/, Podcast/Salesforce Career Conversations #7: Ian Moyse

Salesforce Career Conversations #7: Ian Moyse

Episode 7: Ian Moyse Salesforce Career Conversation with ROD. Is Ian the busiest man in cloud? Not only is he the EMEA Sales Director for Natterbox, he is also a Non-Exec Director for numerous cloud companies and bodies. Listen to his story on our latest RODcast.

Lee: Hiya, it’s RODcast again with me, Lee Durant. Today’s very special guest is Ian Moyse. This is going to be a long introduction because Ian, as you’ll find out by listening to this episode, is many things and does many things. A very busy man. He’s currently Non-Exec Director for Digital Leadership Associates, who are experts in social media; a company called ZAR, who are a managed cloud and IT services provider; FAST, which is the Federation Against Software Theft, and Assure Data, who are a GDPR training firm.

He’s also an advisory board member to SAAS Max Data, an SAS applications platform. He’s a governance board member of CIF, which is the Cloud Industry Forum. And he still has time for his main role, which is the EMEA Sales Director at Natterbox – Natterbox being the most integrated Salesforce telephony experience.

This is an interesting episode because Ian talks about his career but also talks about the wider world of Cloud Salesforce and how it’s gone since 2001. So, quite a long, in-depth one, but hopefully you’ll learn a lot about Ian’s experiences of the wider world of Cloud as well as Salesforce, and of course Natterbox.

Hope you guys enjoy it.

Lee: So, Ian, thanks very much for joining us today. How are you doing?

Ian: Good, Lee, thank you for the invite as well.

Lee: No, I appreciate it. You’ve got to be probably the busiest person we’ve had on so far because I was thinking initially, “Oh EMEA Sales Director for Natterbox, you’ll be busy enough doing that.”

Ian: Yeah.

Lee: But then I noticed you’re an advisor and Non-Exec Director, a speaker and presenter. There’s so much else you do as well. Could you just do a little introduction on yourself for everyone listening and explain what it is that you currently do. That would be great.

Ian: Sure, the day job, as you quite rightly say, is EMEA Sales Director at Salesforce Cloud Telephony provider Natterbox. So that’s the core piece. But around that, over the past number of years, more by accident than setting out to do so, I’ve ended up involved as a Non-Executive and things like that in industry bodies: Cloud Industry Forum, Federation Against Software Theft, as a Non-Exec at different times and some other firms in and around the Cloud sector. And I speak, I’m a CLAT School Speaker; I speak at a lot of events, and I get asked to blog and social influence for a lot of major corporations in the technology, and specifically the Cloud, sector.

Ian: So, what I’ve found is, the more you do it, the more you get invited to do it. If you do a good job of providing value and insight to the audience, whether it be at a speaking event or through a blog you’ve written, other people tend to spot it.

So, I tend to get inbounds every week through social media direct messages, “Oh, do you do this?” or, “Could you help with this.” or, “We noticed this, could you do something for us?” Which is all nice, but as you say, time’s limited, so it’s a bit of a game of shuffling stuff in, and often, I find a podcast like this or a blog comes out and it’s four months later because people schedule stuff ahead in their content library. And I’ve forgotten I’ve even done it!

Ian: But it’s a bit of a game of doing stuff in front of the TV in the evenings or weekends, if you’re in between meetings.

Ian: And the great thing about the social side, the input of some of it is, you can do it on the move in a taxi, right? So there’s an element of that.

Ian: The hardest thing for me is writing blogs because you have to really give it some thought. I get the ideas quicker than I get the writing it. So I’ve probably 20 or 30 blog draughts of the headline and a couple of bullets all written out, ready to go. But it’s finding the time as you’ve already said, of sitting down and writing them.

Lee: I understand that! For the people listening, it will be really interesting to hear your journey because you’ve risen through the ranks to become EMEA Sales Director of Natterbox, and all these other Non-Exec Director roles you’ve got. It would be interesting to see, going back to the beginning, how you go into this, what your career was prior to Natterbox, and what you were doing before you got into the Cloud.

Ian: Yeah. I’ll do it very quickly because it’s more interesting to me than everyone else! I got into computing because right at the beginning someone moved in as a neighbour who had one of the old, I won’t say which one it was because it would date me, but one of the very basic old computers that hardly did anything and didn’t have whizzy graphics. And I was just hooked from the start. So at that point, I did everything around mathematics and got to be a programmer at IBM.

Lee: Oh, my word!

Ian: So that was my goal. It was techie, getting my hands on this stuff. A couple of years into that I came across the world of sales, saw an opportunity and realised that salespeople at the time, and probably still now, got a lot of the perks. So, mobile phones as they were then – a brick that you need a suitcase to carry – but also a company car and all this stuff. And I was, “How am I going to get that?” I was aspirational and took the leap from technical to sales – as many say, no-one does that successfully, but hopefully, I am a case in point of proving it wrong.

Ian: I absolutely made the spin, went into inside sales, got promoted to field sales in under a year and that was all in-channel. I did channel-based and distribution in the resale market before I ended up in vendor land where I’ve sat now for quite a while.

