As CLOUDEON's Solution Sales Specialist, Mikkel Lumholdt Hansen sells and advices companies on CLOUDEON's analytical tool, OpsAI, and Cloud Reality reports. He is the customers' contact and the middleman between the customers and CLOUDEON's specialists and consultants. In his own words, his daily work is "atypical" compared to the company's other employees and he remarks with a smile:
"My job is to open doors - our Customer Engagement Architects hold the door - and then our Cloud Architects deliver the package through the door. When the package is delivered and all employees are out the door, I am the one gently keeping the door ajar by maintaining a good relation to the company" - Mikkel Lumholdt Hansen
Because CLOUDEON's product is not hardware, but rather a change solution combined with deep analysis of the company's existing IT-landscape, it can be difficult to "show" the product to a potential cusotmer. Therefore, Mikkel's job as a Sales Solution Specialist is to demonstrate how CLOUDEONS solutions can add values for the customers. For such a demo, CLOUDEON's technical specialist demonstrate precisely how a transition to Cloud can improve their IT's efficiency and security while cutting costs. OpsAI often helps start these improvements by it's functionality into tracking patching levels, security threats, assessing application landscapes, server dimensions and much more.
The ideal solution
Mikkel only contacts organizations that can benefit greatly from a transition to Cloud. Most commonly, this is larger organizations with at least 200 servers and 300 employees. For larger organizations the transition to Cloud also has the advantage of centralizing their IT and giving them greater insights into the general infrastructure across departments and groupings. For CLOUDEON it all revolves around finding the ideal solution for the customer. If they are satisfied with their on-premise IT, a hybrid-Cloud solution often holds some advantages:
"The company should of course only transition to Cloud when it makes sense. It could be a Microsoft Exchange-server - there is no apparent reason to have that on-premise any more. In this case, M365, Microsoft's Office-package in Cloud, would be a better suggestion. Then you aren't dependent on IT remembering the eternal patching and updating, and they can focus their ressources elsewhere." - Mikkel Lumholdt Hansen
Cloud can also help with the wide-spread problem with over-dimensioning in IT. Mikkel explains that organizations often oversize their server environment to hav the capacity to grow. The problem with this becomes that when you buy a server with the latest CPU and 256GB RAM, but only use 10% of the combined capacity, you have 90% left - capacity that you have paid for but no one uses. Mikkel elaborates: "It is costly in both power and cooling to run servers locally. In the meantime you can pay for exactly what you need and have the ability to scale up and down to your business needs in real time in Cloud."
It takes dialogue and eye contact
Mikkel contacts potential customers through phone, LinkedIn, and email - but he prefers to reach out by phone because it means a lot to him to talk directly to the customer. As he puts it: "It takes dialogue to make the customers interested and spark a desire for them to have the solutions demonstrated". Most of all, Mikkel wants to meet face to face, but after Covid19, most of his meetings have been through Microsoft Teams:
"It is very different to work this way - you can look people in the eye and see if there is a real interest in what you are saying. I miss visiting customers at their location. Normally, when you are at a customer, you drink coffee, get to know them - after the meeting you might grab lunch together - and you try to create a personal relation and establish closeness. What's important in this business is trust" - Mikkel Lumholdt Hansen
Depending on whether Mikkel talks to CEOs or technical specialists he highlights different advantages of OpsAI: "When I talk to technical specialists, I turn towards the details with respects to their extensive knowledge in the area. A talk of this sort is typically about the advantages in Cloud in relations to compliance and risk handling. When talking with a CEO, focus is more often on the overall advantages for the company and their economy".
The last step towards digital transformation
The digital transformation is well underway for a lot of Danish companies, and during Covid19 the interest in Cloud solutions has risen dramatically. In a digital reality, Cloud has the advantage of being "pay as you go" and "click and deploy". This means that if a company with a Cloud solution requires more or less capacity, they can request exactly the amount of "power" they need - without delivery time. Cloud is elastic and you can scale up and down as needed. That gives a company increased flexibility and economic advantages over classic on-premise IT.
In Mikkel's experience, safety plays a large role in the customer's mindset: "It is a whole new world for may - and rightfully so. Cloud represents a new methodology and new tools in IT. The customers want the security in having experts telling them what the right next step should be when transitioning to Cloud. Fundamentally, Cloud soltutions are meant to make the customer's life easier while enabling the delivery of new digital soltions in a pace that hasn't been available at any point previously."