In this episode of Digital Transformers, powered by Supply Chain Now, hosts Kevin L. Jackson and Scott Luton welcome Brian Fallon, Vice President, Global Sales, IBM Partner Ecosystem at IBM, to the show, to give a preview of the IBM Cloud Ecosystem and IBM Think 2021.
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Kevin L. Jackson (01:33):
So, good morning. Good morning everyone. This is Kevin L. Jackson and Scott Luton with you here on Digital Transformers on Supply Chain Now. Welcome to today’s live stream. Hey, Scott.
Scott Luton (01:47):
Kevin, how are you doing? I think I earned a degree in our pre-show session there. I really enjoyed the conversation.
Kevin L. Jackson (01:54):
Yeah. Absolutely. You know, on today’s show, we are getting a sneak peek of one of the leading global events that pulls together business thought leaders from around the world every year. Think 2021, the future of hybrid cloud and AI is here. And I have my think cube right here, so I’m ready.
Scott Luton (02:21);
Oh, where’s my son when we need him? That reminds me of a comic book, Cube, that powers movies these days in comics saving the world. Hey, Kevin. You’re right. We’ve got an outstanding session here today. Think 2021 is just right around the corner, May 11th here in the Americas, May 12th for APAC, Japan, and EMEA. A ton of great sessions teed up.
Scott Luton (02:44):
But today, Kevin, we’ve got a dynamic executive from the IBM Team that’s going to be joining us to kind of give us a sneak peek of what’s going to be covered with Think 2021 and some of the cool things that IBM and the ecosystem is doing, right?
Kevin L. Jackson (03:01):
Yeah. You know, CAD is my thing. So, I was really excited to do this. Geez.
Scott Luton (03:13):
Well, I could tell. You and our guest really make quite a one- two punch in the pre-show. And we’re going to bring Brian on here in just a minute. But, hey, quick programming note before we get started. So, you can find Digital Transformers on Supply Chain Now, the podcast channel, every fourth Monday of each month. So, be sure to find that and subscribe so you won’t miss a single thing, much like this show here today.
Scott Luton (03:35):
And secondly, we’re supporting a great nonprofit initiative to get supplies to India and their fight against the pandemic. You can learn more at vibha, V-I-B-H-A, .org. Doing great work there to help our friends in India.
Scott Luton (03:51):
Okay. With no further ado, let’s say hello to a few folks. And then, we’re going to bring our guests on. How about that, Kevin?
Kevin L. Jackson 03:56):
Okay. Let’s do this.
Scott Luton (03:58):
All right. So, starting, Shannon is back with us from Canada via LinkedIn. Great to see you here, Shannon. Andrea is back. Andrea, I hope this finds you and your sister, Sophia, well. And she says she’s never seen a countdown before that way. Kevin’s got the magic touch, I tell you. Noureldin is with us via LinkedIn. Great to see you there, Noureldin. Owolabi is back via LinkedIn from Nigeria. So, hello, hello. Mervyn from Dublin. Mervyn, great to see you. I hope your family are doing well there in India.
Kevin L. Jackson (04:37):
That’s what I really love about this show, it’s global. We have this audience just come from everywhere.
Scott Luton (04:37):
Agreed. And, you know, it’s like we’re talking pre-show. The world is getting smaller and smaller. And bless be the ties that bind, for sure. So, Kevin, are we ready to bring in our featured guests here today?
Kevin L. Jackson (04:37):
You know I can’t wait.
Scott Luton (04:59):
All right. So, let’s welcome in Brian Fallon, Vice President of Global Sales for IBM Partner Ecosystem, of course, with Big Blue.
Scott Luton (05:11):
Brian, how are you doing?
Brian Fallon (05:14):
I’m doing well. I’m doing well, Scott. Kevin, good to see you. Thanks for having me today.
Kevin L. Jackson (05:18):
No. Thank you for coming. I mean, it’s a hot time that I’ll be getting ready for Think.
Brian Fallon (05:24):
Oh, yes. We’re in the final stages here with it kicking off next week. So, very exciting time for us. Very exciting indeed.
Scott Luton (05:32):
Outstanding. Well, Kevin, at pre-show, we learned a little bit that Brian spent some time here in the Metro Atlanta area where Supply Chain Now is based. And, of course, former colleagues. You and Brian were with IBM. So, I’ll tell you, lots of common bonds here. But let’s start.
Scott Luton (05:49):
Brian, before we get to the heavy lifting, and there’s a ton of heavy lifting we’re going to do between some of the cool technology trends and business trends, and what Think 2021 is going to be like, let’s get to know you a little bit better. So, tell us a little about yourself and where you’re from and your role at IBM.
Brian Fallon (06:06):
Okay. Well, again, thanks for having me. Brian Fallon, currently the Global Vice President of sales for IBM’s Partner Ecosystem. A little bit about me, I live here in the New York area. I did start with IBM, as you said, Scott, in Atlanta. I have very fond memories of my three years I spent there. I live here with my wife, Catherine, and our son, Liam, who was born about six weeks ago. So, new father here.