Ian: I sold software products for many, many years; different types, system management or security. Moving into the Cloud space was more by accident than selection. I came across a job opportunity in the security space. The locality, the package, everything about the role looked good, but it wasn’t because it was Cloud. It wasn’t, “Oh, I must get into Cloud.” That was just a by-product; it happened to be a Cloud solution. But since I got into it, I’ve never looked back.

I’ve been in Cloud for the last 13 years and watched the evolution of vendors such as Salesforce. We were in a very different world very quickly. Technology has moved at an accelerated pace continually and continues to do so, which makes it more interesting, but you’ve got to reinvent yourself and stay relevant for that reason.

Lee: Absolutely. And when it comes to being a sales leader as you are now, when did that start in the Salesforce space? When did the Cloud thing become more specific to Salesforce?

Ian: I first used Salesforce around 2001 when I set a UK office up for a US firm – one of the many smaller, start-ups that I’ve instigated. I had six people in an office in Reading and needed some tools, and at that time, Salesforce had a five-user free edition. So, I can say it now, we used the five-user edition and some of us shared one of the IDs… because the minute you bought the sixth licence, it became expensive for everyone.

Lee: Yeah.

Ian: And we were a start-up, so we used the five-user edition. So right back there, I guess that was three years into Salesforce.

Lee: Because they started in 1999, didn’t they?

Ian: ’98, ’99 I think. The product wasn’t out on day one when they founded the business, but it was the earliest edition from when Salesforce came into existence and people didn’t really know the name – just that it was the new kid on the block. Siebel was the market leader in CRM, but I needed something flexible, and to be blunt, cheap at the time. And there was this great five-user, ‘get you started’ edition. It was a no-brainer. And that’s why they did it. And look what they’ve built from it over that journey.

Lee: Yeah. And going to where you are now then, from that point, where does Natterbox sit within Salesforce – just for listeners that perhaps haven’t heard of it or don’t know much about it.

Ian: So firstly, a good standpoint is we run a whole business on Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Financial Force and Salesforce app exchange tools such as Conga. We are fully on board as a customer of Salesforce.

Ian: Our business; what we have and our own technology that we sell, is a fully end-to-end Cloud-based telephony platform. We have embedded within Salesforce. We are the most integrated phone system you can get in Salesforce. And that’s from end-to-end, so we only have PBX technology, the engine, the core server routing piece of the telephone system, through to the Computer Telephony Integration. That’s what pops up on your PC as a webphone.  We’ve built that technology and we’ve built it around Salesforce. So, for a Salesforce customer, we’re fully the app exchange; we install the whole phone system and we support Salesforce users in all of the platforms: Force.com, Service Cloud, Sales Cloud, Communities, Omni-channel, et cetera.

So, we live that world, ’Eat our own dog food.’ We run a whole business on what we sell to customers and Salesforce. And we live solely in that eco-system: supporting customers who have Salesforce in their business. But we also support all the other phone users in the business, but through Salesforce. Salesforce becomes your core engine at the centre of your phone system.

Ian: And the beauty of that, the bit that’s different, is we allow you to leverage Salesforce and the phone system together. So, we leverage Salesforce data to personalise the phone journey. For example, when you call us, it says, “Morning, Lee, good to see you, we’ll put you through to Ian, your account manager.” Simple example. Because we do a data dip in Salesforce, to see who your phone number’s related to, so we can address you by name, and then can detect who your account manager is and route it to them. Or that you’ve got a ticket open and we need to put it to a particular team or send dynamic voice messages to you. We can do wondrous stuff and all the data that we create off the phone system goes into Salesforce as well.

Ian: So, it’s our core engine for all our data for the admin portal and for a lot of the users to use.

Lee: And was that always the case? Were Natterbox always with Salesforce?  Or was your telephony outside of Salesforce before, and then found it?

Ian: Really pertinent question. Yes, we were integrated with Salesforce from the beginning, but not as deep as we are today.

Ian: What we discovered on our journey of building our own Cloud system is that markets are moving quickly, and the Cloud telephony market generically commoditised very quickly. So, the fact that you’ve got a Cloud PBX – great, so has someone else. So, we were thinking, “Okay, we’re already playing in this Salesforce community, we’re seeing the value and we’re understanding and hearing what customers want to do.” That could be a very big niche for us.

Lee: And so it’s proved to be.

Ian: The type of customers that buy Salesforce tend to care about customer experience, and data and logging ticket and using it as a tool for a reason, right? Or, for productivity in your team – data and knowledge and nice reports. Otherwise, why are you using that rich platform? We worked very well on the back of this because the benefits we bring enhance customer experience, improve productivity and inform your staff. So, the values you’re getting out of the system are aligned with what you get from Salesforce. Put the two together; you get a two plus two equals six compounding effect.

Lee: Yeah.

Ian: Because you get more value from the data you have in Salesforce for every single user in your business, and the customer gets a value from it.

Ian: You tell me your phone number, “So, Lee, I don’t have your mobile in our system, would you mind if I store it for GDPR compliance? I’m asking you for consent because the value to you is if I do, is should you call us, we’re going to route your call with more personalisation, quicker.”

