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@CloudExpo Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, William Schmarzo, Rene Buest, Pat Romanski

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@CloudExpo: Press Release

Who's Got Your Back?

Employees Valued, Recognized, and Rewarded for Their Role and Responsibility

As we all know, there are a multitude of correlations between sports and business. Last year’s big screen hit “The Blind Side” highlighted the critical role and value of the left tackle on a football team. For it is the left tackle that protects the quarterbacks’ blind side from on-rushing defensive lineman and blitzing linebackers when dropping back to pass.  The health and well being of the quarterback and success of the team can hang on the size, speed and agility of this 300 pound lineman.

Similarly, each one of us has an employee or employees in our company that protect our best interest, our blind side, ensuring we are not vulnerable to the surprise situations that create havoc in today’s highly complex business world. These employees are at all levels in the organization and need to be valued, recognized and rewarded for their role and responsibilities within your company.

The commercial BA analyst protects the vice president of sales, the director of IT is always there for the CIO and the sales engineer is indispensable to the account manager. These roles are the offensive lineman, the left tackle, of your company today.

The commercial BA analyst runs the spreadsheets, incorporates all financial information related to the deal and makes sure the profit and loss is sound for a thorough business review. This process is mandatory for sophisticated, non-standard, multi-year information technology proposals/projects. All of these data points provide the vice president of sales and the executive team with the necessary information to react quickly to customer, market and competitive pressures. Is the defense across the line of scrimmage going to blitz, stacking the line against the run, or preventing pass defense?  The sales team needs to have a clear picture of their position in order to call the right play.

The director of IT and his/her staff ensure a high level of system and application availability to support service levels and business requirements. System upgrades, change management, governance, and many other factors have to be managed by the IT team in order to fulfill the commitment the CIO has made to the board and executive team to effectively run a competitive business. What is the score, how much time is on the clock, and do you have any timeouts remaining? A successful team always finds a way to put their team in the lead as time expires.

The sales engineer validates the design and configuration of the solution for complex and sophisticated proposals then presents the solution to the customer and answers tough technical questions. By doing so, the sales engineer instills confidence in the customer in order to move forward with the project. Then the sales engineer is the glue that transitions the project to the implementation team where millions of dollars can be at risk for his/her company and the customer based on the success or failure of the project.  Based on the play call, are the right players on the field to execute a successful play? If the approach is containment or competitive displacement, is the proposed solution relevant, and does it meet the customer’s business needs?

While the left tackle is one of the highest paid players on most NFL teams, I bet most of you would be hard pressed to name the left tackle on your favorite team. They are the player that hardly gets noticed when they are doing their job effectively and efficiently.  However, if the quarterback gets sacked or a holding penalty is called, we quickly are told the name and number of the lineman who victimized his team.

These employees that serve as the left tackle need to be recognized for the tremendous value they bring to the organization. Their efforts bring peace of mind to you and many others in the company. Their skill level isn’t always measured by sales quotas or customer satisfaction surveys. Their name needs to be called when they do the exceptional job that we often take for granted, due to their high level of performance and consistency.

When you hire employees in your company, especially in today’s highly competitive job market, you need to ask yourself if this candidate will protect your blind side. In the last NFL draft, more than 25 percent of the players taken in the first round were offensive lineman.  They are entrusted to protect a team’s, and your company’s, most valuable assets.

More Stories By Holly Hagerman

As a senior partner at Connect Public Relations, Holly Hagerman directs public relations processes within the organization and provides strategic counsel to our clients. Hagerman has more than 17 years of experience leading strategic PR programs for network infrastructure, PC peripheral and telecommunications companies, including Lexmark International, Internet Security Systems, F5 Networks, AskMe.com, Efficient Networks, and Siemens Information and Communication Networks. Hagerman specializes in developing communication programs that reach diverse audiences -- from business and financial media to industry influencers and vertical market media. She has vast experience building multi-faceted PR programs that include executive visibility, message development, media and analyst relations, product evaluations, corporate profiles, IPOs, and acquisitions.

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