They say that as one door closes in life, another one opens.
Life is sometimes full of those “sliding doors” moments where you wonder what would have happened had I not done this or had I made a different decision at that point. Joining Barhead and leading Barhead into Queensland might be one of those moments.
In my CRM focussed career, I have always sought to work for a company where I can achieve great things, working with amazingly talented people in helping clients transform into Customer Centric organisations to delight their customers. I’m lucky in that, by and large, I’ve often been able to tick most of these boxes. However, there was often a certain “x” factor missing.
Therefore, being approached on LinkedIn by a company called Barhead did nothing to immediately give me cause to get excited. People who know me realise that I do like the odd drink or two. Therefore the thought of joining a company called Barhead might seem apt. However, despite my lukewarm initial response, I strangely did not treat the email as junk and decided to do a bit of research. This research reinforced that in the world of CRM, the founders of Barhead are indeed widely respected and proven leaders who have often achieved what I have always sought to do.
I met up with one of the co-founders, Ken Struthers, after the Microsoft Ignite conference. On meeting Ken, I was immediately taken by his vision, honesty and his approach in building Barhead to a blueprint he had established as a founder of Cloud Sherpa’s. Together with co founder, John Orrock and several loyal ex Sherpa’s, they had realised that Microsoft are developing a cloud platform that can enable genuine digital and business transformation. This platform is the foundation to allow Barhead to soar far higher than anything they had ever done with Cloud Sherpa’s.
Despite Barhead being a young company, they had already grown the company significantly offshore and in Sydney with an impressive list of delighted clients. Melbourne is also now established since that meeting in February and the team is growing fast. Here was an opportunity to help build a presence in Queensland for a company which shares my values and passion. The more I learned about Barhead from talking with the likes of Microsoft, Marketo and other partners, the more excited I got.
I joined Barhead at the end of March and now, after a few weeks at Barhead, I realise that the company name refers to the Bar headed Goose. Having seen wildlife documentaries on these amazing birds, I now understood how apt a name it was for the company.
So my mission is to introduce and build the Barhead business in Queensland. This means that I will be wearing many hats from Account Manager to Business Analyst, from Recruiter to Alliance Manager. Barhead offers a very different value proposition to other organisations I have worked with.
I believe this value proposition will be compelling to many Queensland based organisations who have often gotten bogged down in lengthy and costly projects that fail to deliver outcomes. Barhead is refreshingly different in being nimble, personable and transparent.
I’m excited to be a Barhead and hope that over the coming months, many of my fellow Queenslanders will get to know what it is like to soar with Barheads.
Living in an era where customer experience is key to establishing, grow and retaining business, organisations are continuously looking at ways to meeting and exceeding customers’ expectations. Often this is achieved by reviewing current business processes, identifying issues and areas for improvement, and evaluating tools to help alleviate these issues and introduce more efficient processes. The end outcomes are better and more unified communications, faster turnaround of services, and increased customer satisfaction.
With the rise of cloud-based solutions and subscription-based pricing model, organisations are always searching for readily available technologies such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 / CRM Online to enable them to rapidly implement and deploy solutions to cater for their needs around customer engagement, including in the areas of Sales, Marketing and Service. Faced with ever-present customer demands, and often IT unable to keep pace, organisations are shifting from traditionally IT-run projects to now business-sponsored models. Attracted by the premise of faster business case approvals, lower upfront investments (CapEx), quicker go-to-market (therefore ROI), and continuous improvements, more and more IT projects abandon Waterfall in favour for Agile.
In an Agile business-led project, the involvement of IT will be reduced, and vary throughout the project stages, but will never diminish completely. The role of IT is a technology enabler within the organization.
Getting the buy-in from IT early will help greatly the business in all stages of the project. During the inception or discovery phase, when the business is evaluating technology options, IT plays an advisory role on feasible options that align with the overall IT roadmap. IT can share recent successful (and not-so-successful) experiences that the business is worth noting. IT may also help assess non-functional aspects that the business may not be familiar with, such as compliance with information security and data residency policies, system uptime, and availability; all of which will contribute to the successful project outcomes.
The business may engage contractors or external consultants such as Barhead Solutions to capture product backlog and deliver in sprints. They play a role in identifying IT dependencies. The role of IT as a technology enabler is to provide resources required, such as providing licenses, enabling single sign-on, providing email connectivity with the current Microsoft Exchange infrastructure, and decommissioning any legacy systems being replaced by the new solution. In more complex scenarios requiring interactions with other IT-owned systems such as data warehouse for invoice reconciliations, IT will be required to provide the relevant Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to enable the integration. A typical Agile project usually doesn’t have dedicated resources and rely on Business as Usual (BAU), therefore planning is essential to ensure IT resources are given plenty of notice and are available at the right time to avoid conflict of priorities and project delays.
The role of IT is just as crucial in the release stage. In an organisation that follows the ITIL service management framework, IT plays a major part in reviewing and providing approval to the solution release plan in a regular Change Advisory Board (CAB) forum. After all, they will be providing BAU support to the solution after the release. Again, planning is key, and hence the importance of going hand-in-hand with IT throughout the project.
Barhead Solutions have demonstrated experience and a proven successful track record in working with businesses and IT to deliver Microsoft Dynamics 365 / CRM Online solutions. Contact us to realise your benefit sooner.