Kevin L. Jackson (06:32):
Scott Luton (06:32):
Kevin L. Jackson (06:34):
Thank you. Thank you. And I started with IBM through, actually, an internship. It’s what got me exposed to the culture of IBM at the TJ Watson Research Center. Kevin, I know you were in the White Plains area. So, in Yorktown Heights, there’s the research center. That’s actually where I first started with IBM. And then, subsequently moved to Atlanta, Georgia to go through global sales school, which is how I spent some time –
Kevin L. Jackson (07:00):
That was in good old 1133 Westchester Avenue there in White Plains.
Brian Fallon (07:04):
Yeah. I remember the office from years ago. But, now, I’m in the New York City area. And I’m happy to be here with you both today. So, that’s a little bit about me, Scott.
Scott Luton (07:15):
Outstanding. So, two very quick follow up question. So, first off, you’re illustrating the importance of internships then when you’re entering the industry and, still, certainly today. So, we always encourage companies that that’s still wonderful vehicles to invest in and you’re living and walking proof. And then, secondly, more on the personal side, can you share with us who Liam was named after?
Brian Fallon (07:41):
So, not a family name. The middle name Maliki named after my father. So, Liam Maliki Fallon, named after my father, and my grandfather, actually, is where that name comes from. But Liam was just something my wife and I thought it had a good ring to it.
Scott Luton (07:55):
I love it. I love it.
Kevin L. Jackson (07:57):
Right. It sounds like he’s going to be a movie star.
Brian Fallon (08:02):
High aspirations, Kevin.
Scott Luton (08:05):
Kevin L. Jackson (08:05):
There’s nothing wrong with that. Yeah.
Scott Luton (08:07):
Congrats again on your addition. So, Kevin, where are we going next?
Kevin L. Jackson (08:11):
Well, one of the things that I want to really understand is that your title, Partner Ecosystem, I mean, I’m not sure if the audience really understands or appreciate what that mean. Can you sort of tell us how do you run or manage being executive of Partner Ecosystem?
Brian Fallon (08:32):
Okay. Fair question. So, let’s kind of break it down a little bit. So, what is the Partner Ecosystem? With IBM, we have partnerships with over 45,000 firms. It’s how we deliver scale through our technology mission. So, what I’m responsible for is really delivering the technology business through this set of partners and reducing the friction to give them access to our technology, inclusive of software, our systems, our infrastructure platforms, as well as our public cloud capability.
Brian Fallon (09:02):
So, this ecosystem is unified by a set of common goals. We all have a set of common goals and we have a belief in the strategy that IBM’s going down and the capabilities that our offerings and products bring to bear. This is kind of the glue that holds us together. What my role works on is, as I said, reducing that friction. How do we get adoption of the technology through this ecosystem in an accelerated fashion?
Brian Fallon (09:31):
And what we really rolled out is three motions, building on top of IBM technology and partners who adopt the technology through that; delivering services around it, not only implementation services but managed services, utilizing pieces of our technology and intellectual property that our partners developed; and, of course, selling the technology and helping clients implement it as is in their enterprises. And that’s really what we’ve been working on as the Partner Ecosystem at IBM.
Kevin L. Jackson (09:59):
Wow. I read that there’s like a billion dollars was invested into expanding, providing, and, I guess, reducing that friction of being an IBM partner. Is that true?
Brian Fallon (10:14):
You read correctly. Yeah. So, with the new leadership under Arvind Krishna, our CEO/Chairman, we’ve made a concerted effort on how do we measure value for the IBM corporation. And that’s not just value for customers, but also value for our partners. It’s got to have both in order for IBM to really get that multiple effects. So, we’ve invested heavily. That billion dollars is in the form of investment funds to help our partners migrate to our technologies to help them build solutions and capabilities on top of our technologies, as I previously spoke to. We’ve also made investments in more technical resources, such as our Hybrid Cloud Build Team led by my colleague, Willie Tejada. We made that investment so that partners can get access to the individuals who have skills on these platforms so that we can help them learn faster, adopt quicker, get to market with our technology. And that’s kind of in a nutshell what we’ve done with the billion dollars, but we’re not done yet.
Kevin L. Jackson (11:16):
Well, I’m going to pull on that string a little bit about the IBM Cloud. Your approach seems different than what people would typically expect from a cloud service provider. I mean, the appropriate visual is a menu of options that you have to select from with sort of a take it or leave it service level agreement. But it seems like IBM took a different direction in this Partner Ecosystem. Why?
