions we deliver continue to meet our customers end user demands and keep the ICT teams delivering on the original promises of the solution. The world of end user computing is ever changing and the demands on bandwidth and datacenter server capacity ever increasing, HDX is fighting back and remains a core component for delivering our ‘Better than a PC’ experience.

Want to see this and all the announcements from Summit? Come to one of our free update events, network with peers and see how Citrix are delivering on Cloud, Security and User Mobility in 2018.

robRob Sims – Senior Solution Architect
Rob helps customers to understand their business challenges, and guides them to leverage technology as a mechanism for change.

Blog, Citrix, Cloud Hosting, IT Solutions, News, Our Upcoming Events, Technology, Uncategorized

Citrix Summit 2017


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This week I attended Citrix’s annual partner conference – Citrix Summit – in Anaheim, California. As a specialist Citrix Platinum partner, we attend the event each year to ensure we are primed to inform our customers about the latest updates, announcements, vision and roadmap. You can register here to hear Cetus and Citrix deliver the very latest updates from Citrix Summit. 

The event kicked off with a vision keynote which allowed the senior leadership team at Citrix, lead by president and CEO Kirill Tatarinov, to offer perspective on industry transformation and position Citrix’s vision for helping customers leverage innovation and strategic partnerships in 2017 to achieve business objectives and outcomes.

Throughout the entirety of the keynote, tech talks and the numerous breakout tracks, Citrix’s strategy was clear and consistent. To provide integrated technology services that make apps and data secure and easy to access, and as a result help organisations of all sizes achieve the speed and agility necessary to grow and succeed in a rapidly changing world.

Within the content, some key themes emerged and took predominant focus in my opinion; Citrix’s Cloud Strategy, the strategic partnership with Microsoft, and integration of solutions (in terms of user experience and administration).

Citrix’s Cloud Strategy
There is no hesitation that Citrix are rapidly moving towards a cloud-first strategy, with Citrix Cloud providing a single place to access all Citrix technologies in the cloud. It’s quickly becoming the fastest, simplest and most flexible way to deliver Citrix technology to any device over any network – therefore a very interesting and attractive update was the launch of Citrix Cloud Accelerator; a comprehensive set of transition and trade-up offers for customers who own existing XenApp or XenDesktop licenses and want to move to Citrix Cloud. Also made available is a XenApp on Azure Cost Calculator, which is a tool that Cetus can help you use to provide you with a complete set of cost estimates for deploying Citrix XenApp on Microsoft Azure. In addition, a new Citrix Ready HCI Workspace Appliance Program was launched that enables hyper-converged appliances from hardware and storage partners to connect into Citrix Cloud.

Strategic partnership with Microsoft
Over the past year, Citrix and Microsoft have built the foundations and now Citrix are stepping it up a gear to further accelerate their joint innovation.

– The integration of Citrix NetScaler Unified Gateway with Microsoft Intune
Citrix unveil the integration of NetScaler Unified Gateway with Microsoft EMS. Together, Citrix and Microsoft joined forces to deliver to our customers a solution that offers conditional access for mobile users.  Conditional access delivers an added level of security for mobile users which helps customers protect their on-premise resources

– The launch of XenApp Essentials and XenDesktop Essentials
Available in the Azure Marketplace, XenApp Essentials and XenDesktop Essentials make it easier for customers to accelerate secure app delivery and cloud-based Windows 10 VDI, empowering IT to align apps and desktop services with business needs, while delivering the superior experience, reliability and value associated with XenApp and XenDesktop.

– Collaboration between Citrix & Microsoft on Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS)
The expanded Citrix partnership with Microsoft includes powerful collaboration to significantly enhance value for Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) customers with Citrix capabilities for delivering enterprise-grade productivity combined with device and data security managed over the network. This Azure-based Citrix solution for EMS will include micro-VPN capability for secure, identity-based access to on-premises applications on EMS managed devices, providing the most comprehensive mobility solution available in the market. In addition, later this year, the solution will also include versions of Citrix market-leading productivity apps, such as Secure Mail and Secure Web that customers will be able to manage with EMS.