So, we’re not going to give you the menu with six options if you only can access three of those services, for example. We’ll give you the three you can. Or when we detect we’ve got an open ticket for you and it’s a priority because your boiler’s broken and it’s Christmas, we’re going to treat you differently.  Because the phone call will be detected on the inbound. We’ll be able to look up and see you’re in jeopardy right now because you logged a ticket with us earlier: we’re going to prioritise your call over a general enquiry.

Ian: So, you can start changing your customer’s and agent’s experience through this. But you have to invest. Same as you have in Salesforce. So that’s why we address that market. We decided, rather than being the Jack of all trades we’re going to do the best integration a customer’s ever seen, with the selected platform being Salesforce. And that’s what we’ve done, and we’ve built that over the past five years. We focus on taking the foundation we built, which was very strong, and making it the best in the Salesforce world.

Lee: And you touched on GDPR there, which I know is something you’re quite knowledgeable about because of your advisory and Non-Exec Director stuff; a lot of it seemed to be around that.

Ian: Yeah.

Lee: And with the Cloud Industry Forum, you’re a board member of that, aren’t you? Was GDPR a really big topic? I know it was, probably a year ago. Is it just me, or does it seem to have gone quiet?

Ian: I think you’re correct on both counts. It’s gone quiet in terms of all the publicity because at that time every press article you picked up had a different GDPR spin.

Lee: Yeah.

Ian: I pulled this up at one point, interestingly. It was one of the computing publications who do daily alerts, and of the top 15 news articles, 11 of them mentioned GDPR in some way. Because it was the hottest subject, et cetera.

So, it’s gone away a little bit in terms of the noise, but what we’re seeing now is the aftermath. We’re seeing some of the publicity now around the fines that are hitting companies. We’ve seen it with the Marriott; we’ve seen it with British Airways; we’ve seen it with some of the retailers. We’re seeing some of the consequences of GDPR that you have to report data leaks, you have to be more transparent by law, and therefore the noise has gone up.

Ian: It’s still happening, it’s still there and if you work in the Cloud space, for anyone that looks at contracts and starting up a new Cloud vendor it’s “Where’s your GDPR terms?” All of that stuff has got to be in your contract, and people question it. So yeah, it’s still lively, I think it’s just under the covers and not in the press today, not on the mainstream news, until something bad happens with one of these big stories. But it hasn’t gone away by any means. And in fact, to a degree, it’s getting more complex, because we’ve got, and I was trying to avoid the word, Brexit.

Lee: Yeah.

Ian: And there are implications. We’ve got the Cloud Act from the US, which is the next iteration of US data law. Questions are coming up now around which one supersedes, which one takes priority. And if we leave Brexit what happens. There’s nothing to fear in this, but the people have questions, because unless you’ve already read up on it and when it finally dawns on you: you’re about to sign a service and you’re in a different territory, and what does that mean? So rightly, people are asking questions about it.

So, it’s still there; it’s still loud and proud. And I think we’ve got a way to go in terms of it becoming legality. There was lots of talk about it, but lots of companies weren’t going to be ready in time. And I think there are still lots of companies that you could argue aren’t compliant.

It’s driven them to be a bit better, but I think what will happen is that we’ll see more breaches and that’s either a consequence of them not upping their game. Or, because they haven’t been fully compliant, if you have a breach, once it goes through the process and the ICO in the UK, for example, looks at you  – If you’ve ticked every box there is and done everything to the highest possible level – you drove your car, you had an accident. Still, it’s MOT’d; it’s insured, it’s serviced, the tyres are good, everything’s good. Didn’t stop you having the accident, but they’re not going to throw the book at you.

But if you have an accident and they find that you’ve got bald tyres, you haven’t got insurance, all the rest of it, the consequences are bigger. Because you haven’t followed the rules and done everything you could have done. Same as security for GDPR. If you’ve battened down the hatches, followed all the process, ticked all the boxes as best as humanly possible, they’re not going to throw the book at you and the biggest fine. You’re not negligent.

Lee: Right. Okay.

Ian: If you’re found to be negligent, the fines are going to be bigger, and that’s what we’re seeing starting to happen in the publicity today. Some of the fines are quite extreme because if you’ve taken the bet that you can get away with it – think you’ll never get a breach; you’ll never get hacked – you’re not willing to spend the money and investment. You may think you’ll get around to it, and then it happens. So, what else are the authorities going to do? They’ve got to show others that this cannot be acceptable.

Lee: That’s a really good analogy, the car insurance one, and I guess for people listening that are thinking of using Natterbox, it’s good to know that you’re there and you obviously advised internally.

Ian: Oh, absolutely. We had a GDPR tick before it went live. It isn’t a one-off thing, that’s the other key thing. So we’re continually reviewing, we’re Brexit-ready. We’ve done everything needed, so should worst case of a hard Brexit happen, we’ve got everything lined up for our existing and prospective new customers in terms of the diligence and the compliance. What they’d expect us to have in place – where our contracts are centred, data, and how we handle it, what the policies are, etc., tick, tick, tick. All those wondrous things, we’ve already done that just in case. Because you can’t do this stuff post.  And certainly not in the Cloud world, where people inherently ask questions about data and data sovereignty, and rightly so. So, we need to be transparent and ready – and we are.

Lee: It sounds like it, definitely.

