In December, 2011, Brandon Hall had the opportunity to interview Jim Melillo, Chairman and Co-founder of Executive Conversation Inc. Jim has extreme knowledge and experience within the corporate development and treasury areas overseeing dozens of global mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and financings. For the last 12 years, he has concentrated on working with technology channel organizations both in EMEA as well as domestically and has held senior positions with a broad group of mid-market companies in the $200-$1,000 million revenue range. As CFO and director of NPI, Inc. Mr. Melillo oversaw one of the first “roll ups,” building the largest group of franchisee restaurants in the USA. He has done IPOs, Secondary offerings of equity and debt offerings through the SEC and the London Third Market, as well as worked with the FDA, IRS, (US and UK), USDA and US Patent Office in his role as a senior executive.
During his tenure in the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology industries Mr. Melillo was involved in structuring and negotiating licenses or joint ventures with leading corporations around the world, including Dow Pharmaceutical in the U.S., Hoechst Rousell of France, Perstorp Chemical of Sweden and Mitsubishi Biologicals of Japan. Prior to that he worked for Boston Consulting Group where he served such clients as Smith Kline, OMC/Evinrude, Corning Fiber Optics, and Alpha-Philco.
Following is a portion of the December, 2011Â interview with Jim Melillo:
You have been working with some of the largest and most successful sales and marketing organizations for more than a decade. What would you say are the biggest changes that these organizations are going to face in the next decade?
In the last decade we saw organizations begin to recognize that people were their greatest asset. We also saw the rise of software and processes focused on that realization. However, the application of that thinking, particularly in the sales and marketing process has been grossly underwhelming. I see organizations actually applying the idea that “our people are our greatest asset” in the future.
The second big change I see occurring in the sales and marketing sphere, is the proliferation of information. The exponential growth of information and the technology to manage that information will affect sales and marketing functions, more than it does research and development or manufacturing.
Many people may say that the biggest changes are going to be due to shifts in healthcare or changes in various industries, I would tell you that I believe there are going to be quantum shifts in both the application of the people within organizations driving the business forward, and the effect of technology and information on the sales and marketing process.
What are the greatest opportunities and challenges for traditional sales professionals facing this new “cloud” market today?
Let me address it from both the people that are within the technology industry and people that are not but are linked to the industry. So as an example, it is easy to think of the companies I mentioned Amazon, Oracle, and IBM as being within the phenomenon. On the other hand, you can think of GE Radiology, Hospira with infusion pumps in the healthcare industry both of whom have to adjust their business model to take advantage of their customer and the healthcare industry which is moving towards this cloud environment.
So let’s first focus on the technology firms. Within the technology firms, having a cloud [system] is a “so what?” I read an interesting article about Mark Hurd, President of Oracle Corporation, talking about the difference between his cloud and Salesforce.com, and IBM. He basically said that the cloud should be free, it should be open, and information should be capable of moving in and out. He’s already talking about second-generation cloud [computing], where you can start off at the Oracle cloud and you can move your stuff to Amazon’s cloud, and then you can bring it back.
Already we’re on generation two of cloud computing and I would say it’s not even rolled out. Talking about cloud computing in and of itself when you’re in the technology industry has already become a discussion of features and functions. Buyers are already down to “I donâ€™t really care, maybe I’ll use the post office’s cloud maybe I’ll use Amazons.”
What technology people have to recognize is that now the discussion turns to what is the business change that that grows out of this technology. How does this impact healthcare, financial services, manufacturers. I’m already seeing products that are cutting edge, as a sales professional you need to come to me with the business effect rather than just come to me with the “cloud.”
To read the full executive interview members can access the interview at: http://www.brandonhall.com/memberstore/details/712/37/document-type/executive-interview/executive-interview-jim-melillo.html
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