Wrapping up this blog for now on the note of integration. At this years Summit there was a big focus on integration of solutions, from both an end user experience and an administration perspective, echoed in a joined up product strategy. To find out more, and hear what we feel are the most pressing updates, make sure you register for our update events, taking place in various locations throughout the UK.

Register for our upcoming cloud events, where we will demonstrate how the cloud can transform your work environment.

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Blog, Cloud, Cloud Hosting, IT Solutions, Technology, Uncategorized

Rugby Union… Who is more important the Forwards or the Backs?


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Spending the afternoon with some old school pals the conversation led onto rugby (as tends to happen with the group)…with a Kiwi, an Irish man and some Englishmen in the group when the question of who the best player of all time comes up there is always heated debate. The destructive running of Jonah Lomu, the legendary game control of Brian O’Driscoll, the boot of Jonny Wilkinson – the argument goes round and round and finally the conversation leads to the unsung heroes…

The forwards that set the whole platform for enabling some of the poster boys of international rugby to succeed… Richie McCaw, Brian O’Connell and recently for England Maro Itoje all come out as those stalwarts of the pack that put the team on the front foot. Without securing the ball, making the hard yards and carrying out lots of unseen work the back line will not function. To the none expert pundit (like me) a lot of the work of the pack in rugby is in fact “invisible” yet without it the output of scoring the points would not happen and quite often these players will have the game of their careers by being “invisible!”

This week I was away at a conference where the main topic of conversation was around IT infrastructure… The debate of on premise, or cloud or hybrid infrastructure solutions was an area of keen debate and the desire to have easily manageable infrastructure solutions that can be deployed and scaled quickly without disruption, in other words, made “invisible” to the business and customers was taking front stage.

This did get me thinking of how a direct comparison can be drawn between the unseen work of the forwards in rugby to a well-managed and deployed IT infrastructure. Taking the comparison one step further, the applications that are delivering the core business function to the end user can be compared to the back line that are kicking the points and scoring the tries. It is all too easy to blame the pack in rugby for not getting the service out to the backs and this is why the Tries are not flowing freely. When applications are running quickly and as they should no thought is put into the infrastructure that they are running on, it is taken for granted, it is invisible and yet when things start to creak and groan all end users become experts and point the finger firmly at the IT team and their infrastructure.

In the modern world of IT infrastructure the customer has a great deal of choice as to what shape that platform takes: traditional on premise servers, converged infrastructure, hyper converged infrastructure, private cloud, hybrid cloud and public cloud… there is no blanket right or wrong answer it is making sure you have a full understanding of what platform / platforms you need to deliver the correct service to the end users (or try scorers) is in place to maximise their productivity and success.

When Cetus first engage with any customer they spend a great deal of time discussing and helping set up your pack…With knowledge and experience across the breadth and depth of infrastructure solutions Cetus are perfectly positioned to help you make sure the decisions you are making now are the best for your business. We can help you ensure you can continue to offer an excellent IT infrastructure to ensure your business applications are running to optimal performance to help the business deliver its key goals (or score its Tries.)

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Our agile infrastructure solutions are built on the pretence of making IT infrastructure invisible – giving you the ultimate flexibility and scale to respond rapidly to your changing business needs and demands. With the intention of lowering risk to your business and lowering your total cost of ownership – allowing your IT team to focus on important business initiatives and driving innovation throughout the business, knowing that their infrastructure solution is ready for anything.
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Take a look at our Agile Infrastructure solutions

 

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Blog, Microsoft, Technology, Uncategorized

Future Decoded – The Microsoft Security Story


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Change has been the only constant in 2016 – with Brexit, and a change of prime minister, notably creating a great deal of noise and uncertainty around the future of the UK economy. With 44% of UK business leaders indicating their current business models will not exist in 5 years and predictions intensifying that we are entering the fourth industrial revolution, it is increasingly apparent that as businesses we must understand change, explore transformation and adapt in order to avoid extinction.