Brian Fallon (11:48):
Well, I think it comes down to the fact that 75 percent of enterprise workloads have not migrated to public cloud. And if you look at IBM’s heritage and the success that we’ve enjoyed over, you know, a hundred plus years, some of that is not in the cloud space. Although you could argue, we were one of the early adopters to what was the predecessor to cloud and how we shared managed services and the capabilities we bring with our mainframe platform. Now, that being said, our approach is about openness and the reality that the world is hybrid. So, having a multi-cloud approach is sort of table stakes in this role. And that’s where our approach differ because we didn’t take it from the strategy from a public cloud kind of going into the data center. We’re looking at it from a data center approach going out to the cloud.
Brian Fallon (12:38):
Not all workloads are created equal. Not everything has a final destination that may reside on the public cloud. But giving customers the flexibility to make that choice based on the application, the security requirements, the user requirements gives you flexibility and choice. And you’ll hear me talk about consistency, flexibility, and choice to the customer. That’s really what the open hybrid and AI enabled architecture that IBM is working on is all about.
Kevin L. Jackson (13:08):
Well, when technologists hear flexibility, you know, open source sort of flashes in front of them. And IBM has really been a leader in open source. How does this support your Partner Ecosystem?
Brian Fallon (13:08):
So, the first way I would say it supports our Partner Ecosystem is that, in serving our partners and clients, they value this consistency and openness. Because it avoids that lock-in strategy. The minute you start creating something on a proprietary set of technology, you create difficulties down the road. So, beginning with an architecture where you can design (1), deploy (2) in an environment of your choosing gives you tremendous flexibility to start from.
Brian Fallon (13:58):
I cited the 75 percent of enterprise workloads that haven’t moved. Well, why? Because it’s really hard work, right? This isn’t trivial, you know, work we’re talking about. So, it takes a lot of thought and planning. As you’re going through this, there’s an expense to it. You want them to be thoughtful so that every investment pays a dividend in the future, and that you’re not going back and refactoring and trying to recreate these workloads. The approach that we have very much helps to accelerate that. But do so in a secure and supported manner.
Brian Fallon (14:32):
Our partners are seeing value in that because, one, it’s helping show a value to their customer in terms of the longevity. So, the return on investment is more near term. Two, it’s helping to accelerate that move. So, the flexibility that they’re able to offer is allowing clients to reduce their expenses in the near term and provide greater flexibility. So, they’re actually able to extract insight from the data that resides across their organization, that’s one simple example.
Kevin L. Jackson (15:02):
Well, Think 2021 seems to be built around evolving that IBM partner experience. Is that true?
Brian Fallon (15:10):
It is. It’s very much a partner-centric approach. And everything we’re doing, including our flagship conference here at Think, we had tremendous registration already, not only from customers, but partners alike. I’m sure we’ll see that continue to ramp over the coming days with it, you know, so quickly approaching. The event is really tailored in a way where there’s a little bit of something for everybody. I don’t know if you’ve gone through the agenda, but, I mean, there are some really technical tracks that our partners can take advantage of.
Brian Fallon (15:43):
There’s the ability to go out and get competencies, right? And, actually, we have a promotion going on now where partners who signed up for Think get access to a free voucher for a competency. On average partners with these competencies earn about 25 bucks what partners that don’t have them. So, there’s a value to this in terms of, you know, knowledge being power here. There’s a tremendous up-skilling opportunity at Think. And we’re going to be making a ton of announcements as well. So, you’re going to want to tune in for that as well, Kevin.
Kevin L. Jackson (16:12):
I will. Scott, what do you think about this?
Scott Luton (16:15):
Well, just one big key [inaudible] question, Brian. How good is the food at think 2021?
Kevin L. Jackson (16:22):
Virtual food, right?
Brian Fallon (16:22):
Well, it depends how close you’re going to virtually take it from your kitchen, Scott. I mean, that’s the beauty of this, right? You can do it in the comfort of your own home.
Scott Luton (16:32):
I love it. Knowledge is power. And I admire the companies that really have doubled down, especially from a virtual standpoint and global standpoint to give folks the opportunity wherever they are to plug in and better themselves as an organization. And 25X – holy cow – that is quite a return. So, you shared a lot of different things that IBM is working on, the partners are working on, and that’s some things that we covered at Think 2021. But in particular, this IBM Satellite Cloud, can you tell me more about that especially from a non-technologist standpoint, perhaps?
Brian Fallon (17:08):
Okay. Okay. Well, it’s a game changer from a non-technologist standpoint. But why is that? So, we talked about enterprises wanting to move to the cloud. There’s a ton of considerations to make. What workload? How will I get it there? As you’re making these decisions, it’s not going to be a move everything, right? So, you’ve got to be thinking about, how am I going to manage these disparate environments? I’m going to have some consuming on-prem resource, some on a public cloud, maybe private instances off at another location as well. How do I manage these various interfaces and technologies? Because it’s not consistent as you get into these different environments.
