How do you acknowledge independent achievement in a collaborative environment?
One of our core values is to have fun, so we recognize achievements with fun prizes. Our employee of the month gets a toaster with their name on it, like banks used to do in the ’50s.
How do you encourage employees to share ideas?
We’re a relatively small organization, and everyone gets together every week—whether it’s virtual or in person—and openly talks about what’s going on and what needs to be done.
What’s the difference between an idea and an opportunity?
Ideas are great, but they can send you on tangents that can’t be supported and maintained. Opportunities address business problems that can be replicated within our client base.
What have you learned about accepting feedback?
That I’m not always right. I pause, assess the feedback, and try to move beyond any ego and say, “Maybe there’s something I could be better at or I need more clarification on.”
How can a leader be an inspiration to their staff?
Every hour of every day, I consciously think about working on the right things to get us to our goals and objectives. I encourage our people to do the same thing.
Technology is supposed to be about making things simpler, but many enterprises are finding that managing technology tools and platforms has become increasingly complex. Enter Adaptiva, an IT and systems-management firm whose aim is to remove the roadblocks that are keeping companies from technology’s benefits. Todd Floyd, vice president of worldwide sales and operations, says that many of today’s platforms are unnecessarily complicated, and clients call Adaptiva when frustration levels mount. “Implementations take too long, things change in the interim, and many times the value is never realized because of the complexity,” Floyd says. “The complicated nature of enterprise software is really precluding organizations from realizing a return in short order.”
The team at Adaptiva unravels the layers of compatibility, versioning, and other integration issues, streamlining them so that companies can finally take advantage of all technology has to offer. Floyd says that trying to manage all the pieces that go into an enterprise’s technology architecture can quickly snowball into a giant avalanche that’s difficult to control. Because of the promise of technologies like the Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (commonly called “Config Manager”), people expect great things. “But most enterprise-software products don’t do everything great,” Floyd says.
That’s where Adaptiva’s solutions come in. The company’s product—which is a direct plug-in to Config Manager—installs in about six minutes, rather than the hours-long software implementation common to other solutions. The benefit is almost immediate. “We’re delivering content that needs to be distributed into environments, we’re fixing sick devices, and we’re managing power consumption,” Floyd says. “And all three of these solutions that we provide are on a single code base, with no integration and no services required, and all with a single install.”
Rather than spending time on redundant tasks, this dramatic simplification of the technology-management workflow allows Adaptiva’s clients to “move on to the long list of other IT projects that have been sitting idle waiting
for the resources to attend to them,” Floyd says. In other words, Adaptiva’s client base is finally free to do real IT work.
The issues plaguing clients who reach out to Adaptiva for help range from the expense of maintaining servers to the resource-sapping process of deploying new operating systems. Another growing concern facing enterprises is the cost of power, particularly for organizations where energy costs are high. “Hawaii is a great example,” Floyd says. “We’re doing a lot of business there, and power is very expensive.” Adaptiva’s Green Planet extension offers clients new tools to identify opportunities for energy savings, to work with end users to improve power consumption patterns, and to monitor actual usage and savings. “Not only can clients save money on power with our green IT technology solutions, but they’re ultimately helping the environment,” Floyd says.
As for the future of corporate technology, Floyd says simple software “that just works” is what is truly needed. “I firmly believe that enterprise IT organizations are not satisfied now,” he says. The team at Adaptiva doesn’t know how clients were ever lulled into purchasing software that doesn’t deliver on its promises. “We’ve seen people switch time and again—these big, global organizations—from the existing installed enterprise solution to ours, because what was sold originally did not accomplish the task,” Floyd says. It’s a scenario that causes tremendous frustration among companies of all sizes, and something that may not be tolerated much longer.
Floyd also sees more interest from clients in all sectors for Adaptiva’s model for subscription-based software. This approach means that enterprises don’t need to fund large capital outlays, instead using their operating budgets to support technology tools. “We try to be as flexible as possible when working with our clients,” Floyd says. Many tell him they don’t have sufficient capital resources for large software purchases, and they welcome Adaptiva’s more agile approach. “By providing them with that subscription-based model, they can acquire the technology and then convert it to a perpetual license if and when they choose,” he adds.