CMOs Paralyzed by Paradigm Shift (and CIOs Aren’t Helping)

drowning_cmo-100526067-primary.idgeTech leaders that embrace the business needs of their employer will move into the executive team’s inner circle or have their choice of the best jobs. The days of merely “keeping the lights on” are coming to a close. Businesses expect that….and…..want new technology to drive profitability and competitive advantage.

This article underscores my point.

CMOs Paralyzed by Paradigm Shift (and CIOs Aren’t Helping)

Tech Leaders: Best Practices for Aligning w/ Business Units


Tech leaders that want to advance their careers are realizing the importance of partnering with business units. Business leadership is clearly communicating that they want tech leaders to work more effectively with business units.

Below are best practices tech leaders can use to build these critical relationships.

  1. Work as a team to develop goals for your business unit customers. As an example, knowing what business units need when they begin thinking about it allows time to plan for their needs.
  2. Nothing is more powerful than really knowing your customer – how they think, how they feel, how they make decisions, how they communicate, etc… This can be achieved by spending time and asking good questions.
  3. Stories are a great way to communicate. People love stories and relate to them. Think of stories from you experience that communicate the point you want to make.
  4. Have an objective when you meet with a business unit. Think about the questions you want to ask ahead of time. Always be diplomatic in communication and consider sending your goal and questions ahead of the meeting.
  5. Actively listen to what they say. Strive to talk less and listen more.
  6. Remember, they probably don’t see the world, think, or solve problems the way you do.
  7. Ask follow-up questions to clarify.
  8. Tell them what you understood them to say to ensure communication was effective. This is really important when communicating people that think differently than you, which is usually the case if you are technical and they are from a business unit. Follow up with a brief email restating the request (if there was a work request).
  9. Have business conversations – not technical conversations. There is NEVER a need to speak at a more technical level than business unit leaders can understand.

Always remember, asking the right question at the right time is extremely powerful. Further, you won’t do these things perfectly. The important part is that you try.

Pete Hendrix is CEO of Integritec, a Telecom technology broker and thought leader on achieving competitive advantage through technology which comes from effective collaboration and communication between IT leadership, the C-Suite and other business unit leaders. He can be reached at

Moving Forward With Solutions In The Changing Role of the CIO

Modern businessCIO’s often struggle with the changing role that is becoming more and more about business leadership. This is not new information, much is written about problems with IT.  Too often though, all fingers point at IT leadership.  I believe this is not all together accurate and the solution requires effort from business unit leaders and executive management as well as IT leadership. This article moves from problem to solution and is one of the best I have seen.

Why chief information officers can

struggle in a leadership role

The Changing Role of the CIO – What Does It Look Like?

CIO Changing Role Pete HendrixThe world we live in has probably changed more since 1940 than the entire history of civilization up to that point. While most of us appreciate modern conveniences, we often dislike the change in our jobs that is necessary.

Advancements in technology are enabling companies to achieve at a much higher level, especially for R&D, revenue generation, market position and customer satisfaction. These advancements are changing what businesses need from their CIO. In short, the new role of the CIO will involve keeping infrastructure working, taking part in IT security while helping the company to use technology as a competitive weapon.

Here are parts of the new role of the CIO:

  •  Keep the existing infrastructure working.
  • Take an active role in cyber security.
  • Spend significant time as a consultant to business units to select and implement technology that will drive profitable business growth, customer satisfaction and anything else that is part of the firm’s strategic initiatives.
  • Assume a leadership role in understanding and suggesting technology that will support strategic initiatives of the company.
  • Integrate third party applications to take advantage of data held in company databases.

A big challenge for IT leadership is figuring out how to achieve this. There is no easy answer, nor is there an answer that fits all organizations and industries. Many people, myself included, would consider this to be overwhelming. The key is to break this huge task into many small tasks that move toward the desired result.

The solution will include skill set development for the CIO, finding a way to spend less time on infrastructure and more time in the business units and effective communication with the rest of the C-Suite, especially the CEO, CFO and COO.

The next article in this series will address the relationship between the CIO and the rest of the C-Suite. Following articles will more from description into solution.