Lee: So, you’ve been around in the Salesforce space for, as we’ve established, a long time now. You were probably one of the first adopters of it in the UK if you were doing it in 2001?

Ian: Sure.

Lee: So how do you find the world of Salesforce today; what for you has changed in that time?

Ian: I think the Cloud is an acceptable word to use now. When I got into Cloud in 2006, on the sales side, engaging with customers and hearing the concerns and objections, there was a lot of concern over having personal data held by someone else. That was one of the fundamentals.

Ian: That, to the majority, has gone away now. It still comes up, and there’s still concern because not everyone understands Cloud is a very easy term, and under it you’ve got SAS, PAS and IAS. And all the variants of hybrid and all the complexities. And then you’ve got the big three AWS, Google Compute and Azure.

So, there’s a lot more to it than saying, “It’s the word Cloud, therefore end of story.” The devil’s in the detail, however. Most businesses today are using Cloud of some sort. They’re Cloud aware, or Cloud committed as we call them. Salesforce has contributed massively to that success. If you talk to a customer who’s using Salesforce or Office 365 as an example, then inherently, they’ve accepted Cloud as something that holds important business data; your email or customer data.

Ian: So, it paves the way for other Cloud providers to ride on the back of if you’ve already got one of those mainstream platforms holding important, personal information, which is the key to this. If you’re storing generic information and it’s not personally identifiable, and you leak it – who cares? Because it doesn’t tell anyone anything. But where it’s personally identifiable, that’s where all these data laws apply and you’re trusting these Cloud services to hold it. Well, why are you going to resist another Cloud service? Yes, you’re going to ask questions of that vendor.

Lee: Yeah.

Ian: In terms of their security and all your due diligence. But generically, you’re not questioning Cloud. You’re questioning their implementation of Cloud, which is a fair thing to do because not all Clouds are born equal. Not everyone is an Amazon or a Salesforce.

Lee: Yeah.

Ian: So, it’s changed the dynamic. What I’ve seen change is Salesforce has continually moved on in terms of its breadth: when you look at the breadth of platforms it has.

Lee: Yeah.

Ian: And then all the sub-modules within them. I was with Salesforce themselves a few weeks ago, and they had a very good slide which showed that there are leading platforms, but when you start delving down to sub-modules, it’s actually an extensive portfolio they have of solutions which with their recent acquisitions has broadened even further. And of course, they’re adding to that with things like high-velocity sales and some of the other modules that are new to the market.

Ian: And then you go to the App Exchange where we sit as Natterbox. They’ve taken it from the days when it was Salesforce CRN – we didn’t have a concept of Sales Cloud – it was just Salesforce CRM, that was it. It named itself. To now, where does it stop and start, right? I think it’s something like 3,000 apps in the App Exchange. This is a core platform that is so extensive and all-encompassing that you can do wondrous things with it. So, the game’s changed. They’ve helped change the Cloud market, and they’re a very different business now than they were when I first engaged.

Lee: For the better or just-

Ian: Yeah, well if they’d only been CRM, I think they’d have had more of a challenge today right, in differentiation, because we’ve seen that the Microsoft Dynamics product came from nowhere. Microsoft wasn’t in the CRM space. It was in a lot of spaces right, and they’ve changed and become a Cloud committed company.

Ian: And we’ve seen the acquisitions of the likes of Net Suite. We’ve seen Ciber go, which was an interesting displacement I guess that Salesforce contributed to. But there’s still a lot of CRM’s out there. There are probably nine or ten major CRMs, but having worked in that space, if you want to search the vertical markets, you will search for geographic markets. At one point, I came across a list of 400 different CRM products, some of which were very focused on a particular sector and some which were predominate in a particular region. There was a German CRM product that didn’t exist anywhere else. A niche product, you could argue, but it was successful in their area.

Lee: Yeah.

Ian: There’s a lot of platforms out there, so for them to have taken the lead, they had to broaden and do something different, or they’d have been, “Great, we’re a CRM, we’re one of many.” What made them differ is the journey they’ve taken customers on. And expanding the capability far beyond holding some customer data.

Lee: And who knows what’s coming next, which will be one of the questions right at the end of this podcast. But bringing it back to you and your career, what would you say at this point of the journey you’ve been on, what’s been the biggest challenge for you in your career and how did you overcome that?

Ian: I think that the speed of change and the accelerated changes I mentioned at the beginning and that covers things like GDPR and Brexit that have appeared. You have to deal with these things; you can’t go, “Well, I haven’t had those problems before.” These are outside influences from political and legal stances that you can’t, certainly in the Cloud world, ignore because they impact the customer and the customer’s interaction and questions of you.

Ian: And the bio-dynamics change. I talk about this on a lot of other podcasts around selling. But we’ve all changed as customers; we’ve become more informed, more fickle and more demanding.

Lee: Yeah.

Ian: Because of the likes of Uber and Amazon. And I talk at events about this. It’s just the real world. It’s all of us. You, the audience, and anyone listening to this podcast, think about your behaviours 15 years ago. We didn’t have social media; you didn’t have the Amazon’s of this world with reviews of every product. You couldn’t go on and look at a product, see the reviews, think, “Oh, other people like these and there are 12 alternatives. You’d have to do all that work yourself. Now it’s done for you and handed to you on a plate. On any device, at any time, 24/7. Often, with Prime, you order something, and it’s like, “Oh, that will be with you this afternoon.” “What? It’s eleven o’clock already. Really?”

