Kevin L. Jackson Show Notes
Kevin L. Jackson
Advance Technology & Business Strategy Expert
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized cloud computing expert, Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019), a “Top 1000 Tech Blogger” (Rise Social Media 2019) and provides integrated social media services to AT&T, Bosch, Ericsson and other leading companies.
As an Associate Consultant with A.T. Kearney, he provided cloud computing and cybersecurity management consulting services to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Other internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM.
Mr. Jackson has also been featured in podcasts and online video with Dell, Intel Corporation, O’Reilly Media and National Public Radio. In May 2018 he was awarded an Information Security Leadership Award for his work in the US Federal Government Sector by the President, International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)2.
His books include, “GovCloud: Cloud Computing for the Business of Government” (Government Training Inc., 2011), “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016), and “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018). This most recent book was selected for use by Tulane University as the textbook for their mandatory Enterprise Architecture course. Mr. Jackson also delivers online training through Pluralsight.
Most passionate about
- I started Gov Cloud Networks in 2013. After I retired from the Navy, I worked as a corporate executive for many years. During that time, I proved my expertise in applying advanced technology to seminal intractable business challenges. That often led to the development of Nobel Internet Phased Information Brokerage Businesses Models that would interact with mobile devices.
- I was doing a lot of work with the military, the government, and the intelligence community; there were the only people that had these large global networks and had the money and the urgency to actually build and deploy the solutions that I was thinking of.
- But eventually, all that turned into Cloud Computing, and my ideas became commercially buyable.
- After that, I was reputably urged to start my own business providing integrated social media and cloud computing, and cybersecurity consultancy. This was targeted to organizations that wanted to leverage advanced technology.
The meaning of cloud for business
- It’s all about information. Today everything is about knowledge. You have to know people to communicate with people. The largest businesses on earth are about identifying information sources.
- The largest taxi cab company in the world is Uber, and they have no physical cars. They find people that need a ride, and then they identify people that are willing to give a ride. And that’s information exchange; it’s information brokerage.
- I worked with the intelligence in the Army, and I was a carrier pilot in the Navy, and by doing that my job was managing the battle space, and it was managing information.
- When we look at businesses, that is information about what your customers and clients need and where they can get that information. Cloud Computing is a platform for collecting information and delivering information.
- Social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are about information exchange, and the platform that social media ride on is a cloud computing platform. If you think about banks, the largest bank in the world is a virtual bank, PayPal, that is built on top of a cloud. If we think about blockchain, Bitcoin is built on top of a cloud, and it’s all about managing information and data.
- Think about your podcast; you record the podcast once, you are creating information, then you distribute it to millions, leveraging the power of the internet and that’s cloud computing.
- Today we are proud to partner with many global leaders like AT&T, Dell, Erickson, Bosch, Citrix, and IBM, but the common driver for all of them is how to become or maintain their global leadership.
- It’s been really lucky for us that the solutions that they need like Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and the fifth Generation Telecommunication called 5G, they all have cloud computing and cybersecurity as foundational elements. We are just lucky that that’s our expertise.
- Every business is about addressing the customers’ needs and wants. Entrepreneurs fail when they stop listening to their customers’ wants and needs.
- You need to understand your marketplace, but not only to tell what your idea was but to listen to them. In today’s world, you can broadcast, but you can also use social media to listen.
Kevin’s best advice about customer focus, marketing, and sales
- To understand the goals of your clients. The goals of the marketplace. Make sure that you establish and maintain a dialog, but more importantly look at appropriate and effective metrics that prove you’re achieving the goal of listening.
- Metrics like reducing your web site’s bounce rate in Google analytics. The time people are staying on your website, how many pages are they looking at and the like.
- As an entrepreneur, you should always have a goal to help your clients by delivering value.
- Every year I make a five-year plan for both my business and my private life. When I was in high school, I wanted to be a pilot, and I read books about pilots and found out that the good pilots were good at math and physics, and they applied to one of the two military academies, so I made that my goal. I worked hard at math and physics, and every year I would look at where I wanted to be in five years and make corrections.
Biggest failure with a customer
- Entrepreneurs fail for not listening to their customers. In fact, when I first started Gov Cloud Network I was exactly like that, I thought I have a great idea, I know how to leverage this technology, and all I have to do is go out and tell everybody what I can do, and I will be successful. That was my idea, tell everyone how good I was and make money.
- Days after I quit my last full-time job, I got a lucrative contract. But two months after that, I lost the contract because I wasn’t listening to my customer. After that, I got a couple more clients, but the revenue wasn’t enough to pay all my bills. So, I had to go back to the 9 to 5 job with lower pay while I was building my business part time on the side. Eventually I got enough clients to quit the other job and focus on Gov Cloud.
- The lesson I learned was never to stop listening to your customers. The first client I lost told me afterward, “Although your idea was great, you didn’t take into account our specific environment, our specific needs, our specific wants.”
- That got me into social media that enabled me to listen to the entire marketplace, not just a single client. The result was that we focused on building a very strong bidirectional social media presence that allowed us to have a continuous conversation with the marketplace.
Biggest success due to the right customer approach
- The largest contract we won was more than half a million US dollars, and it was a direct result of listening through social media.
- There was a large multinational that was really struggling to identify a market for an important new service that they had just launched. We showed them how to properly leverage social media to establish a continuous dialog with their most important C suite customers.
- In return, they made our company profitable for the first time ever.
Kevin’s recommended tool for marketing and sales
- That would be social media. It gives you a way to marketing, telling people what you do, and also listening to your customers. You can also set specific goals based on establishing and maintaining a dialog with your customers.
Kevin’s key success factor
- The answer might surprise you – it’s my three children that taught me what the important things in life are, and that you can never stop being a parent.
- When I take it to business, it is never to forget your business partners and never stop thinking about helping your clients.
Since we believe that the best way for entrepreneurs to get a fast, big, and sustainable success is by leading your (new) market category, and the entire entrepreneurial journey reminds me of mountaineering, or conquering the mountain; I want to ask you if there is a mountain you dream of climbing or a mountain you have already climbed.
- There is a mountain that we call life that we always have to be climbing and I think it’s important never to give up climbing on the mountain of life.
- People have asked me when I will retire, and I say I’ll never retire. Because being relevant to society gives me life. Your business delivers value to society, and in return, you feel good about living. So, never give up on life by always stay relevant. Keep climbing.
The best ways to connect with Kevin
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More resources for Entrepreneurs
- Don’t Miss – Customer Focus Strategy & Execution: Market Analysis for Fundraising
- Hayut Yogev’s Latest post: Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs will continue to fail because of their endless “trial & error” marketing pattern
- Former interview: The tight connection between the biggest failure and the biggest success of most Successful Entrepreneurs