Cetus Solutions

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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, 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.