Hubert Da Costa,Vice President, Global Channels at Compodium explains his current job role and his management philosophy.
Describe your current job role and the parts that are somewhat challenging?
I recently joined secure digital meeting spaces provider, Compodium, to build, launch and lead the channel programme in EMEA. Compodium was an early video conferencing pioneer and its technical video platform has grown to be one of the most comprehensive in the world, with use cases spanning healthcare and clinical telemedicine to public sector communications. With a strong foothold in Sweden, Compodium is now rapidly expanding globally and going forward, the company’s model will be 100% channel focused.
Now, I’m working to build relationships with the distribution partners to support this global expansion. Compodium recognises that working with the right partners can grow the business in a way that selling directly never will. In fact, it’s become increasingly difficult for businesses – even those that have been extremely successful in one or a few regions – to create opportunities for sales growth in new geographical regions and market verticals. Developing a strong distribution network provides huge economies of scale in terms of resources, operational processes, delivery and customer service.
One of the key challenges with new locations is working around different languages and cultures, so the key to success when expanding geographically is embracing local execution. This is why the distribution model works so well. Choosing the right partners can help you assimilate in-country quickly and fast tracks you through the language and cultural roadblocks you will inevitably face by running your business remotely.
Can you explain how your company works with channel partners?
To help secure a market-leading position in the rapid growth area of digital collaboration, Compodium is looking to appoint five partners to drive sales in the finance, healthcare, SMB enterprise, education and public sector vertical markets. We’ve recently unveiled a new channel programme – Compodium Partner Assure – which is aimed at supporting and accelerating our partners’ success across EMEA.
We’re working hard to identify and build effective relationships with the right partners, particularly those with detailed local market knowledge. I know at its core, the key to a successful distribution model is aligning strategies with your partners. So, we’re welcoming partners that know the industry well, who share our cultures and values and will help us maintain the integrity of the Compodium brand as we expand into new regions. The secret is in the name – partnership is key.
How do you ensure channel partners flourish in a highly competitive market?
My philosophy has always been one that centres around honest communication and a focus on long term relationships. This drives better results for everyone – it may seem like a cliché, but that’s all it takes to create a win-win situation. When working towards the same goals, you need to treat your partners as an extension of your own team – constantly thinking about how you can contribute to their success.
I read a book some years ago called ‘The Go-Giver’ that really struck a chord with me and fundamentally influenced how I approach working with partners. The book is about a young ambitious salesman going nowhere fast who realises a fundamental truth: to be successful in business you need to turn the traditional ‘What’s in it for me’ mindset on its head. Success depends on asking what you can give. Now, I focus on the value I can add – for colleagues, customers and partners.
Working hard to ensure partners have enough training and support will contribute to your joint success. You need to commit 100% to ensuring your partners’ success – and importantly, reward them fairly when they deliver this.
What are the latest trends you see emerging across the channel?
Despite the widespread disruption for many businesses, there have been numerous opportunities brought on by the rapid shift to remote working. It’s accelerated some key trends we were already seeing huge growth in – particularly the move to cloud and the need for comprehensive security. For any channel organisation with expertise in these areas, there are significant opportunities.
What is your management philosophy?
To lead from the front but also empower my team to think like a leader in everything they do. My team knows I always have their back and – providing they act with honesty and integrity with everything they do – that they are free to execute and enjoy their roles. If they make a mistake – which we all know happens – that’s OK, as long as it was made with the correct behaviour. Mistakes help us grow – as individuals and as a team. Just as it’s important for us to learn from our own mistakes and move on, any mistake your team makes is an opportunity for you to grow as a leader.
Leading from the front doesn’t mean making all of the key decisions; it’s about ensuring your vision, mission and goals are crisp and clear, and then trusting your team to deliver these. I ensure everyone in my immediate and extended teams has a mandate to deliver in the most creative, but – more importantly – honest way possible.
The same is true for channel leadership. Commit to your strategy and plans and enable your partners to execute. When your partners share your core values and you’ve helped them understand the nuances of your product, your brand and your market, let them lead you to success.
When you look back at your career what has been the most memorable achievement?
Memorable achievements come in many forms. Certainly though, the feeling of securing my first million-dollar order has stayed, as has cutting the tape at the first international office I set up from scratch in the EMEA region.
What made you think of a career in technology?
Honestly, from the age of four I’d planned to be a priest. But by about 16, I’d moved on and my love and inquisitiveness of all things tech was inspiring a clear career direction. It inspires me still to see how the world is progressing at an exponential rate, with technology touching every aspect of our lives – particularly over the recent months, as we’ve all had to adopt new ways of communicating with friends and colleagues.
What do you think will be the hot technology talking point of 2020?
For many businesses, recent events have fundamentally changed the way they operate. Home working has taken off in a way that we could never have imagined, even this time last year. Thanks to technology, we’re as productive in our own homes as we are in a traditional office environment. There’s no question as to the significance that video conferencing has played here. Indeed, the market for digital meeting spaces has exploded in recent months, with Global Market Insights predicting the video conferencing market alone will reach a valuation of US$50 billion by 2026.
However, with this growth has come the realisation by many businesses that there is a greater need for protecting the sensitive, confidential and valuable data contained in video conversations. Enterprise-grade security is a must-have and this permeates every aspect of the home office technology we’re all now relying on – from our trusty Wi-Fi router to the video conferencing platforms we’re using to communicate with clients, customers and colleagues. Catching up with friends on HouseParty is one thing – but discussing a medical diagnosis with your GP or exploring a potential M&A requires absolute confidentiality.
What are your personal interests and where do you like to spend most of your time after work?
By far, most of my time after work revolves around my dog – so lots of walking! I also enjoy swimming and – despite a few arguments with the road along the way – I’m still a keen cyclist. I also take every opportunity to watch Liverpool play football.Click below to share this article