Listening to Customers and Looking for Leaders: A Midyear Review
From gleaning insights from customers and partners to deepening his understanding of the Network as a Service market, Chief Revenue Officer Rodney Foreman chronicles his first half year at Megaport.
“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.” –John Wooden
About six weeks into my job as the new Chief Revenue Officer at Megaport, I posted this quote to our North American Sales team Slack channel because:
- it was in the middle of March Madness, where Wooden and UCLA won 10 NCAA men’s basketball championships in 12 years, including seven in a row,
- I wanted to rally the team to meet their end-of-month goals, and
- Wooden’s wise words apply to just about any organization aiming to do something big, whether it’s a college men’s basketball team or one of the world’s leading Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) providers.
My first priority when I joined the company was to get to know the people. I established cross-regional, virtual “Coffee with Rodney” roundtables and discovered a team of superstars in their roles with a strong passion and desire to win. These cross-region connections have fostered cross-country connections and allies that are working together now in winning new global customers.
I also spent a great deal of time in my first weeks deepening my understanding of the tremendous potential of the high-growth NaaS market. I sought opportunities to leverage the partner relationships I’ve built over the past 15 years at organizations such as IBM, Nutanix, Tivoli Software, and Cobalt Iron.
The overarching question I asked was: How can we continue to create long-term value for our customers and our channel partners as their businesses evolve?
Listening to customers
In the conversations I had with customers, particularly in the finance, healthcare, and digital media industries, they saw clear advantages in using our global, private Software Defined Network (SDN) to improve their network performance and security. Many of them were implementing hybrid cloud and multicloud solutions and needed the flexibility to connect cloud to cloud as well as data center to cloud. The more customers I talked to, the more often I heard that they wanted private layer 2 connectivity to accomplish their goals.
Megaport’s services, whether it’s Megaport Cloud Router (MCR), which enables customers to connect cloud to cloud on demand, or Megaport Virtual Edge (MVE), which allows customers to connect branch to cloud within their SD-WAN solution, fit those hybrid cloud and multicloud use cases quite well.
Looking for leaders
After talking to our team and evaluating the organization, I saw, as did our executive leadership team, that we needed to scale up and scale out to serve the growing needs of our customers and partners, both today and into the future.
We’re seeking talented leaders who can help us get to the next phase of growth. When looking for leaders, I would pick a teammate who’s an 80% fit in experience, but a 100% fit in attitude over a candidate who checks all the other boxes. That said, our focus is on hiring the best in the industry. If you’re just average, you’re not good enough for Megaport.
Even though we were founded in 2013 and went public in 2015, Megaport still moves at a startup’s pace. We’re looking for people who have a startup mentality and can operate in a rapidly changing environment and at a fast pace. Fitting into our company culture is extremely important. We’re a very collaborative group. If you’re not one to share ideas and operate in a team-oriented atmosphere, chances are you won’t be the right fit for Megaport.
Creating more value for partners
In my first six months, I’ve met with a great many partners who see NaaS as a standard part of their cloud solutions going forward. We want our solutions to continue to create unique and differentiated value for their customers. We’ve long been a channel-oriented business, which is why we were recently named one of the CRN Software-Defined Data Center 50 List as a vendor changing the industry, and we’ve been working hard on launching a more robust channel partner program.
Our forthcoming partner program won’t be same-old, same-old boring channel programs based on medals (Gold, Silver, Bronze). We want to build a program that embraces all partner types whether you’re a managed service provider, value-added reseller, value-added distributor, or systems integrator. We want to help partners of all sizes grow their businesses and generate recurring revenue. We want to reward partners that are driving renewals and selling more Megaport services to existing customers.
We also want to reward partners selling our products as a complete solution as opposed to standalone. We want Megaport services to be critical to an enterprise’s networking strategy, no matter what kind of cloud connectivity they’re using Megaport for.
In addition to building a world-class channel program, we’ve been working with our major strategic partners such as Cisco, Fortinet, Cyrus One, GTT, and others to grow our business globally.
It’s hard to believe that I only joined February 1st, because it’s been a thrill ride so far, and we have already built tremendous momentum. I have to keep reminding myself that sleep is necessary, and I’m no good without it. We’re 100% committed to scaling up and scaling out to meet the connectivity needs of our customers and partners well into the future.
If you’re looking to work for a fast-growing, exhilarating company that’s changing the way businesses connect, check out our Careers page today to learn more about the company and look for the right role for you.
You won’t regret it. I certainly haven’t.