As we all work through the various impacts of the novel coronavirus – from the depressing and the serious to the merely inconvenient – it's vital that as much industry and business as is safe and possible continues. When thousands are dying, it can seem trite to even consider this, but it is not only important in terms of us having a vibrant post-virus world; IT is an important contributor to sustaining our lives and communications today, and also a vital element to finding ways to overcome the virus.
But that business-continuation demands some very different approaches and thinking; therefore, whenever possible over the coming weeks I'll be asking executives from IT vendors and partners to discuss their thoughts around the marketing changes, challenges, and - yes - also the opportunities that this pandemic is creating. I've called this series "Marketing in Challenging Times" - that's not to skirt around the issue of COVID-19, but to acknowledge the fact that the "challenging times" are likely to extend well beyond the point at which the pandemic is controlled, contained, or beaten...and also of course perhaps some of the lessons-learned and silver-linings-discovered will continue as well. Everyone brings their own perspectives to these conversations; as a minimum we hope they are cathartic, and at best they might provide a new idea or inspiration.
This conversation is with Anthony Clarke, the Regional Director of Tanzu for VMware in Australia/New Zealand. Working in "the field," he and his teams' entire focus is on client relationships and service. While that can keep you on your toes at the best of times, as Anthony explains, no one got a dry-run at all the necessary changes once the pandemic hit! While he sees some differences between internal co-worker collaboration and external customer interfaces, both share some interesting - maybe initially counterintuitive - aspects: easier access, improved speed, and greater intimacy. In some regards social distancing is bringing us together!