6 days into my tenure at Tangoe, I arrived at the Marriott World Center in Orlando, Florida to attend Tangoe LIVE 2018. Talk about diving directly into the deep end of the pool! As a brand-new employee, with no background in TEM, I was feeling equal parts excitement and terror. I am new to the industry and the company. What value could I possibly bring to this well-respected event?
My initial panic subsided when I came to two realizations:
1) My new Tangoe colleagues did not expect me to be an expert in all things TEM. (Phew!)
2) Attending Tangoe LIVE was the perfect learning opportunity for a new employee.
What better way to get to know a company than by spending 3 days with your customers? As a product marketing professional, I’ve always loved meeting with customers. They have no agenda except getting results. Customers can always be counted on to give the unvarnished truth; the good, the bad, and everything in between. In addition, I would be able to learn from industry leaders participating in the event. One thing was clear to me; by the end of this event, I would know definitively if joining Tangoe was a smart career decision or an epic disaster.
The conference started with keynote addresses from Tangoe’s executive team. CMO Sidra Berman kicked-off the event by welcoming customers “home” to Tangoe. CEO Bob Irwin provided a brief recap of the preceding year and laid out the organization’s initiatives for the coming year. Highlighting megatrends (like uberization and digital transformation) affecting businesses in all industries, Bob showed how Tangoe was uniquely positioned to help our customers navigate these challenging times and capitalize on the opportunities these trends provide.
Following Bob, EVP of Product, Ivan Latanision shared the product roadmap and teased product innovations in store for our customers. For those of us eagerly looking for details, Ivan invited us to visit the Solutions Lab for one-on-one conversations with the product management team.
The executive addresses were informative and offered a window into life at Tangoe. What came through loud and clear for me was that Tangoe values input from customers and prides itself on doing everything in its power to make customers happy. This quality is a core component of Tangoe’s company culture and was evident in the 2018 initiatives and product roadmap.
Keynote speaker Stephen Shapiro wrapped up the morning general session with an interactive, attention-grabbing presentation on the topic of innovation. His thesis? Companies (and people) fail to innovate because we often solve the wrong problem. We must ask the right questions and sometimes approach a problem laterally to find the best solution. His real-world examples and entertaining delivery were a hit.
The talk by Stephen Shapiro really grabbed my attention. What a novel idea! I couldn’t help but think back to past scenarios in my life where applying his ideas would have generated better results. In conversations during breaks, almost all the customers I spoke with said the morning session left them feeling energized and inspired. I felt the same way and that feeling has stayed with me. I’ve been inspired to start applying those principles in my daily life.
There were a lot more opportunities to learn at Tangoe LIVE. I especially liked the mix of seminar topics. There was a combination of broad industry information that was of interest to all attendees (e.g. a net neutrality discussion) combined with presentations from Tangoe partners highlighting their latest product offerings. Seminar leaders like industry analyst Hyoun Park and partners like Sprint addressed new and emerging technologies and offered concrete, actionable recommendations for handling these changes in an effective way to minimize expenses while maximizing employee productivity.
Of course Tangoe folks led several seminars to show customers how they can get even more value from their Tangoe platform. These sessions were particularly lively. They were a great opportunity for customers to share best practices with each other. Overall, I felt the presenters did a great job of making the content accessible. As a newbie, I learned a great deal.
One of my favorite areas at Tangoe LIVE was the Solutions Lab. At the Solutions Lab, the product management team was on-hand to showcase the latest innovations in Tangoe’s technology expense management platforms. I participated in product demos and asked tons of questions (some of which are so elementary I cringe just thinking about them) to the most patient product managers I have ever met. Thankfully, they were too polite to mock my ignorance.
My key takeaways from the product demos were that Tangoe works collaboratively with customers and incorporates their requirements into new product releases and secondly, that Tangoe is perfectly placed to help customers address the megatrends like globalization and digital transformation affecting businesses today.
Consistently, customers told me that Tangoe provides: visibility to company assets, process improvement, advice on future trends, significant cost savings and most importantly, Tangoe frees them from time-consuming, repetitive, administrative tasks so they can focus on the initiatives that add value for their organizations and their customers. Tangoe makes life easier for its customers. Now I know why Tangoe is the industry leader.
On another note, I came away with profound respect for the TEM professionals at our customers. These men and women are the unsung heroes in most corporations. They literally keep the business running. And, they take that responsibility seriously. I am looking forward to meeting with more of them.
This is an exciting time to be joining the Technology Expense Management industry. Communications technology is changing at break-neck speed. Businesses need to transform quickly to keep up with these changes, prepare themselves for new advances, all while running their core business. I am very lucky to the enter this industry at such an exciting time.
I am looking forward to immersing myself in the Technology Expense Management industry and learning how I can help Tangoe customers streamline their processes, maximize employee productivity through technology while reducing waste and unnecessary expense. I am excited by everyone I met and everything I learned at Tangoe LIVE 2018. Selfishly, I can also say without a doubt that joining Tangoe is thus far one of my smartest career decisions!
Don’t miss the second installment in our blog series on Tangoe LIVE from the perspective of our newest employees in First Impessions: Tangoe LIVE 2018!