So, it came as no surprise the key theme of Microsoft’s annual UK event Future Decoded was centred on digital transformation. Whilst Microsoft’s core mission remains unchanged – to empower every organisation and every person to achieve more – the first day of Future Decoded focused less on the things we know that Microsoft do consistently well – providing rich user experiences, suites of applications, and intuitive interfaces, and instead cemented their strategy around security and proved how Microsoft are enabling business and digital transformation.

But it wasn’t just Microsoft’s strategy around security that took centre stage. During one of the opening keynotes, the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, formally launched the government’s new National Cyber Security Strategy, which sets out decisive action that we will be taking to protect the UK economy, the privacy of British citizens, whilst encouraging and equipping industry to prevent damaging cyber-attacks.

The Chancellor recognised that cyber security is one of the greatest threats to business around the world – with the global cost of crimes estimated at in excess of $445 billion. However, the Chancellor predicts that this new strategy underpinned by £1.9 billion of investment will position the UK as one of the safest places in the world to do business – perhaps a compelling reason for businesses to remain in the UK instead of fleeing in the aftermath of Brexit.

“If we want Britain to be the best place in the world to be a tech business then it is also crucial that Britain is a safe place to do the digital business,” The Chancellor said, “Trust in the internet and the infrastructure on which it relies is fundamental to our economic future.”

With data the currency of today’s world, a predicted 1 million new devices coming online per hour by 2020 and Microsoft opening UK data centres that deliver world-class reliability and data residency earlier this year, I was interested to explore how Microsoft’s security strategy has evolved. I was not disappointed.

During a breakout session, Microsoft illustrated exactly how they have upped their game, and integrated their products to create a solution which is seriously cool, effortlessly delivered, and oh… it’s available today when using EMS, Intune and Windows 10. Sophisticated security built on principles around user ‘identity’, facial recognition and multi-factor authentication, and integrated access and control policies, resulting in a solution that presents itself as simple, seamless… and can be completely self-provisioned by any end user (seriously it looked idiot proof… perhaps even I could replicate the demo – perhaps that’s a vblog for another time!)

Security has been one of the many, and important, focus areas at Future Decoded. Make sure you follow Cetus Solutions on LinkedIn, where over the next few days I will be posting additional blogs around some of the product announcements and updates, forward thinking around big data and AI, workspaces, Skype for Business, and migrating to Windows 10.

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Blog, Cetus Solutions, Cloud Hosting, IT Solutions, Uncategorized

The Sat Nav Got Me Lost!


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I recently loaned my mother my car to take some friends away for the weekend, I showed her how to put an address into the sat nav and sent her on her way… When she (finally) returned I asked how her weekend was and if the car was ok and I was a little surprised by her response.

“It’s useless… it got me lost, I should have gone in my car, I wish I had my map” which was fully supported by all her friends who continued to berate my car…. my surprise was two fold… firstly how did they get lost with a sat nav and secondly how the sat nav had now led this group of people to say how useless my whole car was.

In my job I rely on my sat nav and use it to guide me around the 20,000 miles of business travel I take on each year and I can honestly say it has yet to fail me. This got me thinking, how can this intelligent woman not see the benefit of this fantastic technology….

The answer; a poorly managed roll out of the technology by the individual pushing the technology on her (in this case me…. her son.) This one, initial poor experience has led to my mother swearing blind she will never use a sat nav again and disliking the whole vehicle!

This got me thinking of just how important that first user experience is in all walks of life and especially in the world of IT. The success or failure of any technology project is judged when it is rolled out to the end users or customers, the whole solution has to work and work well… if there is a slight hiccup that will be the focal point and getting back on track is like navigating spaghetti junction.