Ian: How ridiculous! If someone had said that to us 15 or so years ago, I think we’d have all laughed. It just seemed unfeasible. Today, we accept it and take it for granted. What’s around the corner, you know? Everything’s moving quicker. The speed of acceleration now to value, for any new innovative business, is quicker than we’ve ever seen in history.

Ian: You can form a business and have a multi-million pound, if not billion-pound valuation, within a couple of years today. We’ve seen it happen, where companies have formed, and within three years, their valuation’s over a billion.

Ian: That would never have happened without the technology that we have today on the world grid. Typically those companies, if you look at the Fortune 500 and you look at the top ten, something like eight of them today are tech companies. We’ve got the Amazon’s, the Facebook’s, et cetera. They’ve totally turned on its head the world we were in.

Lee: When you say that 15 years ago it wasn’t there – and I’m old enough to remember – as you were discussing earlier on, telephones being like bricks, and what have you.

Ian: Well, we wouldn’t be doing this podcast on this platform.

Lee: No, exactly.

Ian: This would be clunky, probably over the phone with a tape recorder or a recording device plugged into the phone in some way. This is seamless: we log on to a Cloud platform. We don’t know how it’s doing it; we don’t care – it’s consumerised. And a lot of these platforms are free. Or the usage is for free. How incredible is that?

Lee: I know, it’s crazy. And how quickly we, as users, get used to it and think nine, ten years ago we didn’t have all this. Because you just get so used to be able to do all this.

Ian: Exactly. That’s where the world’s changed. That’s us: we remember it. The Millennials and the Z’s, they don’t know a different world. They have grown up with smartphones, maybe not the version we’re at now with IOS whatever it’s 13.2.2 or whatever. It would have been the earlier versions, but they’ve never known a world where you didn’t have a touch screen with that type of interface.

Lee: Yeah.

Ian: Never known it. So how many kids, and I’ve seen it, they immediately try and do the old Apple swipe because it’s programmed into them that everything works this way. Tech hasn’t caught up with the human. The human expectations have now gone ahead of tech, so when something comes out, how often do you go, “Wow”? Now, you see a drone, or you see a group of drones doing a display, all synchronised, that’s pretty good. How many people fall off their seats now? None, because we expect it.

Lee: Yeah.

Ian: You know, the James Bond gadget world, or the Mission Impossible, some of the stuff you see on Minority Report, all these films.

Lee: Oh yeah.

Ian: You watch those films now, and they’re only from ten, fifteen years ago. At that point, it felt like they were going to be 200 years in the future. Now you look at it and go, “We’re pretty close to that now.” And it’s cheaper than ever before.

Lee: This is going off on a tangent, but getting the first iPod and thinking how amazing that was. And you know, effectively they’re dead now, aren’t they?

Ian: Yeah.

Lee: And streaming and downloading and all of that sort of stuff.

Ian: What we’ve got now, and this brings it back to Salesforce, is everything is starting to link. The Internet of Things, Cloud technologies, drones, AI. All of this big data is coming together, and you’re starting to see this cross-over where you don’t know that device is an IOT device with some AI in it, talking to a Cloud service somewhere else, to be able to do your heating and detect your pattern. You don’t care. So it blurs. All you see is, “Wow, this is neat.”

Lee: Yeah.

Ian: That’s what Salesforce has done with its App Exchange to a degree. You plug all these things in and for the user, it blurs into one. It just feels like it’s all Salesforce because it’s all integrated. You click on one bit, and it takes you into another bit. But you don’t sit there saying, “Well, that’s taken me from one application to another.” It just feels like it’s just one big application, helping you, as a user, to be more productive, to be more informed, and to be more useful. It might be a combination of Natterbox, Conga, Salesforce, all combined through the workflow. I talk to the customer; I do this. I do a credit card transaction: I send them this. It just works. And that was my workflow. But in doing so, I’ve used four or five apps.

Lee: Yeah.

Ian: It isn’t like the old world, where you’d flick between systems, perhaps in terminal relation, or different tabs, and they were all in different systems. And you had to cut and paste data across – take the address from one system, paste it into the other system. It should just do it for you. And one of the things Salesforce is doing a fantastic job on is making it easy for app providers like us at Natterbox, to enable a customer to have a seamless experience.

Lee: Brilliant. So, can you explain to myself and people listening the various parts of the sales cycle? All the companies you’ve worked for?  You’ve worked in supply channel, vendor, distributed reseller. What are the differences in all of those, and how have they changed with what we’ve just been talking about?

Ian: Yeah, I can do that very quickly. The simple definition I would give is, the vendor is the manufacturer. They create the product. So, Natterbox is our product and technology, for example. Salesforce is their product and technology. If you have a distributor, they, historically, were the stockholder. They would have a warehouse somewhere and they would stock the product, credit hold, et cetera. And they would sell to a resell agent, so let me give you a historical example.

