Philadelphia—The Business Technology Association’s traveling circuit made its East Coast stop here Sept. 13-14 at the Marriott Downtown with the BTA Grand Slam, which saw roughly 50 dealers taking advantage of a wide-ranging array of educational sessions and sponsor exhibits to go with a first-class spread of dining selections.
Batting leadoff with a keynote address at the baseball-themed event (which culminated with an evening of Phillies-Marlins action on the second day) was motivational speaker Brent Gleeson. A former Navy SEAL combat veteran who was a member of SEAL Team 5 before moving over to the business world, Gleeson showed attendees a video of the arduous 18-week SEAL training program that caused many jaws to drop. The grueling paces these SEAL candidates were put through, both mentally and physically, were designed to break even the most disciplined of military candidates.
Gleeson drew many analogies between forces on the battlefield and in the business realm, invoking the creed “I will not quit, I will persevere and thrive in adversity.” The Navy SEAL philosophy of “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable” is certainly attributable to the many sometimes violent changes that challenge businesses in terms of technology evolutions and shifting marketplace demands that have introduced new competitive threats.
During his presentation, Gleeson laid out several characteristics that are inherent in an elite team. They include:
- Leverage culture to drive change.
- Communicate a powerful vision.
- Ethical on and off the battlefield.
- Maintain an elite mindset.
- Inspire others to lead.
- Courage in the face of adversity.
- A belief in the mission.
- A shared sense of purpose.
- Unwavering trust and loyalty.
Gleeson also provided some highlights from his upcoming book, “Taking Point: A Navy SEAL’s 10 Fail Safe Principles for Leading Through Change.” The book, slated for release next February, is separated into three sections: building a culture of change, preparing for the change battle and winning the change fight.
West McDonald, vice president of business development for Print Audit, had the unenviable task of following Gleeson. But he was armed with a topic that has garnered much interest in the office technology space—the pros and cons of seat-based billing and device-based billing. McDonald had delivered an SBB Roadshow presentation prior to the start of the BTA Grand Slam.
McDonald examined a number of critical benefits derived in moving away from the variable billing structure to a fixed approach, including 100 percent budgetable cost per user, improved workflow, unified billing, improved security, aligns dealers and customers and allows for diversification.
“In the Seat Based Billing Roadshow that we did, we shared stories of dealers that are engaged in seat-based billing and some of the contracts that they’ve been winning with it over the traditional model,” he said. “Those stories are very dramatic, but more importantly, they’re very profitable.”
McDonald also extolled the virtues of device-based billing, which has a number of the same advantages of SBB—100 percent budgetable by device (though formulas do factor in users) and simplified billing administration while eliminating complicated user tracking.
Next week: Day two of the BTA Grand Slam.