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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Do you know how to crack the SI code?

Whether you are an outsider trying to crack the federal market or a small business trying to expand, a common challenge is figuring out how to best work with systems integrators.

The SIs, as they are often called, dominate the federal market as government agencies rely on them for a variety of services and support. You can have a federal business without working with them, but eventually you’ll need them if you want to grow beyond a few niche customers.

immixGroup is holding a one-day event this week called the Government IT Sales Summit designed to help technology companies grow their business with the government, and I’ve been asked to moderate a panel, “cracking the SI Code: How to Work with Systems Integrators.

The Nov. 20 event will be held at the McLean Hilton in the Tysons Corner area of Northern Virginia.

My panel has three veterans of large systems integrators – Kanitha Sar, cybersecurity business manager at Leidos; Joshua Canary, account general manager at Computer Sciences Corp.; and Ray Miles, former sales executive at Northrop Grumman and systems integrator alliances manager at immix. The fourth panelist is Scott Lewis, founder of PS Partnership. He’s a consultant that helps companies connect with systems integrators. He’s also my old boss when he was publisher of Washington Technology.

The panel will be a Q&A affair, and here’s some of what I’m going to be asking:

  • When you get approached by potential partners, what do they do that really makes you grind your teeth?
  • What makes your day?
  • What makes for a good partnership?
  • Explain what makes the difference between a business development driven organization and a sales organization? What do you need to know to work with each?
  • Partners need to deliver value, so what are the elements of a strong value proposition?
  • How do you end a partnership?

Of course, my panel is just one of several. Others will cover contract vehicles, the state and local market, social media, fundamentals of selling, recurring revenue, and innovation. There are also sessions on the civilian, defense and intelligence markets.

Steven Johnson, author of the book How We Got to Now: Six Innovations that Made the Modern World, will be the main keynote speaker. He’s been a TED speaker, and his book has been made into a PBS television series.

Here is a link to more details on the event.

If you see me, say Hi.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Nov 18, 2014 at 9:23 AM

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