vCIO Allstars 1/14- Building a Strategic Profile

NOTE: The document discussed in this video is not yet available. It will be uploaded on 1/24/2022




Chat Log

00:03:24 Bob Tukin: Hasn’t been mentioned as far as requiring. Most prefer virtual visits now anyways.
00:04:12 Bob Tukin: Missouri… Most people are idiots about it here.
00:07:30 Derek Gabriel: I love your willingness to acknowledge laziness on record
00:08:02 Dan Seafoot: He's very Self-Aware
00:08:29 Bill Taylor: The recording will have a voiceover that says "reusable work" instead
00:08:48 Blake Taravella: #goals
00:09:00 tim.daraitis: Jabba the hut is gangster
00:09:29 Isaac Grover: #crickets
00:09:37 Derek Gabriel: Ish
00:09:48 Derek Gabriel: We do canvas
00:09:52 Eric Roitman: I'm just making the jump from TAM to vCIO so nothing yet
00:10:48 Odin Fuhrman: this is great! I have all this in my head!
00:12:05 Isaac Grover: Wow, these look like questions we could use in prequalification calls, to differentiate ourselves as strategic partners, not just IT providers...
00:12:10 Derek Gabriel: Oh, then yes, we're doing this.
00:12:11 Bill Taylor: This info should guide any recommendations on your roadmap, too
00:12:36 brandi: fiscal year
00:13:02 Derek Gabriel: Who's egos to stroke
00:13:04 Odin Fuhrman: + 1 on fiscal year I was just about to write that!
00:13:57 Derek Gabriel: Business structure
00:14:30 Marc Winger - Zephyr Networks: Security profile (i.e. Financial or Defense industry)
00:14:40 Bob Tukin: Age of business.
00:14:41 Derek Gabriel: Corp, board, leadership team
00:14:46 Odin Fuhrman: are they a regulated business?
00:15:17 Odin Fuhrman: how do you make money?
00:15:18 Derek Gabriel: Board isn't always involved in decisions but knowing who they are can be important if you ever need to back channel
00:15:22 Eric Eisenbraun: cyber insurance carrier/requirements/incident response protocol
00:15:22 Bob Tukin: Compliance requirements
00:15:27 Justin Smock: How does the company get paid/make money?
00:15:36 Robert Macalino: I sometimes how they got started. as it leads to all sorts of convo on these items.
00:15:37 DanielBuchanan: Value Proposition is a huge one
00:15:41 Derek Gabriel: Family owned is there succession plans you need to know about
00:16:13 Derek Gabriel: Public private - can affect compliance requirements etc
00:16:16 Marc Winger - Zephyr Networks: Or is it owned by another entity.
00:16:26 Blake Taravella: company mission statement, core values
00:16:28 Kirk Lesser: we actually have succession plan as part of our QBR
00:16:31 Jorge: Subsidiaries/other brands to be aware of
00:17:00 DanielBuchanan: different industries merit different security approaches and compliance requirements
00:18:47 CraigCummings: do they have cyber insurance?
00:18:52 Derek Gabriel: More like a research dossier, less like a how-to
00:19:18 Kirk Lesser: yep. I partner with cyber insurance people to dig even deeper
00:19:46 Odin Fuhrman: Cost Structure? I would love develop this in the strategic profile... what I mean is how do they like to spend their money? Opex vs capex, what about materials for their products, services, vendors, employees. etc.
00:20:05 Jorge: More basic info: Number of physical sites Number of employees at each site Type of work done at each site
00:20:15 Kirk Lesser: how is their technology policy in their HR handbook
00:20:16 Derek Gabriel: Last thing we need is two places to keep updated, so I lean towards keeping those specific operational details in documentation
00:20:56 Sandino: preferred communication style, such as prefers to communicate via email vs calls
00:21:02 Derek Gabriel: Lol same like MSPs with break fix business still 😂
00:21:06 Craig Anderson, PCM (Detroit via VT): Sounds like some MSPs.... ;)
00:21:14 Craig Anderson, PCM (Detroit via VT): haha right on derek
00:21:20 brandi: great point lol
00:22:12 Marc Winger - Zephyr Networks: I am a little hesitant to ask about the total revenue. Am I the only one?