Brian Fallon (17:47):
What IBM Cloud Satellite allows you to do is to take that instance to buy IBM Cloud and put it anywhere you want, in your data center, in another data center, in a public cloud that is not even IBM Public Cloud. You can put it in another competitive cloud offering if you want. But get that same consistency and connectivity, have a central point of management. And, really, from a security standpoint, there’s a lot of advantages, too. From a monitoring and security standpoint, you get consistency in a single pane of glass. So, you know, the experience from our clients has been, they feel more confident in the move to cloud with IBM Cloud Satellite. I guess that’s how I would sum it up. It’s about confidence in your ability to make that move because it’s not a trivial task, as I said earlier.
Kevin L. Jackson (18:33):
Scott Luton (18:33):
I’m sorry. Go ahead, Kev.
Kevin L. Jackson (00:18:34):
Yeah. I was just saying, it sounds like the Satellite Cloud is intent on accelerating the transition to cloud or making it, I guess, a better business case.
Scott Luton (18:47):
Yeah. That’s what I heard as well, Kevin. It’s certainly accelerating. It’s one of the common themes with what Brian is sharing with us thus far. And as we know with cloud, especially proven successful cloud solutions, that flexibility and choice which is so important, whether it’s global supply chain or global business. So, business leaders are craving, craving meaningful and practical flexibility in 2021 and beyond.
Kevin L. Jackson (19:13):
Yeah. Absolutely. But, I mean, we’ve talked a lot about cloud, but Think is more than cloud. There seems to be, maybe, an equivalent focus on artificial intelligence, I think. Can you explain that?
Brian Fallon (19:31):
Yeah. It’s a good observation, Kevin. IBM, we’re a technology company. We’re a technology company led by software, and systems, and cloud capabilities. And with that, you know, our mentality is that AI should be infused across all of those things. It’s not separate. It’s included in. So, from a customer perspective and as our partners are evaluating this technology, they’re saying, “Well, we need to modernize certain legacy environments. We need to help our customers predict outcomes or adapt to changing situations.”
Brian Fallon (20:09):
We’ve seen a lot of that with this unfortunate pandemic situation that has found us having to adjust everything. Supply chains have certainly had a dramatic impact. But you know, really, the remote workforce and the shift to that has created a lot of change. And predicting that change is very difficult for an organization depending on what your specialty is. As you look at securing it, how do I secure this environment as we’re going through that modernization? So, the technology that we have here is really kind of the basis for AI. I would say that cloud is sort of the gateway to AI. Let’s start there, maybe, Kevin.
Brian Fallon (20:49):
And what we’ve done has started to infuse, you know, the Watson AI capabilities into our offerings. Because once you can automate processes, the next logical function is to start to, you know, automate and predict and remove the manual work that goes into what you just automated. Because you’re improving the value of those monotonous tasks. You’re increasing the cost for the organization in doing those monotonous tasks. And you’re helping them to keep systems online more efficiently and more effectively than they were doing it manually. So, the AI capabilities, you’re seeing it in things like Watson AIOps. We’ve already infused it in certain products today. And you’ll see that continue for the duration.
Kevin L. Jackson (21:38):
Wow. This seems to be a real game changer. But one thing that you didn’t say, in these types of conversations you always hear about the Internet of Things, IOT. Cloud, artificial intelligence, what about IOT? How do organizations work with IBM in that area?
Brian Fallon (22:01):
Great question. So, the Internet of Things or IOT, I’d say we’ve evolved. We’ve evolved to this internet that thinks. I’ll give credit to my colleague, Sujit Bhatt, who came up with that kind of term. It’s the internet that thinks. Everything is smarter, right? Devices and machines that didn’t previously have compute capability on board now have it. It kind of leads into the edge conversation and computing at the edge.
Brian Fallon (22:33):
But, now, when you have all of these smart devices, the problem turns to, “Well, we want to predict and automate how we manage those.” You’ve got more security vulnerabilities potential. How do you manage that in an autonomous way to remove some of the manual work that would otherwise have to go into, you know, thousands of sensors? Sensors that could be reutilized on a factory floor, for example. Or deployed to a different use case than previously assigned. Do you have policies that could push that out automatically? That’s really where we’re thinking about the Internet of Things. I think automation and the internet, it’s like table stakes now.
Brian Fallon (23:16):
The next frontier is how do I manage that reality? How do I automate it? And how do I start to predict the changes that we’re seeing from the data that we’re collecting? How do I react to that quicker? And that’s how organizations will improve their efficiency, improve safety for workers, as an example. The use cases are sort of endless there as you really get into more mainstream enterprise applications.
Kevin L. Jackson (23:43):
Yeah. Just a little follow-up on that. The other term that’s always pulled out is edge computing. So, will we see edge computing at Think?
Brian Fallon (23:57):
Absolutely. Absolutely. You’ll hear about IBM Edge Application Manager. I kind of spoke about that in concept in my last response. But, you know, Kevin, I think edge computing gives us the ability to use our data faster, let me say it that way. To use the data that we’ve collected faster and more secure. You’re preventing the need to move data. And, of course, moving data has, you know, intrinsic security risks with it. So, can we do more processing at the edge? That’s really where IBM solution is going. And we’ve utilized the Red Hat OpenShift platform as our basis for our edge solution. As a software company, that’s really where we’re moving all of our software. It’s got that OpenShift foundation, which gives us the flexibility and choice, I mentioned earlier in the conversation.
