Thoughts from TAGITM 2018

Thoughts from TAGITM 2018
I hope the other attendees had as much fun as I did this year at TAGITM. This was my 9th! I can truly say I thought we picked up the game a notch this year. Really informative, organized, collaborative, and most of all enjoyable. I tell everyone I meet, this conference is the BEST of the many I attend. For the simple reason, I never feel treated like just a vendor.
I have a general rule, and that is NOT to sell while at TAGITM, rather just talk, listen, and offer assistance and thoughts based on what I hear. Based on those conversations and the sessions myself and my two TAGITM rookies attended, here are a few things that jumped out at me as themes. And in particular, themes that Cima has helped clients with:
  1. Security and compliance is top of mind: Of course, this is an easy one based on the theme, but truthfully it came up in EVERY session. Even the ones that did not feature it as primary. We were there with our friends from Splunk. Splunk is an amazing tool with a multitude of use cases. Two knocks against it have typically been, it's expensive, and it's difficult to use. During our session, we learned about the SMB based Essentials Apps that are built to simplify this, and, price it affordably. Bundle this all with our Managed Security Services and DIR pricing, and I think you might be surprised.
  2. Simplification is key: Sessions on Hyperconvergence and Backup from Nutanix and Unitrends highlighted this. The idea of 3 tiered multi-management solutions is quickly becoming a thought from yesterday. Especially as Hybrid Cloud becomes more and more viable for dynamic workloads and DR. Helping cities and counties simplify both from a management and cost perspective is right in our mission statement. We have tools that will take a quick survey of your infrastructure and help you build a financial case for simplified solutions which can help during budget and planning season. Let us know if you want to chat. Just takes a 60 second output from RVTools. We will do the rest. Additionally, Unitrends just Friday announced a very attractive incentive built specifically for Cities and Counties. So if you had interest coming out of that session, take a look now.
  3. Resources are thin: I often tell other vendors who are attending for their first time, "this is not the place to share your multi-million dollar project success you had with the State of Texas." I know most attendees have less than 10 IT resources in their municipality, in fact many of the attendees ARE the IT department. With IT moving well beyond just servers, network and storage, so are the demands and skilset requirements. These new demands from Mobile, to web, to Alexa have come with almost no consideration for budget increases or even shared dollars from the departments requesting them. This is where managed services is really creating value. We have several clients who have experimented with interns, hiring/firing, just to get the right skill mix they need. They have become clients of ours based simply on the thought that for less than one FTE, they can get all the resources they need, when they need them. Or free up their resources by leveraging us for Helpdesk, Backup, Security etc. We now have a DIR contract to provide these Managed Services for you. We are very flexible to meet your needs, and we understand City/County government very well!
I am already counting the days until next year. Thanks for the respect each of the government attendees show to us. TAGITM is truly first class.

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