Pete Hendrix is a blogger and a technology broker. He is also a thought leader on the relationship between IT leadership and the C-Suite as well as skill set development for IT leaders as technology changes their traditional role. He can be reached at

Considerations in selecting a VoIP Provider


At Integritec, we focus on matching your business with the best possible voice over internet protocol (VoIP) for your business. We pride ourselves on this aspect of our service because we know that not all hosted VoIP service providers are created the equally. We break down VoIP providers into four main categories:

The first category of service providers for business VoIP includes any company that mostly focuses on low prices. “While we appreciate the importance of managing cost, the reliability and voice quality (of these providers) fails to meet standards we are comfortable with,” says Pete Hendrix, CEO and Founder of Integritec. We know that voice quality is key for your company. Sacrificing voice quality hurts your productivity and, in turn, ends up not being a cost savings measure. Therefore, this category of VoIP phone services isn’t recommended for our clients.

The second category includes large companies who offer services provided by other companies under their own brand name. Traditionally, the core of these VoIP service providers has been conventional phone service and internet connectivity. “In other words, VoIP is not their core competency and the quality of service delivered to customers often shows that. For this reason, we are not comfortable recommending them to our clients,” says Pete Hendrix.

The third category of VoIP providers are the ones that we recommend for our clients. For these companies, VoIP phone service, including Unified Communications, is their only focus. Within this category there are different price points. The highest quality providers use BroadSoft switches, have an MPLS network and install a circuit with QoS (Quality of Service). Therefore, the call travels on an MPLS path all the way to the last mile.

There are also providers that use BroadSoft switches and don’t have MPLS networks. These providers are great for companies that have their own MPLS network. Also, some of them handle QoS in a manner that yields satisfied customers with a lower cost for those without an MPLS network.

The fourth category would be companies that don’t use BroadSoft switches. Some of these providers do a great job and handle QoS in a manner that works well. The good providers in this category are great for customers looking to balance cost and quality.

Within each of these categories there isn’t a provider that is the best in all cases. They choose to invest in specific feature sets and capabilities, thus the best one for your company depends on your needs and the companies that are strong in your areas of need.

One final point. We do not recommend any providers that don’t strongly prefer installation of a circuit with QoS into the customer location.


Cloud Computing: Positives, Negatives & A Path To The Cloud

There are many reasons that cloud computing helps companies. For the purpose of this article, think of cloud computing as any data or software you access over the Internet. This blog post will discuss both the positives and the negatives of using the cloud as well as a good way to get started.

[Read more…]

Score on Business

Pete-HendrixAs an entrepreneur, I understand the difficulty of business success and always appreciate the opportunity to talk to successful entrepreneurs. It’s great to hear about the lessons they have learned as well as any relevant advice they want to share.

Conversations with successful entrepreneurs is an excellent way to learn, and that became even clearer when I was asked to take over the entrepreneurial television show Score on Business.

[Read more…]

What to Expect with Disaster Recovery Services

agency-sampleAs a business owner, you’ve probably heard the term ‘disaster recovery’ kicked around from time to time. Maybe you’re well aware of how important it is to have a backup and recovery plan for sake of your business. However, if you’re not familiar with disaster recovery services, or if you want more from your current provider, then let us help you understand what to expect.

[Read more…]

An Important Lesson

One of my volunteer roles is coaching entrepreneurs on revenue generation.  I have years of experience with this and consider this an area of expertise.  On the other hand, I’m really not very good with numbers and the accounting side of the business.  For this reason, I refer clients to someone with expertise there.

 Recently, I met with a start-up to discuss driving business revenue to the next level.  I mentioned to them that they needed to speak with a finance person to ensure that they were on course from a profit perspective.  One of the owners told me that she had done so and was given a pro forma to fill out.

[Read more…]

What does your client really need?

Recently, I advised a company that provides a CRM solution to their clients.  Their clients have requested the ability to record calls and have the call attached to a contact’s record.  The clients wanted to record calls when they can’t take notes, such as when they are driving,  in order to make sure they have captured all of the commitments and follow-up items discussed during the call.

The widespread application to address this need is part of call center software.  The functionality needed is usually sold on a per seat as part of a larger solution that is expensive.

[Read more…]