Brian Fallon (24:46):
And that’s true of the edge, right? Because the edge and, I think, 5G, you’re going to see the continued move to more edge computing because of that technology and the capabilities that it brings from a speed and data latency perspective, you’ll have more and more edge computing occurring. So, we moved out of the data center, kind of the centralized old approach to things, if you will, to more of a decentralized edge based approach. That lets you get into the Internet of Things and utilizing all those sensors more effectively to do more real time interactions. Then, you bring the AI on top of it. You infuse AI into everything. So, that becomes the predictable way you can make decisions. It’s about, you know, improving the insight that humans can make, not replacing humans.
Brian Fallon (25:35):
It’s important to mention that, right? Because we started the conversation with internships. We’re not here to replace people. Let’s be really clear about that. IBM has got a program called the Summit Program. That’s our kind of new hire program in the sales role where I live within IBM. That’s an important distinction here, because, I think, as you look at how we’re utilizing this, it really changes the way individuals interface with this technology and how productive they can be.
Kevin L. Jackson (26:08):
Yeah. So, Scott, apologies for cutting you off, but you had a comment?
Scott Luton (26:13):
It’s tough to hold back. A lot of comment from what Brian is sharing. So much that gets my blood running. I love one of his last comments there around augmentation. Augmentation and how technology is really empowering folks, especially folks that are willing to learn new things and step into new windows of opportunity and whatnot. So, I love that.
Scott Luton (26:36):
You know, I know that we’re going to make sure grabbing any of your other thoughts around Think 2021. But looking back, Brian, I bet you’ve been through a number of these events, these conferences that IBM and its partners put on. What’s one of your favorite elements or aspects to these events, whether they’re in-person, which we’ll eventually get back to, or some of these outstanding virtual events we’ve seen?
Brian Fallon (27:01):
Well, I mean the part I enjoy most is connecting with our partners from around the world. It’s obviously maybe a little bit more fun in an in-person setting. But seeing folks gather from around the world at these locations and catching up on the really innovative things that we’re doing is fantastic. Hopefully, you’ll tune in and you’ll hear me talk to one of our partners about the solutions that they’re building. But it’s really that camaraderie that we’re building as an ecosystem because it’s a community, as I said earlier.
Brian Fallon (27:34):
You know, everybody here at this event has a common interest in the technology and the power that it has to drive, you know, real results for our customers. That innovation and how it unfolds in front of the customer in terms of real business value. And they’re passionate folks. They’re really passionate about, not only the IBM components, but the intellectual property that they bring to bear. And that’s a lot of what we’ve been trying to infuse the shift of the billion dollars that you mentioned earlier, Kevin. To help clients unlock that creativity, use the IBM platforms to accelerate their go-to market and create new solutions to the benefit of our customers and our industry. And there’s numerous examples that you’ll hear at Think of that.
Brian Fallon (28:20):
But to answer your direct question, Scott, it’s the connections. I’m sure I’ll speak to virtually 20, 50 partners, however many the hours in the day allow for. But it just doesn’t make up for, you know, sitting down and having a meal with folks that you haven’t seen in sometimes a few months or a year, especially with the travel restrictions that have been in place. So, I’m really looking forward to getting back to that in the near future.
Scott Luton (28:47):
You’re singing my song for sure. I love the connectivity, and that’s true sense of community and reconnecting with old and new colleagues and partners. One final point, Kevin, before I toss it back over to you. I love how Brian described how we’ve got to redefine the definition of value. I think, without pointing fingers, there are some organizations that are clinging to really old-fashioned, old ways, of defining value. And consumers and organizations alike are measuring real value. Bottom line, move the needle value in so many different ways these days. So, Brian, I appreciate you sharing that from earlier.
Brian Fallon (29:29):
Oh, thank you. Yeah. I mean, it’s a statement of scale, I think is what it comes down to. No one organization can do great things alone. And what we’re really embracing at IBM is the complimentary value that our partners bring to our customers, and I mentioned the solution aspect of it. But, you know, deploying our technologies is something that our partners are experts at. And they become evangelists of the platform. So, really grateful for the network of partners that we have and looking forward to hopefully meeting some new ones at Think, Scott, this year.
Kevin L. Jackson (30:11):
Well, I mean, one of the things that you have talked about, the importance of partners. Capacity has been tough in a lot of ways. But one way that it’s changed our life is the appreciation of technology. And in the business world, that meant an accelerated adoption of technology. I know many people have told me, you know, “We are doing all these virtual events and endless Zoom calls as a business person.” But this collaboration that we’ve been able to really bring out of the closet because the technology was already there, but the adoption was kind of slow. And because we were forced, we have really accelerated the adoption of a lot of these technologies. And companies that had the adoption or the rollout of some of these advanced technologies, you know, two, three years down the road, suddenly, had to do it now. How does this play in your ecosystem and your partner strategy?
