We regularly reach out to integrators to ask about what they like and dislike about dealing with manufacturers, distributors, and software providers. In this edition of Integrator Opinion, I spoke with Darrance, the Director of Technology Services at CenterPoint Energy responsible for asset management, office 365, audio visual executive support, and executive event support alongside Field Services, implementation and vendor consolidation.
He told me about his preferences when it comes to tech manufacturers and their content marketing efforts.
Tell me about a positive manufacturer experience?
Darrance: During a COVID crisis, the positive experience that I’ve had has been very key towards available assets. So not saying anyone specific, the positive experience was level setting with me to say what I truly can get this year, understanding within any environment, we have capital requirements, and restrictions on how we spend capital.
So being able to work with a manufacturer that was able to reel me back and say, this cannot get here this year, I understand your financial requirements to the business. And I want to help you do that here are the product lines within our, our forecast or within our lifecycle that we feel we can get to you this year.
I’m not chasing financials, I’m not asking forgiveness later, it was a heart to heart partner to partner approach to say, we know, and we’re raising risk on this, and we want to help you satisfy the demand and the business, we’re gonna have to switch your products.
Has a piece of content from a manufacturer ever influenced your decision-making?
Darrance: When I see the buzzwords “as a service,” those are very pinpointed towards my interest, when people have only reductions in an enterprise environment or within their environment period, we look for those as a service opportunities, consulting opportunities, package deal up by this and we will help you with services to deploy early adoption.
So what I saw was a methodology towards as a service early adoption improvement that to me, said, here’s a manufacturer that has it figured out, it’s not just selling the product, it’s also selling it with the reassurance that this will have a great early adoption and we have the documentation to prepare you to be there.
What are tech buyers looking for from the content coming from manufacturers?
Darrance: I would say videos. If we’re working from home, what’s the best way for me to approach or get the knowledge out to the resources, and that has been driven by videos.
Same thing with our digital platform of Zoom teams, anything like that. These are the succession paths that we’ve had for early adoption, where people really get it, and they learn it. It also goes hand in hand with most of these enterprise environments, universities, right, where they have internal training and classes, these are all video driven, right?
There’s a speaker talking, maybe a slide flipping, but at the end of the day, it’s in the format of a video. This, to me has been very successful. And that’s what I really like to see trending is things that are easy enough for early adoption.
What do integrators want to see in these videos?
Darrance: From an integrator perspective, they don’t really care about the signal flow, they just want to know how do I turn it on? What should I expect when I walk into these areas or the room? So for me in the videos, I like to see more of that: using simple terms, getting back to the buzzwords in our industry, and allowing that to organically just sink in with the actual viewer.
To me, that’s simple. Using more graphics, right? Show me the product — we’re hands on in a digital world. So how do I touch this or get the film that I know what this is, and it’s by in the video actually giving some good clips of what that product looks like.
Or if it’s software, showing the full ease of the software from the start to the finish, right? Not in the elaborate breakdown, but that edit glance, clip note, right.
Keeping your videos within a three to five minute segment, perfect, you lose your audience after five minutes. So I like seeing those videos that capture details of the product or software or integration. And then to that don’t take or consume a lot of time.
So if at up you can get smaller segments that also open the door for an enhance right, deep dive view of what this is. And so I think keeping it there and knowing that you still have the ability to broaden what their knowledge base is, with additional videos, I think is the way that we want to keep focusing on how we deliver that via video content.