In light of the impact of the pandemic, technology has been reactivated and re-imagined. TechTuesday invites technology industry experts, app developers, entrepreneurs, and tech enthusiasts for a learning call to discuss key tech know-hows, challenges, and innovations.
Watch #techtuesday Episode #8 Part 1 and meet John Genovese of Amazon Web Services.
John Genovese is a team-oriented leader and accomplished Management Consultant turned Sales and Business Development Executive. He has led global teams with a consistent track record of overachieving. He has been called in to grow and mentor teams while setting a standard of “value-first” with his Objectives and Key Results (OKR) approach to establishing and growing client partnerships.
See the second part of this interview here: What the Future Looks Like for Metaverse, NFTs, And More
What do Amazon Web Services do?
AWS or Amazon Web Services is one of the largest cloud providers. In fact, if you access a website today, there's a good chance that that website is running on AWS infrastructure. As we look into the future of AIML (Artificial Intelligence Machine Learning), AWS is playing a significant role there among many other offerings. Everything from analytics, databases, storage to networking helps make the world go around in a lot of ways.
As a global client partner, John gets to work with some of the smartest people and some of the largest companies in the world. With 200 plus different technology services and technology offerings in AWS, John is working backward and really understanding “the customer” and the customer - that means some of the largest enterprises in the world.
He started his career in the management consulting space and then transitioned into technology business development sales. He noticed that the industry was always changing but the thing that remains consistent is the customer. The customer value prop and how you help drive value for the customer are some evergreen things that are always going to stay consistent. That is what has really attracted him and got him excited about the space he’s been in now.
Jonathan: I want to get more into the Metaverse with you later, but with the most recent working from home and people changing their lifestyle have you seen any big trends emerge this year?
John: I think one of the things I would say to anyone listening is that if they are interested in AWS and learning more about AWS and what's going on there, we just got done with our customer conference called AWS re: Invent that took place in Vegas two weeks ago. You could go to Youtube, Google, and obviously the AWS website and look up the different keynotes and look up some of the big announcements and all the trends really there. There's a tremendous amount of content and new offerings that are coming out from AWS so you can check that out there.
From my perspective, when I go to these conferences and when I just work with customers in general, I'm always trying to look at it through a customer value lens. And one of the ones I found that works extremely well is around the Objectives and Key Results methodology or OKRs.
I know that it's not a new thing for people who read John Doerr and who understand that method. It's been around for a while but I think it's really been pervasive in how we've managed customer relationships. So if a customer comes to us with a problem, part of our standard go-to-market with them is they say “look how does this fit into your OKRs? If you want to go solve this problem, how does it fit in? If they don't understand that, there's a part of consulting and consultation that goes along with that to help them understand how AWS and all the 200 plus services can ultimately go drive that so OKRs are a big portion of what we do, day in day out.
How to write OKRs?
Try getting answers to the following questions:
- What are they trying to solve?
- What's going to be the future of their business?
- What can we help them with?
- What can we offer?
Jonathan: Do you actually go on-site to meet with clients and help them come up with their objectives and formulate some of the key results? How do you put that all together with them?
John: I've worked with a decent amount of customers that will have an initiative or they'll have an objective that is sometimes not clearly defined. So think of what you are really trying to accomplish and then let's put that into an objective statement with them. If they don't already have it and then say to them “Okay, if we're going to partner together, what are the key results? If those key results are accomplished right, they're time-bound and they're measurable, then how would that help us understand if we achieved your objective?” And then building that out with them is something that not a lot of companies do. Not a lot of account teams do, not a lot of sales and business development teams do.
Jonathan: So how do you go through that process with them? Do you learn their business, have some discoveries, or do you do a little bit of trial and error?
John: I think there's a lot of strategic alignment that has to happen. We're going to have these calls and it's not necessarily like we're selling or pitching anything. It's really all about understanding what's the strategy, what the focus areas that the customer has. If they don't have it written up as an objective and a key result, and us taking the proactiveness to go ahead and put that into an OKR and then validate that with the customer. I think there's been a lot of attention that's come about that because they really appreciate that approach because not everyone's doing that.
People aren't taking what the customer's telling you and putting that into a different lens and then repeating that back to them to make sure that one you understand it and that two maybe the customer now understands it in a different way and maybe they adopt it and they bring it internally which we've seen happen as well. I think one of the things that's amazing about AWS is that they invest so much into the success of our customers.
What those key results might look like:
- We want to be the number one technology and business partner for our customer
- We want to be on stage at the customer’s internal event
- We want to be a partner on that stage getting an award
What do the key results indicate?
It might look a little ambiguous but John believes that when you start to define that key results and achieve all those, you've then achieved your objective of being the number one business and technology partner for your customer. It's something that he thinks works really really well. And they've earned a lot of trust with their customers by taking that approach.
- Introducing Business on a Browser
- The Importance of Balancing People with Technology
- New Business? Tax Issues to Consider
- You Can Expense Business IT Purchases
- Episode #1 with Peter Yeargin of Sage
- Episode #2 with Scott Dickson of 20 Digits
- Episode #3 with Kim Henderson of Cobalt Compass Solutions
- Episode #4 with Dayana Pereira of Dayana, Inc.
- Episode #5 with Jonathan Grzybowski of Penji
- Episode #6 with Jim Minadeo of Zero Surge Inc
- Episode #7: NJ Small Business Group: Relax Teams
- Episode #8 Part 2: What the Future Looks Like for Metaverse, NFTs, And More
- Episode #8 Part 3: Be In The Know about Metaverse Real Estate