The leading edge technology, advanced security and huge time savings your new IT solution delivers are all insignificant if that end user experience is not close to perfection. Ensuring that initial user experience is positive enables the most valuable marketing tool of word of mouth to spread and ease the transition to the new way of working.

At Cetus we focus a great deal of our time engaging with customers before any technology decisions have been made… ensuring we get a true understanding of what you as an organisation are looking to achieve and we can then discuss how technology can help you get there.

Once the technology and project has been decided the impact on the user base becomes the priority and focusing on the least disruptive and easiest transition for the end users is at the heart of the project. The Cetus implementation methodology is tried and tested and is one that has saved many project and programme managers a lot of sleepless nights (or wrong turns!)

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Blog, Current Vacancies, IT Solutions, Technology, Uncategorized

Why is an Elephant?


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Why is an Elephant? A question I once posed to my English teacher as he boasted he was well educated and stating (unlike his students) he could answer anything we threw at him.  The relevance and purpose of the question was nonsense of course, but hidden here in plain sight is the real question, Why?

Why do we do what we do?  (What is our purpose?) The question Why? Must be the ultimate question of all.

The now infamous line from The Matrix “Why why why Mr Anderson” shouts agent Smith! (I just like that film!).  And the all too common question for any extreme athlete; Why do you do what you do; Why put your life at risk?  Why do people buy electric cars from a non-profitable company (Elon Musk – Tesla) a chap who also designs reusable rockets, is building a mission to Mars and manufactures solar roof tiles? Why indeed?

A question applicable to one and all and not many can answer immediately without thought. A very defining question indeed.  We all have choices and many have an inbuilt desire to achieve and succeed in what we choose to do as humans, a competitive instinct is a great thing so how can we as employers and commercial organisations harness this to benefit their productivity and competitive edge? A question from a question and the subject matter goes on. But this doesn’t answer the Why question…

“Because I love what we do here, I love the people and I can make a difference” is often heard here at Cetus and we are ever so proud to hear that too!  A more personal and popular response.

From our inception in 2001, Cetus openly published our values, our core ethos to: Think differently, Deliver better, Forge bonding relationships (partnerships), be the best at what we do, be thought leaders.  This is where the Why? of Cetus began.

We set out to compete with System-Integrators by design and be different in our approach; it was (and still is) all about our customers, listening and understanding are key.  “Vendor neutrality and a commercial approach with a technical toolkit’ was also early messaging as it’s all about the customers need and desires, not just what stuff we thought we could sell for a profit.

Jump to the present day, much grey hair and indeed more wrinkly, I sit as part of a team who have amassed an unparalleled wealth of experience and knowledge which underpins our Why?

Encapsulated more recently in our updated messaging ‘Inspire. Transform. Together’ is the Why? of Cetus.  Deep within the DNA of Cetus is a core set of values attributing to the Why?

Think differently
Challenge thinking
Designing value
Create innovative solutions
Challenge the status quo
Challenge the boundaries of IT

This is why we do what we do.

Here at Cetus, for over 15 years we’ve been enjoying challenging thinking.   We inspire IT professionals to think differently, not just about the here and now, but by delivering strategic empowerment to effect change to improve business outcomes.  Competitive advantage and driving productivity are outputs and products of what Cetus do, but working with individuals to grow and enhance an organisation’s abilities is a core part of our enjoyment, we simply love working with people!

I have an inbuilt desire to solve problems at work and in my private life. Since I could use a screwdriver I have always taken things apart and reassembled them.  But I love working with people, I love asking questions and understanding people and their drivers and the fact I can influence change and the development of others.

At Cetus, we have built this into our platform from day one, it is something I have passionately worked on all my career and for me, success comes in many guises but the most satisfying is the development of people, giving people a chance to improve and better themselves. Naturally in turn, this promotes success within any individual too. “You can go fast alone, but can go faster together”!