You’re a manufacturer of computer PCs, the hardware devices, and you’re an American provider but your product can work worldwide. So, what you would do is to have a distributor in each country who distributed your product. They would store your product in the warehouse, they would represent it in that territory, and they would go out and find resellers and dealers in the different counties or states to sell that product. They would be responsible for being your master sales agent in a region. Going out and finding the resellers who are based in each county who could service the end customer in their region.

Ian: And that came from the nature of that world. If it was a hardware device or piece of software with a CD, you needed physicality to it. If you were a customer in Reading in the UK and said, “I want to buy a copy of Word Perfect Word Processing, for example, you needed a physical box to buy from someone. So, you go to a dealer, a reseller of IT product, and they have some boxes there. But they wouldn’t carry hundreds of stock items, because they don’t know how many they’re going to sell in Berkshire. So, they might say, “Well, we can get one for you.” They call the distributor who has some stock and say, “Actually we’ll take five copies and we’ve got one ready to sell here.” The distributor ships it to them; they sell it to the customer. That’s the supply chain in simplistic terms.

Ian: Today, Salesforce sells directly to the end customer. In the Salesforce channel, so to speak, there’s no distributor.

Ian: It’s a Cloud product, so there’s no boxes or anything to move around. The credit risk that the channel used to help everyone with, because think about it, you had a reseller. If they missed their payment or if the customer did it on invoice, they would chase the payment. You wouldn’t have the manufacturer in the States trying to chase every payment for a small customer in Reading. It didn’t work. So basically, everyone took a chunk, a portion of margin into their business for the service they provided in that supply chain.

In the Salesforce world or the Cloud world, if you sell Cloud to a customer and they don’t pay, it’ simple. It’s like your phone system, your gas or electricity: you turn it off. You’ve got control to take the product back. You didn’t have that in the old physicality world. The values and the value proposition of the channels have changed greatly.

Ian: Salesforce sells directly, but where’s their channel set? The channels are a couple of things; it’s people like us, who’ve built products on the back of their platform. And we then get the opportunity to sell through their eco-system, through their App Exchange, to customers that are using their product. So we’re part of that extended eco-system. We’re a partner on the side, so to speak. We’re not selling their product, but because of what they do, we are then able to create and sell our product.

Ian: And then you’ve got the implementation partners, who help customers to implement, to get the most value out of Salesforce. But they’re not selling you the licence of Salesforce, typically. And then Salesforce has some, what I would call OEM manufacturers in the old days. Partners who take the Salesforce platform, build something of their own on top of it: they take Force.com and build a particular vertical market – a recruitment application for example – on top of it where a particular application for a very niche part of the finance market where it works differently: they don’t have opportunities, they don’t have the customer record in the same way – it’s different things with different needs. They’ve built out their custom objects and customised the underlying Salesforce Force.com platform to offer a different platform on top of that to a specific customer need.

Lee: Yeah.

Ian: So, Salesforce has changed the market in terms of the type of partnership, and the type of supply channel is now different in that eco-system.

Ian: And then you have others like Microsoft, who still sell through the channels with Cloud. There is a risk with Cloud providers that they go direct. Salesforce has done it from the beginning, but it’s very easy to sell globally a Cloud solution. At Natterbox, we now have offices, for example, in the US. But we had a plethora of US customers, we had some very big ones, select us without us even being present in the US and many of them bought without us even travelling to meet them.

Lee: Really.

Ian: We could demo the product over the web, we could install it remotely, do everything we need remotely, so we can give them our technology without physically having anything in the US. You couldn’t do that in the old days when you had a software product. No-one would ever find you. We now live in the internet world, the social world, the peer index world, where customers can find reviews within other platforms like the App Exchange and then reach out to a technology who’s on the other side of the world, and find something that empowers their business and complements Salesforce, without that vendor being around the corner from them.

Lee: Yeah.

Ian: So, the whole Cloud world, the whole internet, the social world, has changed the buyer engagement and made it easier for a Cloud vendor to reach globally and support customers more directly and effectively because customers aren’t installing on every variation of PC and device.

Ian: It’s easier to support Cloud service centrally than it was in the old days to support a product installed on eight million PCs around the world and everyone’s got a different patch level and other products, and they’re conflicting. We’re now in a different world. A lot of Cloud technology vendors now sell direct and use channels for support and implementation like Salesforce do. I think we’re going to see a continuation of a progression in that way. New vendors coming in will go that route from the start. Traditional vendors are struggling because they haven’t fully migrated to the Cloud world. Many have still got their feet in two camps and for them, I think we will see some of them flip the button and go, “Actually, we’re taking this direct.” Because the financial pressure on them from their new Cloud competitors will drive them that way.

Ian: Not that the resellers or partners have done anything wrong, but they’ve got to survive, and they’ve got to be successful in their business and deliver shareholder value, and if you look at a lot of the big traditional technology vendors, big names we all know, they’re not all having the success path that Salesforce is.

Ian: A lot of them are having to restructure their companies: a lot of them are letting people go, unfortunately. And we’re seeing many under acquisition threat right now.

Lee: What would you say is your favourite thing about Salesforce as an eco-system? I won’t ask your favourite product; I think we can all guess the answer to that! So, what would you say is your favourite part of the eco-system itself, what makes you so proud to be part of it?

