Last week I was a speaker at CompTIA’s EMEA 2009 member conference. The audience was a mixture of IT resellers, training and certification organisations and some colleges and universities. There were several tracks to the event including Business, Training & Education and Sales & Marketing. The event was also opened by James Caan of Dragon’s Den fame, who talked about how he became successful and what he looks for in entrepreneurs. His view was very clear – it’s all about the people. It’s people who have the idea, take the risk, have the passion to work through the barriers along the way and ultimately achieve the reward. Matthew Poyiadgi, VP of EMEA for CompTIA also gave a thought-provoking look at the future of technology, and how it will radically change our personal and business lives in the next 10 years. But he also ended up saying that it’s all about people, their skills and their innovation. His presentation was a rapid fire of 102 slides – sounds awful doesn’t it, but it was brilliant. The whole audience was captivated and the session just flew by – fantastic stuff. And my part was delivering The Seven Keys to Sales Success, with a conclusion that despite the difficult times we’re in, there’s never been a better time to focus on your customer, to spend more time looking at your business from the customer’s point of view – from the outside-in. I go way back with CompTIA and the IT industry in general, so it was good to meet up with some old friends and colleagues. It was also interesting to see that some of them are really getting
the whole point of The New Economy, and are innovating with new business models that are giving them great success. And of course some of them still don’t get it, and are simply doing more of the same. CompTIA though seem to be finally getting it. They announced a whole range of new initiatives, new programmes and a new flexibility – they get it. And to top it all, their CEO, Todd Thibodeaux has joined a Vistage group in Chicago – great stuff.