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  • 01/01/2021 2:39 PM | Deleted user

    Melissa Cutcher, Executive Director, Technology First

    Dear Friends,

    2020 has been the year of “you’re on mute”, “I forgot my mask” and wine with DeWine. I am grateful to close chapter 2020 and welcome 2021 with a great big socially distanced hug! 2020 wasn’t all bad. It’s been an outstanding learning experience for me both personally and professionally. I had the opportunity to meet Steve Hangen, Ann Gallaher, and many other great IT thought leaders in our region. Each one has demonstrated great leadership and grace during a year of stress, confusion, and uncertainty.

    As an organization, Technology First faced our own unique challenges. Pivoting from all in-person events, like SIG’s, Board and CIO meetings, to all virtual by April was no small task. In November, we produced our first virtual conference, Taste of IT. We hosted speakers and attendees from all around the United States! We will continue hosting events virtually until the Governor says we can go back to in-person. Until then, I look forward to “seeing” you at the next Technology First event.

    We have great plans for 2021! Look for:

    • §  Two new special interest groups: developers and cybersecurity
    • §  The Technology First web site will have a new look and updated features for our members
    • §  Expansion of our workforce development efforts
    • §  Continuation of building partnerships with other associations such as, The Circuit, Ohio-X, Ohio IT Association, SOCHE, DDC, JobsOhio and Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce

    The vision of Technology First is to develop our region’s future by engaging, expanding, and connecting the IT community. We plan to accomplish this vision by being the conduit for IT advancement in the region.

    Yes, 2020 was a challenge. But as a community, we are stronger, because we are together! We have virtually, gone into each other’s homes, connected on a deeper, more personal level seeing each other’s workspaces, meeting family members, both two and four legs.

    If you haven’t already, get involved in Technology First. Join us on social media, sign up for the newsletter and event email lists, make a donation before the year ends, volunteer at an event, and respond to our latest workforce survey.

    2021 – here we come!

  • 01/01/2021 1:11 PM | Deleted user

    Mardi Humphreys, Change Agent, Rainbow Data Systems, Inc. & Integration Edge

    I’ve disappointed Rick Springfield. He told me not to talk to strangers, but I lean more toward young Forrest Gump’s philosophy of business development. Remember the first time he got on the bus to school? There are plenty of services that allow your sales team to send hundreds of emails extolling the virtues of your products/services to strangers. There are even companies with the technology to make hundreds of cold calls for you and when the prospect answers the phone, transfer the call to a sales rep waiting to pitch. I’m usually a big fan of automation, but why would a company reveal their pain points to you when they don’t know, like, or trust you yet? This is why Relationship Marketing is so important.

    What Is It?

    Relationship Marketing is simply building long-term, trusting relationships with strangers; essentially, developing clients into friends. When your friends face challenges, you want to be the first person they contact for a solution. You should feel the same way about your clients. People need to know you’re authentic in order to trust you. You must be the same person to your clients as you are to your cousins. Unless you’re Tom Hanks, you can’t act like different people in your relationships. Being inauthentic is exhausting and counterproductive.

    How Does It Work?

    Mom is right. If you want to make a friend, be a friend. Take the initiative. Network. Communicate. Be curious. Provide value without an agenda. Businesses are run by people. Go where the people are. Get personal. Do your homework. There is so much information at your fingertips (e.g., company websites, LinkedIn, business newspapers/websites), find out what their business does and their role in it. Figure out how you can help. The companies you want to partner with need revenue to survive. How can your company help them either attract customers or save money on their operations? Do they have a problem your company doesn’t fix? Do you know someone who does? Introduce them. While this doesn’t bring you revenue now, proving you want what’s best for their business demonstrates you can be trusted to put their interests before your own. Having a mindset of their success means your success. We get further together than we do on our own.

    Why Does It Work?

    Giving your clients great experiences differentiates your company from your competition. You have to go beyond persuading them to believe in your brand. Your clients want to be seen. They want you to help them solve their unique issues. They want to give you permission to be on their team. They do not want content forced on them. They want to learn what your company has to offer and what you can do for them in their own time using the communication channels they favor. I can’t think of one business owner who enjoys having their day interrupted by a cold sales call or sifting through all the cold emails they receive daily. However, I can think of several who appreciated a congratulations-on-your-latest-success LinkedIn message.

  • 01/01/2021 1:02 PM | Deleted user

    To provide additional resources for our members, we have formed a new Partnership with Info-Tech Research Group.

    Through this relationship, Info-Tech is offering our community complimentary access to specific research and services as an additional benefit to members of Technology First.

    Info-Tech Research Group produces unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. Partnering closely with your IT teams, they provide everything from actionable tools to analyst guidance.

    This month’s exclusive content for Technology First Members includes:


    2021 Tech Trends

    Disaster Recovery

    Ensure your IT team delivers measurable results for your organization. Explore these new complimentary resources for your team here!

    What should you do next?

    Technology First is participating in an association-wide benchmarking program.

    CIO Business Vision Diagnostic

    Value: 6k – Complimentary for Technology First members!

    The most important thing an IT leader can do is understand the business' needs and actively measure that the business is satisfied.

    Stakeholder management is a critical aspect of running a successful IT department.

    Info-Tech's CIO Business Vision program is a low effort, high impact program that will give you detailed report cards on the organization's satisfaction with IT’s core services.

    Use these insights to understand your key business stakeholders, find out what is important to them, and improve your interactions. View a sample report and begin the diagnostic through our partnership page!

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