Brian Fallon (31:31):
Yeah. And I talked a lot about the technology, sorry to geek out on the technology. But let me talk about the piece that I missed, which is the industry expertise, the domain expertise, the use case knowledge that our partners bring to bear. I was working with a partner the other day, who, frankly, IBM alone could not have achieved what we did together for this customer. It was in the life sciences space. The expertise that they had around this very niche supply chain for this industry – it was a pharmaceutical industry – is something that, together, we had the technology and the domain knowledge to rapidly improve a process that was in need of improvement. That had real value to this particular customer. So, it’s the combination that they bring together. It’s not just the technology understanding. They’re great technologists.
Brian Fallon (32:30):
But when you find those that have domain expertise – you know, we worked with another partner – I worked with another partner recently – I should say – around a healthcare solution that infused some of our Cloud Pak for Data Technology, Cloud Pak for Integration, they brought it together in a highly regulated healthcare environment. The highly regulated nature of the industry was something that this partner had tremendous experience with. More importantly, they had the customer’s confidence. And that is what let them move forward with a solution that involves IBM technology and this partner skills to make it a reality in record time, really. So, they did a migration that was very complex in record time. It delighted the client, got them on new technology. The technology is kind of secondary because, you know, if you do it right, you don’t really see the technology. You’re delaying the end users. You know, in this case, it was practitioners in a hospital or payers at an insurance company.
Kevin L. Jackson (33:34):
So, what I hear you saying is that, the partners enable that acceleration of adoption of technology. And more than that, the ability to fit the technology into the business process or the business case. So, without partners, IBM really can’t deliver that perfect solution in time.
Brian Fallon (34:01):
Well, as the Partner Ecosystem, it’s sort of self-serving for me to agree with you there. So, I’m going to do that. And I do believe that in my heart of hearts, Kevin, I do believe we absolutely need the ecosystem to get that accelerated growth. I would suggest, we have these five levers for building on the IBM technology that help partners become two-and-a-half times more productive. It kind of breaks down to, from a developer standpoint, you could be more effective managing the tool chain. You can help reduce the security vulnerabilities and provide a consolidated degree of support around the application that you’re developing, et cetera. So, there’s also a value proposition for our partners based on the technology that we’re bringing to market and these products that are available today in the form of Cloud Paks.
Kevin L. Jackson (34:53):
So, the Cloud Paks really enable your partners to leverage your technology to increase their own sales.
Brian Fallon (35:06):
One hundred percent. One hundred percent we see that every day. Not only in using it as a tool to modernize clients that they have been working with over the years, but also partners who are building on these technologies, like our automation foundation, as an example, to kind of leapfrog their go-to market to get to market faster by leveraging the building blocks that we have in the Cloud Pak.
Kevin L. Jackson (35:31):
So, this partnering and solutions like Cloud Pak really drive performance or the variability of the solutions and marketability of your partner’s business offerings. And, really, I guess in a word, supercharges your partners businesses.
Brian Fallon (35:56):
Yeah. And that’s the intent, to provide a basis that’s open and secure. To provide that management capability and offer your customer consistency and choice. So, they have the confidence that adopting that technology has longevity sort of future-proofing the investment. Because they’re not bound to an infrastructure or a chip set anymore. They’re able to have portability, which I would suggest to you, is, future-proofing. And there’s a real value in terms of a return on investment for the client over the long term.
Kevin L. Jackson (36:32):
Right. Absolutely. Scott?
Scott Luton (36:36):
A ton to look forward to. We can only really hit the tip of the iceberg here in less than an hour. But, Brian, man, a lot of good stuff and a lot of reasons to join Think 2021. I think we’ve got the link. And we want to make sure we didn’t miss anything, but I think we’ve got a link – we’re going to make it really easy – that we’re going to drop in the comments. And before we do, Brian, what’s the best way that folks can connect with you and IBM Team?
Brian Fallon (37:07):
Well, drop that link in the comments. I mean, that’s the best way. Sign up for Think 2021. You can request a meeting with me, and many of my colleagues there would love to meet with you and talk mor about our IBM partner programs and our technology. You can also get me on LinkedIn, linkedin.com/in/bpfallon is my address.
Scott Luton (37:32):
Wonderful. Hey, before we let Brian go, I think Brian had mentioned he’s got a hot meeting right at the bottom of the hour. But, Kevin, if folks really think and remember one or two things from today’s kind of sneak peak and then some, what are some things that folks should take away from what Brian has shared here today?