Another Why question this time from the film IRobot:
“Why is it that when Robots are stored in an empty space they will group together rather than stand alone?” This one is intriguing and who knows, with the anticipated growth of AI and Machine Learning, perhaps we’ll find out in our lifetime one day.

Cetus are always looking for energetic, inspiring and thought provoking people to join our Team.  If you think you know your Why?, then simply give us a shout as you have most likely found a great place to be… Cetus Solutions.

Mike.pngMike English – Managing Director
Since forming Cetus in 2001, Mike drives change and development to ensure Cetus empower and deliver real value to our customers, enabling successful business outcomes.

 

Blog, Cetus Solutions, IT Solutions, Technology, Uncategorized

Back in the Desert…


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I’m currently looking out at a beautiful ocean, waves lapping in the golden sand desperately trying to disconnect and enjoy that valuable downtime and relaxation we all seek, I’m sure you  know what I mean! Picture it with me.!

I sit here, iPad in hand, writing away, yet this doesn’t phase me as it’s what we all do as driven individuals. Some may read a book, listen to music, I do too but this is modern relaxation, right?!

As I sit back reflect and muse, I look at my son, sitting next to me, earphones in, foot tapping away, ‘Linkin Park’ he says, iPad in hand and hopefully not racking up a large data roaming charge. He’s now 17 and I say to myself, where has the time gone?

Indeed, where has the time gone? The first generation iPhone hit our streets in 2007, the iPad only in 2010, now, both smart phones and tablets are widely adopted and simply part of our daily lives, in such a highly productive world, could we live without them?

Wow its hot today! I’m fully connected to the rest of the world from a beach with Wi-Fi (just say that back to yourself!) and our expectation is exactly that, connectivity. Our connected world has shaped and transformed us all.

My reflecting soon takes on the topical subject of Brexit, a deep conversation over to my right. My thoughts meander to Cetus and how Brexit is naturally influencing our thinking.  I go back to an analogy I used back in pre recessional times around 2008/9, which was derived from a strategy for growth and embracing change. “Let us stop worrying about trying to get out of the desert and start trying to live in the desert, as this is how it is …” referring to the recession of course. Initially some of my colleagues looked at me somewhat deranged and wondered what words I had just spoken!

IT Managers were expected to deliver more with less; reduced resource and restricted budgets were the norm, yet with an expectation to deliver at least the same or indeed a much improved service.

It was crucial for Cetus to embrace change and adapt to a weaker economy, in this case unplanned change thrust our way and beyond our control. We adopted the strategy and challenge for growth through the recession and holistically changed the way we worked with our customers, working to understand not just IT stuff but real business challenges.  We aligned ourselves as a surrogate partner and an extension of our customer’s teams, becoming more of a true business enabler.

What does Brexit mean to Cetus?  This answer would require more time than I’ve got on this sandy beach I’m sure, I could try and lose my passport I guess…  However, here we are once more, Cetus are ever analytical yet un-phased and more importantly embracing the changes en-route.  I do believe the word ‘uncertainty’ is heavily overused as a smoke screen to many.

“Working closer with customers to deliver enablement, increasing agility and productivity, allowing customers to focus on what they should be doing” A mantra Cetus have adopted from day #1.  In camp Cetus, no hill is too steep to climb. This, is certainty.

Like the impact of the smart phone, technology moves at a staggering pace. And it is all too easy to get giddy over the latest and greatest, but how does such technology impact and transform commerce? How can Cetus deliver value to customers to improve their service delivery when they have ever decreasing budgets and resources?

Cetus invest heavily into a continuous development programme of technical and awareness training, complimented by our extensive experience and deliver this to you, we love the challenge! Check out our latest inspiring workshops and case studies on our website to see why we love what we do.  Our new website will keep you abreast of inspirational and thought leadership subject matters, case references and use-cases together with our popular workshop series.