Ian: I think there’s a lot of cooperation. We have competitors obviously, but, as I mentioned, we used Conga in our own business, Conga is a customer of ours. So they use us, we use them. And it’s not because we planned it that way, it just happened to develop that way. We have a growing number of App Exchange vendors who recognise and understand the value of being in the App Exchange. And by going through that process, working closely with Salesforce and the more integrated you are – they realise that the more integrated you’ve got, the bigger the knock-on value.

Lee: Okay.

Ian: So we work with each other. We bump into each other at a lot of events. It really is a community. At lots of Salesforce’s own events, but also the community and the user group events, you bump into the same people, and most of us aren’t competing with each other. We’re asking, “How do we enhance a Salesforce customer’s value and enable them to be more competitive and successful in the market?” And what we find is, often we get introductions which we’re proud of, from our customers.

Ian: Because if you’re a customer in the Salesforce eco-system, you go to the Salesforce events, you talk to other Salesforce customers, and you share stories. “What do you use or such and such?” “What do you use for documents, what do you use for workflows? What do you use for this or this?” And they share stories with each other. You find if you do a good job in the community, the community talks to each other and shares stories because they’re all trying to help each other be better in that arena.

We get opportunities introduced to us by other customers, by Salesforce and by other vendors we’ve bumped into. You get a little awareness of what we do. And vice versa. So I think that’s the piece, the App Exchange and that community really works well, but the more you’re in it, the more you find this synergy of community where you can all help each other – with some competition obviously, but that’s the real world.

Lee: Does that not exist in any other eco-system? I mean, it must do, surely.

Ian: I haven’t seen it so much. So, you know, in the Windows market, did you really get a windows product where you had sharing of it just because they were sitting on the same platform? In my experience in the IT sector after many, many years, I haven’t witnessed the equivalent of the Ohana – those in the sales and community will know what the link to that is – I haven’t seen that in any others where it’s like a club. Where you keep bumping into the same people. The more you’re in it, the more people you bump into, the more commonality of story you’ve got and the more people help each other.

Lee: Yeah.

Ian: And cross-pollinate. And you start bumping into partners. We work a lot of Salesforce partners who, some of them use our phone system, and they end up in a project, and of course, they can advise the customer and go, “Well, actually we know about that.” and we’ll end up with them in Salesforce. So the customer’s having a conversation with three or four influencing factors. A perfect storm for us would be they use Conga, they’re talking to an implementation partner that uses and works with us, they’re talking to Salesforce, and they’re hearing from all of them that we’re good.

Ian: And we know them, they know us, so it’s not like, for the customer, you’ve bought distinct products off four distinct people, and none of them know each other. And you’re trying to bolt it together. There’s an element of synergy already between those which helps the customer. They’re not brokering it and going, “Well, have you ever heard of this product? We want to integrate it.” And if it’s the first time you’ve done it, it’s getting easier and easier for the customer to digest.

Ian: And that helps us all right? It’s a faster time to value, and the quicker you get something up and running, the more likely you are to get success from it and want to expand.

Lee: Absolutely! What would you say you’re most excited about in the future with Natterbox and Salesforce, and even the wider Cloud industry?

Ian: I think the speed of innovation. We have just announced and shown our customers at our annual event some really exciting things which the Salesforce platform and Lightning, and the advancements in Salesforce, have enabled and empowered us to do.

Ian: We’ve announced a thing called Freedom, which means the Salesforce user will be able to have the same CTI device as a non-Salesforce user, as a mobile user, and flip between them and all see each other. So, I’m in Salesforce, great, I can see data and whatever, but they are a non-Salesforce user. We already route calls using Salesforce data but we’re going to go a few steps further. How far can we give a non-Salesforce user a Salesforce experience staying within Salesforce’s rules and also helping drag that customer, that non-Salesforce user, into the Salesforce world? Because they’re starting to get value from it, and they see the value of investing. You know, it’s very rare we find a business where every single employee’s on Salesforce.

Ian: It’ll be, we have 4,000 employees, and 600 are on Salesforce, Service Cloud and 300 are on Sales Cloud. As a random example. And then we’ve got a bit of Communities and this and this. “Okay, so telephony brings a phone system, but it’s run from within Salesforce and you start to get value because of what you’ve got in Salesforce and the data to all of those users.” So suddenly, you’re extending the value of Salesforce to non-Salesforce users and also exposing them to some of the “What’s possible?” AI’s in there with Salesforce and I understand we’re doing the same, so we’re stepping the game up of the “What’s possible?” and it’s becoming much more exciting in terms of the business impact it can have and the outcomes it can have for business users.

Ian: And I think what we’re going to see is a growing of the extensibility of Salesforce, not just for us; others will do the same. Where non-Salesforce users are getting more value from the platform, but without the barrier of having to have a full Salesforce licence. For example, Communities will often use that way. We’re extending that. There are other ways you can bring non-Salesforce users into the fold without it being price prohibitive.

Lee: I mean, Salesforce must love you for that as well…

Ian: Yeah, we work with them on a lot of customers now. It’s interesting, with where we are a big differential in the customer’s decision to go with partly with Salesforce in the very first place, because the combined solution as I said early on, two plus two isn’t four, it’s six or eight.