00:22:14 Derek Gabriel: Produxt or services based
00:22:16 Brian Wakefield: Is there a formal budgeting process?
00:22:20 Derek Gabriel: Supply chain
00:22:50 Craig Anderson, PCM (Detroit via VT): @marc I think all of this has to be approached differently depending on relationship, client attitude, etc, but its still good to know total rev if you can
00:23:01 DanielBuchanan: @Marc: Asking about total revenue puts you in the business conversation, not a big deal at all!
00:23:11 Derek Gabriel: If/when/how they do their own strategic planning
00:24:11 Eric Eisenbraun: @Marc I will do research on revenue for similarly sized business in their vertical, find an approximate amount and bring that up in conversation. They're response will tell me if I'm close and often times will correct me higher/lower. It's all about how you frame it.
00:24:21 J.Mac Brown: When do they plan budgets and how can we help feed in capital IT expenses and workstation replacement purchases.
00:24:53 Bill Taylor: Busy season, downtime, seasonal, etc. Impacts revenue and spending and determines what's on your roadmap (and project scheduling). I like that one
00:24:59 Craig Anderson, PCM (Detroit via VT): format it like a bingo card and fill in your squares everytime you learn one of these factoids during conversation :)
00:25:00 Derek Gabriel: Do they favor revenue or profits...
00:25:50 Derek Gabriel: Yes, seasonality or cyclical periods
00:26:07 Craig Anderson, PCM (Detroit via VT): don't call them January through may lol
00:26:48 Derek Gabriel: Are they sitting on a mountain of cash they want to give us
00:26:59 Bob Tukin: History of spend.
00:27:09 Isaac Grover: @Craig - I like the bingo card idea, because this is a LOT of information!
00:27:11 Derek Gabriel: Legit, we had two clients prepay 2022 last month as a tax liability reduction play
00:27:14 Bob Tukin: Do they cycle hardware as needed or wait until last minute. Proactive or reactive?
00:27:30 Jeroen Potters | PIT Pro: Plans on a exit / sell the company
00:27:42 Bill Taylor: Maybe we can force rank these on a different call to get it down to something more concise
00:28:22 Derek Gabriel: Budget doesn't feel strategic doc - that also feels like more of a specific vcio function
00:28:31 DanielBuchanan: We need to set the IT Budget, tell them what it should be early enough to be on the budget, or they won't have one
00:29:06 Eric Roitman: private vs publicly funded?
00:29:12 Sandino: Customer Centric questions, such as knowing what they expect from us?
00:30:16 J.Mac Brown: What new initiatives and roll-out do they have planned?
00:30:57 Derek Gabriel: I survey executive team independently on this topic of goals and then bring it back so they can see how far off the page everyone is
00:31:38 Bill Taylor: Hiring strategy maybe?
00:31:51 Craig Anderson, PCM (Detroit via VT): Related to @sandino, I always ask during onboarding kick off why they chose us over other options and specifically what would be different a year from now for them that would indicate this relatrionship uis a success
00:32:07 Jennifer Berry: ^I like that
00:32:52 Eric Eisenbraun: @craig not only do we ask the same for managed services but also individual projects - has lead to more coordinated efforts all around and higher client satisfaction
00:33:04 Derek Gabriel: Also again more operational
00:33:08 Derek Gabriel: Lol
00:33:27 Craig Anderson, PCM (Detroit via VT): very true derek..
00:33:43 Craig Anderson, PCM (Detroit via VT): but I cant pry myself away from ops :)
00:34:45 Craig Anderson, PCM (Detroit via VT): @eric I frame every project with a shotrt klist of bullets called Success Criteria written in plin ewnglish, and when the PS team delivers their wrap-up doc at project close to client and me I expect each bullet to be restated and a brief sentence of how it was met (or not met) but yes that's operational
00:35:07 Derek Gabriel: open ended questions work best... like Do you feel your current technology is supporting your key initiatives and business goals
00:35:11 Craig Anderson, PCM (Detroit via VT): ugh fail today
00:35:18 Craig Anderson, PCM (Detroit via VT): typing fail that is
00:35:18 Derek Gabriel: Do you feel your current technology is a strength or a weakness for your company
00:35:46 Craig Anderson, PCM (Detroit via VT): we do try to ask at every SBR what their biggest NON-IT issue they are facing is
00:35:47 Derek Gabriel: If there was one thing you could change in your business today to accelerate meeting your goals, what would that be
00:35:56 Derek Gabriel: LOL!
