With last month’s passing of industry visionary and former Intel chairman and CEO Andy Grove, I reflected on the many inflection points that have dramatically altered the technology landscape. During his tenure at Intel, Grove played a pivotal role in helping shape the personal computing industry. And, he clearly was ahead of his time in assessing the massive impact of the Internet.
As he explained many times, inflection points occur in the timeline of a company or technology when its fundamentals change and opportunities emerge. To Grove’s credit, he had an uncanny knack for seeing important movements on the horizon and reacting swiftly and effectively to take things to that “next level” everyone talks about.
During my career with HP, Dell and now at Curvature, I’ve had the good luck to anticipate some significant changes across the tech sector. In the ‘80s, I was brought in at HP as the heyday of the mainframe was starting to wane and open standards were emerging.
I sensed a major turning point as companies moved from proprietary to more open systems— Unix, in this particular case. Recognizing this and reacting swiftly and decisively resulted in the introduction of the single most successful product in HP’s history.
Later, at Dell, I was at the forefront of another inflection point: leading the company’s historic and highly successful entry into the workstation business. My tagline—“Performs like a Sun, priced like a Dell” —fueled the fastest ride to $1 billion in sales in the company’s history.
Taking advantage of inflection points is not limited to big-name companies. When Microsoft released Windows NT in 1993, I saw an opportunity, and as an early stage executive in a startup, helped launch a product that took advantage of that new platform. Being in the right place at the right time—with the right moves—enabled us to grow to more than $100 million in revenue.
As someone who has always had a penchant for anticipating big changes on the tech horizon, I was eager to explore new data center and network dynamics taking place at global organizations. What I discovered was a restlessness coming from customers who were increasingly weary and leery of OEM mandates over equipment upgrades and refresh cycles.
I witnessed organizations worldwide demanding better procurement and support options while OEMs continued to defend their antiquated status quo practices. Sensing another major inflection point, I did my homework and came across Curvature, a company well ahead of other solution providers in delivering flexible, adaptable support services.
Additionally, I began to see amazing amounts of acceptance in third-party maintenance offerings from companies big or small and anywhere in-between, anywhere on the globe. Eager to participate in this latest inflection point, I joined Curvature to help guide a global services sales team and thousands of customers in their maintenance transformations.
The impetus of this latest inflection point is simple: Companies want to take back control of their IT environment. Unfortunately, the path to third-party maintenance and support can be complicated and complex. That’s where we come in. For nearly a decade, organizations around the world have turned to Curvature’s NetSure for help supporting their critical Cisco, HP, Sun, IBM, Dell, EMC and NetApp devices.
We’re making solid progress, which was reinforced recently when Gartner released its first competitive landscape report on third-party maintenance (TPM). Curvature was ranked a “Top Performer – Network.” Clearly, TPM is trending, and I’m excited about the prospects as well as the many benefits this new inflection point is delivering today.
In a recent Dimensional Research global survey of more than 500 IT decision makers sponsored by Curvature, we found that 60 percent of respondents already use third-party maintenance. What’s more, 90 percent of those polled saw clear benefits in terms of lowered costs, reduced risks and increased flexibility.
I predict this latest inflection point will have an impact on all types of companies for years to come. What do you think? Are you ready to make a change? Contact me at [email protected] for guidance along the way.