Kevin L. Jackson (37:53):
The number one thing is that, IBM is there for their partners. It seems that they are bringing their technology so that their partners can build upon their own businesses. They could take the basics and customize it or make it perfect for the business for their customers. So, it’s a real change. And it’s a different thought process if you think about IBM as a cloud service provider, because, yeah, they are a cloud service provider. But they are really, from the very beginning, a solution provider. And cloud is just one of the components of an end-to-end solution. And hybrid cloud is on the tip of everyone’s tongue, of course, but it’s really a hybrid information technology. Companies will still have their data center. They will still have managed services. They will also leverage cloud. But they need to be able to integrate that with artificial intelligence as we transition into the thinking internet. And I wrote that down, but thinking internet.
Brian Fallon (39:16):
The internet that thinks.
Kevin L. Jackson (39:18):
The internet that thinks.
Brian Fallon (00:39:18):
Sujit Bhatt. Give him credit. You got to give him a little credit.
Kevin L. Jackson (39:22):
I love it. Scott, what do you think?
Scott Luton (39:24):
Well, you know, a little bit on the Satellite Cloud game-changer, it sounds like, not to use cliche, but it really does seem like that. That’s going to change the landscape. Acceleration has been important for change, especially meaningful, successful acceleration for years now. But 2020 and 2021 really taught us some painful lessons about the need to really drive change faster and more effectively, and in these remote environments. So many businesses have elected big, small, and all points in between to maintain at, the very least, a hybrid approach. But some cases, fully remote, because they’ve seen a number different advantages, but the great employee experience advantage by offering successful remote working environment. So, to do all of that, to offer all of that, to offer the speed and the flexibility that Brian spoke to throughout these common themes here today, you’ve got to have a technology partner and an ecosystem that you can work with to make all that happen and to make it happen as seamlessly as possible.
Scott Luton (40:35):
There’s a reason a lot of new technology stays on the shelf. It’s because employees don’t know how to use it. And business leaders they struggle with the change and implementation and wiring it all together. And a lot of what Brian spoke to, change is never easy. But depending on your partners, that can be easier. And those are just some of my 17 pages of notes from what you’ve shared here today, Brian.
Brian Fallon (41:04):
Well, look. Nothing worth doing is easy, right?
Scott Luton (41:08):
Absolutely. And, folks, especially in this series here, Kevin, certainly speaks to global business. But just in that supply chain standpoint, supply chain is not easy. And a lot of folks, a lot of consumers that didn’t know exactly what supply chain was have found that out.
Kevin L. Jackson (41:28):
It wasn’t there, right?
Scott Luton (41:29):
Right. It wasn’t there. I think we all, as humans, take things for granted. But it’s not easy. You don’t get to have the easy way out. But that global business is what’s pulling us into this post-pandemic. And I look forward to learning a lot more about what the IBM ecosystem is doing and your partners at Think 2021.
Scott Luton (41:53):
I’ve got a couple of comments here. Let’s see here. Shannon says, “Really excited to see how ever changing technology is going to drive supply chain in other industry even further. And really want to learn more, so I’ll definitely sign up for Think 2021.” How about that, Shannon?
Kevin L. Jackson (42:12):
Hey, we got a [inaudible].
Brian Fallon (42:16):
Well, thank you, Shannon.
Scott Luton (42:19):
And let’s see here. I don’t think I said hello to Peter Bolle on the front end. But Peter, he enjoyed the discussion here today. We really appreciate that, Peter. Hope this finds you well up in Canada. And Dhairya asked a great question, but we’re kind of at the end of our time with Brian. Dhairya, thank you so much for being here. Next time, maybe we bring Brian back or a member of the IBM Team. We’ll talk about sustainability.
Scott Luton (42:42):
Kevin, anything else before we bid our featured guest here ado.
Kevin L. Jackson (42:49):
No. I just want to say thank you very much for coming. I mean, you’ve really outlined the importance of the ecosystem and why. And this is another reason why IBM has been around for over a hundred years because they had the pulse on society or on technology and how it supports business. And they’re in their wisdom. They know. It’s all about the ecosystem. So, thank you.
Scott Luton (43:22):
Brian Fallon (43:23):
Well, thank you both for having me here. I greatly appreciate the opportunity and would look forward to an opportunity to be back. And hope to see you both at Think.
Kevin L. Jackson (43:31):
We’ll bring you back. We will see there.
Scott Luton (43:34):
That’s right Brian Fallon, Vice President of Global Sales with IBM’s Partner Ecosystem, thanks so much for your time here today.
Brian Fallon (43:41):
Scott Luton (00:43:47):
Kevin L. Jackson (43:48):
That was great.
Scott Luton (43:52):
You know, you and Brian, both, I observed a bit on the frontend and the pre-show, and then I observed it through Brian’s time here, really simplifying things. You know, sometimes I’ll jump into highly high tech conversations and to keep it so technical is tough for a non-technologist like myself to kind of make heads or tails. But I like how he and you simplify these conversations so that everyone can take a part.
