Toigo Partners was approached by a client recently to assist in the evaluation of a storage infrastructure strategy. The client wanted to learn more about the latest software-defined and hyper-converged storage platforms that were appearing in the market, but they were intimidated by the sheer number of vendors and products in that market -- many of whom had appeared almost overnight.
We assisted by. first, making an assessment of the client's workloads, data storage and access patterns, and growth trajectories. We distilled from these requirements a list of capabilities and functions that would be required from storage products that might be placed into service in the client's infrastructure and generated an Request for Information survey that was submitted to multiple vendors. The results were very interesting and led us to broaden the client-directed search and to produce a more generic document for publication, defining the current capabilities of hyper-converged infrastructure products and key selection criteria.
The result of this examination was the document below, published by Virtualization Review in 2016, in connection with a webinar we conducted with them on the topic. In our view, it is equally important for HCI to be hypervisor/workload-agnostic as it is for HCI to be hardware-agnostic. We further suggest that the HCI products you choose need to be fully manageable and interoperable and that their software-defined storage core stacks incorporate robust provisions for integration, tiering, and capacity sharing.
The client was happy, and so were the readers and attendees of our webinar. We learned a lot!
One of the most useful insights we acquired from a Political Science course we took in our college days had to do with messaging. The professor told us that the skepticism and cynicism of an audience might prevent a message from getting in through the "front door of reason." When this happens, the man said, "we need to go through the back door of entertainment." We took the point and have always taken the opportunity to speak at conferences as an opportunity to inform and entertain the audience, to great applause!
Fujifilm USA has asked us back seven times to their annual storage technology conference and they have posted videos of our presentations that you might enjoy. Here are several links.
We have keynoted conferences with Quantum, IBM, CA Technologies, Sun Microsystems, TechTarget, and many other clients worldwide. Our formula is always the same: mash up pop culture, humor and technical content into an entertaining package that earns us high marks with audiences and high praise from conference organizers.
In addition to work with large firms at big events, we have also provided smaller format presentations within client booth areas at trade shows. We provided such a service for StarWind Software at the Microsoft Ignite conference.
We also delivered a keynote for an event with DataCore Software from the second stage of the Eiffel Tower in Paris in 2016. They had us back to Monaco the following year to address the bankers and royals of the Principality.
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While the days of the grand trade shows may be behind us, this has not stopped some larger vendors from convening their customers and eco-system partners together in conference facilities large and small to spread the word about their products, services and future-oriented work. Toigo Partners International has enjoyed a brisk business attending the shows that are of interest and live tweeting what we are hearing into the social media universe in real time.
As a social influencer, our tweets, posts and blogs garner a large audience -- over 100,000 strong across all of the platforms in which we operate and on our own custom blog sites. So, the service has sufficient value to our clients to offset the price of the conference and related travel expenses. We also typically receive an additional stipend for recording video interviews at the event, then using our editing facilities to make professional video blogs that are released to social media and the blogosphere some weeks after the event has taken place. The net effect of the two activities -- live tweeting and post-conference vblogging -- is to keep the vendor's messages vibrant and in front of potential customers for a month or so following the event.
We enjoy doing the interviews on camera, preferring to stay out of frame and to relegate our questions to word slides that set up a clip of the client's spokespersons. These vblogs and clips help to establish brand recognition for the client and help to establish the client's spokesperson as a subject matter expert or thought leader.
It's hard work sometimes to get a coherent and inspiring clip of about three minutes out of a Q&A that may go on for 30 minutes, but the results are worth it. Here is one we did recently for IBM.
Our client was pleased with this effort, emailing these nice words to us: "Just wanted to say thank you for a great work. All seven videos and the paper have been highly valued by all the Tape team and we are confident this assets will help us position IBM LTO 8 in the mind of our clients and business partners. It is a pleasure to work with you." -- Sandra T. Pelaez, WW Storage Marketing, IBM Systems.
Here is an additional document we wrote to accompany the video "mini-documentary," which you can view either as a flip book or as a PDF download.
DOWNLOAD THE PDF
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