UPDATED 19:22 EST / MAY 21 2014

jeff-guenthner NEWS

Technology is easy. Changing culture and its people is hard | #IBMEdge

jeff-guenthnerBroadcasting live from Day Two of IBM Edge 2014 in Sands Convention Center, Las Vegas, John Furrier and Dave Vellante, theCUBE co-hosts, caught up with Jeff Guenthner, Director Solutions Architecture with Chouinard & Myhre, Inc., to talk about enterprise software and professional Services selling, as well as other trends in the industry.

Kicking off the interview, Furrier asked Guenthner to “translate the speeds and feats of the industry into the reality of the trenches.”

“Sometimes you have to slow down to go fast,” Guenthner started. “It is a really interesting time because we’ve grown up providing system integration experience, infrastructure optimization to all our clients – that is really what we are known for – and then pivoting and moving into tangential areas like more software, more services, Big Data, flash, cloud.”

“We’ve got these three practice areas which are relevant now and we feel are going to remain relevant: Data Management, Convergence and Cloud,” Guenthner went on. “These things create this nice pyramid and you can go on creating these very meaningful conversations not only with IT but with all lines of businesses. So, yes, there is a pace, and maybe moving faster than it was before.”

He further detailed that “technology is the easy part: you can get Flash, you can optimize infrastructures, you can do that at-scale and add an optimum price. The hard part is changing the culture and the people in the process,” explained Guenthner. “The beauty of how we’ve architected the way we go to market now is that we can come in and have a discussion that is either very strategic or just extremely tactical.”

IBM’s new strategy leaves room for more choices


As for IBM’s strategy, Guenther admitted he loved it: “You really have a choice now. You can either have native VMware, the whole cloud automation suite, or you can turn to the open source.”

“Why this point in time is so revolutionary?” asked Furrier.

“The fact that you can go and build these infrastructures at a cost that makes sense, without having to be tethered to big corporations, being able to layer in things that are open source, like Linux, the ability to do Big Data, the ability to work with Flash, getting the best of both worlds. For us that is very exciting and also very scary because you might up ending up working with a company you’ve never heard of before, but we’ll start to gain traction at scale and be the next big thing.”

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