Ian: Suddenly the customer realises, by putting Natterbox and Salesforce together, instead of a different CRM, and I don’t know, a Viro or Cisco, we can do these other things that we couldn’t do before. And the impact of that is our customer experience, and MPS score can be this. Or our agents can be 30% more productive in getting through to initial customer contact. Suddenly relate that to impact on the business, that is the top and bottom-line benefit very quickly.

Lee: Sounds amazing. And I appreciate we’re nearly at the hour mark, so we’ll get to the point of asking you if there’s anything else, any other final thoughts, comments or advice that you would like to leave people listening to this with, whether they’re customers, whether they’re looking for a career in Salesforce, whoever they may be. Any comments or advice for those guys?

Ian: I haven’t got any sudden golden key, but I think there are opportunities in the Salesforce ecosystem and the Cloud space. I don’t think we’ve even started, and I’ve been saying this for years. Cloud people would say, “This is the year of Cloud.” And I’ve been saying, “This is the decade of Cloud.” And it’s the one we’re about to experience, 2020 onwards because what we’ve seen up until now is a lot of the foundation work being done. It feels like we’re still in the infant stage of all these technologies. At Cloud, we’re in the first iteration; we’re about to enter the second iteration which is a more agnostic Cloud. A more portable Cloud.

Ian: One where you can link things together far better than you could before. And I go back to my time when I first went to Cloud in 2006: we’re in a very different world now. We weren’t talking then about AWS, Google and Microsoft dominating the Cloud hosting space. Look how quickly that’s happened and those platforms haven’t stood still. Every year they’re accelerating, in effect they’re coming down in price, getting more consumable but going up in richness of function and capability. We weren’t in a time of that before.

Ian: That’s what the underlying generic Cloud technology has given us. AI only exists in my opinion in the way it is now becoming commonplace, because of Cloud; because compute power has become so affordable and flexible that innovators… you could start a business tomorrow. If you’re really smart and you’ve come out of engineering, you’ve learned how to do all this stuff and you’ve got an idea, you could build something which none of us know exists, and in ten years it could be the biggest company on the planet. You could build and innovate it without barriers stopping you. Previously, to do that you’d be, “Oh crikey, we need this much computer power, so we need a couple of million pounds before we can get the stuff we need.” It’s Catch 22.

Ian: Now, you can spin up compute, you can use platforms like Salesforce to run your business and your Cloud solutions and digest them. You don’t have to buy expensive servers, kit and Kapex to start your business and operate, and as you grow, you can flex. You can buy a system like Salesforce and add users as you need them. The entry point for commercials and technology has been lowered to be affordable.  You need to use incredible compute when you test this thing you’re doing, but you only need it two or three minutes a day to see if it works?  You can pay per second.

Lee: Yeah.

Ian: So, you can do it, right? You don’t have to invest a million; you could invest two grand a month while you need the compute power. The rest of the time you don’t, you’re not paying for it. None of that was available. And because of where we’ve got to, we’re now going to see a compounding effect as it enables and empowers accelerated innovation on the next level. I think we’re going to see new things come out quicker. We’re going to see the new Ubers, the new Airbnbs, the new Amazons. Not necessarily competing with them, but we’re going to see disruption across regions and areas of business that none of us has thought of today.

Ian: I always say, “There’s something out there right now that’s on the market, that you and I haven’t heard of, that’s an app or something. It just hasn’t got profile yet. You haven’t come across it, but it’s going to be huge in a few years. It’s going to be the Shazam or Spotify, but we just haven’t spotted it yet.”

Lee: And we’ll all be used to it in two or three years, and it’ll be just commonplace. Scary.

Lee: But exciting. We’ll have to have you back on because your experience is so vast that I feel we’ve skimmed the surface and I feel bad that I need to wrap it up!

Ian: Don’t worry. It’s gone quick, right?

Lee: It’s been amazing.  With what you do and everything, speaking various places and no doubt blogging, when you have these ideas and you get round to doing them, how can people approach you? If you’re approachable, which I assume you are?

Ian: Sure, yeah. So the easiest two platforms to find me on are probably Twitter and LinkedIn and the easy way to find me there is if you go to ianmoyse.co.uk or ianmoyse.cloud spelt M-O-Y-S-E. That will take you to my Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.

Lee: Brilliant. I’ll share that with everybody when we put the show out. Ian, unless you have anything else you want to say, that was really good and I appreciate your time. Thank you very much for joining us and hopefully, we’ll speak again soon.

Ian: Look forward to it, thank you.

Lee: Excellent. Wow, let’s all take a deep breath and maybe go and get a drink and think about everything we’ve just digested there from Ian. That was brilliant. Hope you enjoyed it. I will be sharing a lot of information that Ian’s given us on the show notes. Please do comment and share if you like, comment and share if you don’t like as well because feedback is always nice to hear!

Lee: So, thank you again to Ian Moyse, that was fantastic. You can follow his career on LinkedIn and Twitter, and look forward to the next episode. Thank you, guys.


Ian can be found at www.ianmoyse.co.uk  and www.natterbox.com

2022-09-22T19:04:49+00:00 Career, Podcast|