What a whirlwind trip to Austin and the 2011 SpiceWorld IT conference.  Now that I’ve gotten my inbox under control and posted the mechanical bull riding pictures to the forums, I’ve had some time to reflect on everything I saw and heard.

As the Marketing Director for Unitrends, I of course enjoyed the “SpiceWorld for Marketers” sessions (and had a blast giving a session as well!), but I’ve got to say that I learned more from helping at the Unitrends booth in the lobby and speaking with folks at the extracurricular activities.  Hot topics included virtualization, going mobile, cloud-everything and the ever important doing more with less… but what really stuck with me were the people.

SpiceWorks users are a new breed.

First, I’m not sure they ever sleep.

They have expansive domains and are responsible for just about everything under the sun.

They like cold beer and the latest hot technology.

One gentleman told me he currently juggles four backup solutions, another was responsible for archiving 90 TB of data for what seemed like a lifetime, and yet another responsible for security testing iPads for his entire sales force.  And this was all on top of servers crashing, UPSs dying, users deleting critical emails, executives behaving badly and printers running out of ink.  But somehow they did it all with a smile.  Incredible!?!

It was also interesting to see their reaction when they realized the Unitrends booth wasn’t manned by sales folks.  Maybe it was our swag or Katie’s shining smile, but there seemed to be a comfort level in talking with us.

This new generation of IT professional seems to roll their eyes as the salesperson begins their pitch, and silently giggles when they try and close, and then try and close again.  They do not resist – they resent!

This was a complete affirmation for me, and why I believe Unitrends has such a strong presence and reputation within the community.  We run with the opinion — Let me buy the way I want to buy.  Don’t try and close me, instead give me a strong opening and tell me how you will solve my problems.  That’s just how we roll.

[Don’t believe me?  Here’s my email address (jsipalaATunitrends.com).  If you’re ever in the market for a new or upgraded backup solution give me a shout.  Want to talk to sales, great.  Don’t ever want to talk to sales, that’s great too. Just make us part of the conversation.]