School Bus Figure 8 and Innovation

Today’s guest blogger is Jeff Salanco of Tech Data Cloud.

A race track by our office has this thing, a spectacle of sorts…it’s called “School Bus Figure 8 Racing.” Pretty self-explanatory…school buses race on a figure 8 track, often smashing into each other at the intersection (and pretty much everywhere else along the way). Lots of debauchery and possibly some alcohol consumption. In case you were wondering, I live in Florida…but you probably could have guessed that.

dirt-tracksI think about these crashes at work sometimes…

Some of the more innovative things our team has done at the office result from “smashing” two big ideas (big like school buses) together to create something exciting and fun. And I thought about the figure 8 crashes during Geeman Yip’s (CEO of BitTitan) presentation at our Insider Exchange event this week.

There were a lot of great takeaways from Geeman’s presentation, but there were two points that bubbled to the top for me; Intellectual Property (IP) as a high value differentiator and his ideas related to what he called The Six Components of a Modern Managed Service Provider (MSP).

I have always viewed IP as the underpinning of innovation. But in my industry we can fall into a bit of a trap…people quickly move to a hardware or software solution that was worthy of a patent in order to qualify as IP. But IP is much more than that. IP can be a customized business process, a unique culture, or a dynamic customer engagement methodology. A great way to look at the various ways that IP can support innovation is through the lens of outlined by Larry Keely in the book Ten Types of Innovation. Innovation can take on very different forms.

The second takeaway from Geeman’s presentation focused on the 6 key elements that make up a Modern MSP.  For this, Geeman walked the audience through areas of focus that can uplevel an existing managed service provider to “2.0” status… leveraging BI to better understand customer needs and the creation of a culture focused on automation as examples.

After his presentation, I started to think… how great would it be to smash the concepts outline in the Ten Types of Innovation (let’s call that school bus #1) into the list of Six elements that make up a Modern MSP (school bus #2)!?!

An example could look something like this:

modernmsp_innovation

The fun part is that the number possibilities of interplay between the two concepts are staggering. One can imagine an opportunity for MSPs to find very meaningful differentiation in a world that appears to be screaming towards commoditization. Given the backgrounds and capabilities of some of the MSPs in our community, I think it would be amazing to see what unique IP they could come up with.

jeff_salancoI’m going to go out on a limb here when I say… I bet it would be even more fun than School Bus Figure 8 racing…

Jeff Salanco leads the marketing organization for Tech Data Cloud where he works with teams focused on designing and executing innovative partner engagement strategies across a variety of technology segments.

His article was originally posted here

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