Kevin L. Jackson (44:21):
Well, it’s important to know the reason behind a technology. And you don’t deploy and use technology for technology sake. You use it to assist the humans that rely upon these processes. It’s technology plus humans. Not technology to replace humans. And we talked about that today.
Scott Luton (44:49):
Yeah. Absolutely. Argumentation, we’re going to hear a lot more of that term used. Well, a ton of good stuff. I want to give a big thanks to all of the folks in the comments from the community that jumped in. Peter says, “I will use your statement, Scott Luton, way above my pay grade even when simplified.” Hey, I’m with you, Peter. I am with you. I will defer to the experts like Kevin and Brian through some of these technical and engineering advances we’re seeing. But thanks everybody for joining. We couldn’t get everybody’s comments but really appreciate that. And, Kevin, excited about Think 2021, and you’re going to be there. It’s right around the corner. Again, let’s hear those dates.
Kevin L. Jackson (45:31):
Actually, it’s 10 and 11th. And I’m going to be live streaming at Think 2021. And talking a lot about how the cloud and artificial intelligence is really being brought to the forefront through IBM with IBM and their ecosystem. So, I guess we’re kind of out of [inaudible] there aren’t we? I’d say a lot more.
Scott Luton (46:05):
It’s tough that, you know, an hour or even 45 minutes, we’re just only scratching surface of the fuller discussions. But, hopefully, folks got a nice little taste of, not only Brian’s POV, but also Think 2021 where, as we all know, folks can dive in deeper. So, with that said, I’m going to show these dates, May 11th and May 12th, right?
Kevin L. Jackson (46:25):
Scott Luton (46:26):
Americas, former. And APEC, Japan, and EMEA on May 12th. Folks got the link in the show notes and in the comments. And, Kevin, with that, why don’t you take us out.
Kevin L. Jackson (46:38):
So, be sure to check out the wide variety of industry thought leadership at www.supplychainnow.com, and find us wherever you get your podcast. So, this is Kevin L. Jackson and Scott Luton wishing all of you a bright and transformational future. We’ll see you next time on Digital Transformers. Thank you everybody.
Scott Luton (47:03):
Awesome. Thanks everybody.
Thank you. Thanks for being a part of our supply chain. Now, community check out all of our programming at https://supplychainnow.com and make sure you subscribe to supply chain. Now anywhere you listen to podcasts and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on Supply Chain Now.
Brian Fallon is Vice President of Global Sales for the IBM Partner Ecosystem. Brian is responsible for the global go-to-market strategy and sales execution for IBM Technology across Cloud and Cognitive Software and IBM Systems. He works extensively with partners to infuse AI and the agility of Hybrid Cloud enabling partners who Build on, Sell and deliver Service offerings with IBM Technology. to drive digital transformation with our customers. Brian has over 15 years of experience in working directly with customers and partners, including roles in IBM Global Sales and Global Financing, Cloud & Cognitive Software and IBM’s Digital Business Group. Brian started his career with IBM as a Digital Seller in Atlanta, GA. In 2014, he was selected by City & State Magazine as “New York City’s 40 Under 40 Rising Stars” for his work at IBM with New York City government where he was the Client Executive on the Integrated Account. Brian has completed IBM’s Advanced Sales Leadership certification at Boston University and holds a BS in Management from Quinnipiac University. Connect with Brian on LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
Director of Communications and Executive Producer
Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys. She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.
Business Development Manager
Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.
Vice President, Production
Amanda is a production and marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Amanda currently manages, produces, and develops modern digital content for Supply Chain Now and their clients. Amanda has previously served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah, and founded and managed her own successful digital marketing firm, Magnolia Marketing Group. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now production team, you can find Amanda in the kitchen, reading, listening to podcasts, or enjoying time with family.
Constantine Limberakis is a thought leader in the area of procurement and supply management. He has over 20 years of international experience, playing strategic roles in a wide spectrum of organizations related to analyst advisory, consulting, product marketing, product development, and market research. Throughout his career, he's been passionate about engaging global business leaders and the broader analyst and technology community with strategic content, speaking engagements, podcasts, research, webinars, and industry articles.Constantine holds a BA in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA in Finance & Marketing / Masters in Public & International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized 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, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Director of Sales
Tyler Ward serves as Supply Chain Now's Director of Sales. Born and raised in Mid-Atlantic, Tyler is a proud graduate of Shippensburg University where he earned his degree in Communications. After college, he made his way to the beautiful state of Oregon, where he now lives with his wife and daughter.
With over a decade of experience in sales, Tyler has a proven track record of exceeding targets and leading high-performing teams. He credits his success to his ability to communicate effectively with customers and team members alike, as well as his strategic thinking and problem-solving skills.
When he's not closing deals, you can find Tyler on the links or cheering on his favorite football and basketball teams. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing pick-up basketball, and traveling back to Ocean City, Maryland, his favorite place!
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
Principal & CMO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.