00:36:14 Derek Gabriel: this is my business canvas/insights review questions :D
00:36:29 Derek Gabriel: Risk tolerance is also important
00:36:37 Craig Anderson, PCM (Detroit via VT): Got core values up there?
00:36:48 Joel Osera: What makes you different/better than the next guy?
00:36:59 Bill Taylor: Core values is a good one
00:37:02 Marc Winger - Zephyr Networks: Is the plan to share this document?
00:37:10 Jeroen Potters | PIT Pro: @derek I agree “Risk tolerance is also important”
00:37:40 Bill Taylor: Yes, Marc. We're going to clean it up and share it under the recording
00:37:50 Craig Anderson, PCM (Detroit via VT): How do new clients find you?
00:38:11 Derek Gabriel: I pull risk tolerance back into recommendations constantly.. like oh, you have this shortcoming, which is important for businesses with x type of risk tolerance
00:38:55 Craig Anderson, PCM (Detroit via VT): Is risk tolerance something you get told directly or something infer and formulate on your own based on everything you pick up from conversations and hw they seem to make decisions?
00:39:15 Eric Eisenbraun: I will associate a shortcoming with their not meeting business goals/objectives
00:39:41 Derek Gabriel: I flat out ask, framing it if necessary, like on a scale of 1-5
00:39:50 Odin Fuhrman: I tried asking a question like that before and they looked at me like I had 8 heads and said what am I a fortune teller! hahaha
00:39:59 Derek Gabriel: lol
00:40:28 Bill Taylor: Sometimes the questions they can't answer are the best ones to ask :)
00:41:38 Dan Seafoot: #islandlife
00:43:30 Craig Anderson, PCM (Detroit via VT): I actually do struggle with these types of conversations when I'm only really interacting with clients in meeting settings. Usually I learn these things when I get to be in person, go to lunch, or currently in my 90% remote capacity when I have an offline 1x1 phone call with a little less structure
00:43:39 Odin Fuhrman: no spam?
00:43:55 Keala Asato: I love spam, but I'm also Hawaiian
00:44:10 Derek Gabriel: yeah no spam today 🤣
00:44:24 Jennifer Berry: now I want Spam Musubi
00:44:34 Derek Gabriel: partnerships..
00:44:39 Derek Gabriel: customer segments
00:44:39 Craig Anderson, PCM (Detroit via VT): oh that remind me: How do you *lose* clients?
00:45:08 Craig Anderson, PCM (Detroit via VT): i.e. what kinds of things caus your clients to go elsewhere, tells you how sticky their clienmt are
00:45:26 Derek Gabriel: that is a fun question
00:45:31 Craig Anderson, PCM (Detroit via VT): can an it outage lose a lot of clientrs? do they drop you at the first price hike?
00:45:57 Bill Taylor: Side note: If we have any owners on who also do sales, asking who their vendors are can lead you to potential new Centers of Influence
00:46:16 Derek Gabriel: customer lifetime - also can find out how on the pulse they are as leaders, like if the CEO can spout our lifetime value is xxx off the top of their head, they're fully engaged
00:46:56 Odin Fuhrman: Our TAMs does that and create a diagram for the Reactive Team
00:47:13 Craig Anderson, PCM (Detroit via VT): oh yeah so also maybe not related here, but I LinkedIn everybody I meet with and before going into SBRs we look at their connection list for potentials companies we want to met, if the meeting goes fine we'll ask them hw well they know that contasct and try to get an intro
00:47:29 Derek Gabriel: That's between customer relationships, channels and key activities on the business canvas
00:47:29 Craig Anderson, PCM (Detroit via VT): that's sort of an outside salesish thing tho
00:48:40 Craig Anderson, PCM (Detroit via VT): there's almost difference between the "data you are collecting" versus the actual questions and conversation bits you will talk about to distill that info from
00:49:23 Derek Gabriel: I love what Jorge is saying
00:49:24 Isaac Grover: I could see this "lead to paid" process being documented from a high level in Draw/Visio/etc.