Finally, just reflect on your journey home, what will you be using technology for over the next decade as we approach the ten-year anniversary of the smartphone and the impact it has had on productivity in our lives. Will we finally get to use the area of our brains we have so much to learn about?!

More sunscreen…

Delivered via Cetus Mobile Workspace powered by Citrix

Mike.pngMike English – Managing Director
Since forming Cetus in 2001, Mike drives change and development to ensure Cetus empower and deliver real value to our customers, enabling successful business outcomes.

 

Blog, Cetus Solutions, Current Vacancies, IT Solutions, Technology, Uncategorized

It’s Value, But Not As We Know It…


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To be honest, I’ve never been much of a Treky, but the new Star Trek film had me reminiscing about years gone by. And, having recently returned to the IT reseller channel after a 20 year journey through the land of systems integrators and vendors, there’s lots to reminisce about!

It was obvious that things would have changed, but even in the fast paced world of technology it’s amazing how much the market has moved on. And as a Sales and Marketing professional, I can see the impact runs deeper than just the changing dynamics of the IT sector.

A new landscape
Cast your mind back to the IT market of the 1990’s (if you are old enough!) and you find a land of plenty. Prospective customers actively seeking out information on new products, their enquiries fulfilled by sales and marketing teams focussed on features and specifications. When demand outstripped supply, adding value was rarely more than an afterthought for IT vendors and resellers.

Fast forward to the present and the situation could not be more different, with an increasingly congested IT market where it is difficult to stand out from the crowd. And the growth of the web, with powerful search engines and a proliferation of content, has caused an irreversible change in buyer behaviour that dilutes the effectiveness of traditional marketing techniques.

As personal experience will tell you, bombarding people with email or telephone calls rarely delivers results. People now buy differently, they do their own independent research, identify different potential solutions to their problems, and produce a shortlist of suitable suppliers, all through the use of the web. Search engines mean they can discover all they need to know without speaking to pesky salespeople!

Behaviour change
This new behaviour is known as ‘inbound marketing’ and has dramatically changed the interactions between customers and suppliers. The customer no longer needs to speak to a salesperson for product information, so the first time they engage is at the end of the process when they are ready to buy. In principle this is good for everyone, it’s an efficient use of time and resources, but it has a couple of key problems.

Firstly, the quality of the end result is dependent on the customer’s research uncovering the best possible solutions, and in today’s time pressured environment that isn’t always the case. And conversely, it’s more challenging for suppliers to get their voice heard and add enough value to earn their place in the buying process.

So, in the brave new world of inbound marketing, how do IT resellers add real value?

Creating value
The answer lies in the customer’s expectations of their suppliers in this new world. They expect suppliers to inject new ideas they can’t discover for themselves, and to challenge their thinking with insights that are directly relevant to them. In turn, this demands that suppliers build a detailed knowledge of their customers, the markets they operate in and the stakeholders they serve.

This is a real challenge for many IT resellers, who are naturally focused on the technology sector rather than their customers markets. But the prize for meeting the challenge is early involvement in the buying process, bringing the opportunity to shape thinking and influence strategy – in short, the chance to add value.

So for IT resellers to add real value for their customers, they need a detailed knowledge of the vertical markets their customers operate in, a clear focus on business outcomes, and a proven ability to deliver tangible benefits. Coupled with a tailored approach for each individual customer that is relevant, personal and compelling.

Our DNA
Here at Cetus we’ve thrived in the changing IT market of the last 15 years, largely because the ability to add real value for our customers is embedded in our DNA.
But don’t take my word for it, let us prove it!

Just contact us and give us the opportunity to ‘walk the walk’. Alternatively, if you want to learn more about working with Cetus, take a look at the Who we are  section of our website, or register for one of our upcoming Inspired Leaders Programme events.

Directors-9688Gary Hyman – Sales & Marketing Director
Gary’s core focus is to find potent solutions that help customers confront specific business challenges, equipping them to enrich the lives of their customers and stakeholders.