The curtain has come down on the latest CompTIA EMEA member and partner conference with resellers being encouraged to embrace big data and polish up their social media skills to ensure they remain competitive.
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The channel organisation ran several sessions in its member get together including one that focused on one of the major trends in the industry with big data seen as a crucial area for the channel.
Dr. Phil Thomas, UK technical lead, big data and analytics at IBM, suggested that SMEs rarely got to grips with totally understanding Big Data, which the expression meaning different things to different people, but it was important to start to use technology to join the dots to get a fuller picture that would be useful to the business.
"You can have the best customer relationship management system in the world, but if you don't have a comprehensive view across all channels and can't join them up, then you're missing a trick," he said.
Campbell Williams, group strategy and marketing director of Six Degrees Group, added that those selling big data needed to make sure it was being pitched as a complement to existing services rather than a replacement so that customers felt more comfortable about adopting the technology.
Elsewhere there were also sessions on social media with one of the gurus in that field DK telling resellers that it was no longer about the isolated bloggers and tweeters but now about trying to get a more social media culture across an organisation.
His comments echoed those made last week by a senior social media expert at IBM, who also argued that the channel needed to embrace the emerging communication platforms, or risk losing out against competitiors.
The advice from DK was to encourage more staff in channel firms to get involved: “Get everyone in the organisation to do it once a week – offer an opinion, share videos, challenge ideas. This will humanise your brand, raise profile and awareness, win customers and create better relationships. All this will happen if, instead of marketing, you become part of the conversation.”