00:49:26 Derek Gabriel: need to chim ein
00:50:23 Craig Anderson, PCM (Detroit via VT): @jorge I think about that from outside sales talks when somebody says "our server was down for a day" I start asking things like "ok, so what did that mean? did you lose any clients? lose any bsales? send workers home? did anybdy notice?" maybe not worded exactly that way but I try to challenge to find out exactly what that outage meant
00:50:26 Bill Taylor: Process workflow mapping or something?
00:50:34 Bob Tukin: 67
00:50:38 J.Mac Brown: 67 People on the call
00:50:49 Craig Anderson, PCM (Detroit via VT): and like 5 loud ones
00:50:52 Craig Anderson, PCM (Detroit via VT): :)
00:52:15 Derek Gabriel: lol yes, just 5 😂😳
00:52:28 Derek Gabriel: meh, I don't find that it does
00:52:37 Derek Gabriel: risk tolerance
00:52:45 Derek Gabriel: is essentially the link I use heavily for security
00:52:56 Michael Courts: When was the last time you changed passwords? AD/Email and what not.
00:53:14 Eric Roitman: Do you have MFA in place?
00:53:54 Eric Roitman: What are your remote employees using to access the network?
00:54:02 Bill Taylor: Compliance and regulation could probably go here right?
00:54:03 Derek Gabriel: If I may be so bold, I find that this is al TAM stuff - MFA, blah blah blah
00:54:23 Craig Anderson, PCM (Detroit via VT): you may want to document how they react to these security recommendations?
00:54:23 Derek Gabriel: vCIO my client leaders don't care to talk about MFA directly, they just want to know 1) are we secure 2) what are you doing to fix it if we're not
00:54:29 Joshua Bristol: Rob I missed the beginning of the call, are you sending this out to everyone?
00:55:10 Derek Gabriel: @Rob - phrase that - how well do you sleep at night?
00:55:11 Jeroen Potters | PIT Pro: @joshua, yes
00:55:29 Craig Anderson, PCM (Detroit via VT): i like that, i'm going to sart asking dyuring OB how secure they think they are
00:56:37 Craig Anderson, PCM (Detroit via VT): i'm i walking into a partnership or battle?
00:57:10 Rob Danser: @joshua- yes itll be available next week in the next allstars call
00:57:24 Eric Roitman: Would it be worthwhile to ask how amenable to changes they are?
00:57:36 Jorge: @Eric - Yes I think it's very important!
00:57:38 Derek Gabriel: I find security is so inherent in everything we do, it's not necessary to call it out from a strategic view, other than their risk tolerance
00:57:57 Craig Anderson, PCM (Detroit via VT): that reminds me the how well do you sleep at night.. rank 1-10... 10 being I go home and don't spend a moment worrying about my technology at all versus 1 being i cant stop worrying about it
00:58:41 Dan Seafoot: Yea, a client that has developed an ERM process taught me a lot.
00:58:47 Kirk Lesser: LOOK at their policies some of the waiting times and limits are CRAZY. I give them to my insurance partner to dissect
00:59:06 Odin Fuhrman: @Jeremy great idea!
00:59:15 Craig Anderson, PCM (Detroit via VT): i give them to a partner.. i don't want to be on the hook for reading insurance olicies
00:59:25 Derek Gabriel: and we no longer give choices around baseline - MFA is part of onboarding if not already enabled. Also.. that's the TAMs job 😂
01:00:09 Derek Gabriel: we also don't give them a choice about cyberinsurance either... and that's where we add strategic value... hey, you're rocking this party without insurance, and we need to fix a few things to get you to qualify.
01:00:25 Craig Anderson, PCM (Detroit via VT): @jorge you're not trying to work the technical nitty gritty in here, you're trying to gauge their stance and viewpoint
01:00:32 Bill Taylor: I've recently learned we should also be asking if they've been rejected from cyber insurance because insurance providers are asking that question
01:00:47 Odin Fuhrman: ⏰⏰⏰
01:02:01 Bill Taylor: Great call, everyone! :)
01:02:05 Derek Gabriel: this was fun
01:02:06 Odin Fuhrman: great call!
01:02:07 Odin Fuhrman: share the link for the doc!!!
01:02:08 Derek Gabriel: yay to 2022!

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