One of the most enduring story lines in Technology has been the ongoing “conflict” between IT and end users.

On one side, the stereotype tells us that we have strict, security-minded IT people keeping tight reins on which technology can be used when and by whom, resulting in a lowest-common-denominator approach that restricts user freedom and creativity. The reverse stereotype shows users who can barely function without the IT help desk always by their side, calling every 24 hours with the same basic questions and issues (e.g. “my computer doesn’t work” or “the Internet is down” and the timeless classic “I can’t print.”)

Reality, as always, lies somewhere in between.  Most IT staff is focused on innovation and productivity, helping provide the latest tools and technologies to propel the business while also installing controls to protect users from undesirable people and behaviors.  Most end users who are reasonably savvy about their laptops, phones and tablets can solve routine issues on their own and only need guidance with new software or new processes. Yet the story line is so pervasive because it speaks to the very human battle between centralized control and individual freedom — a dynamic that drives many of our political, social and cultural tensions throughout history.

It’s this evolving dynamic that has us so excited to announce our newest client partnership with BMC Software, a well-established market leader providing software to manage technology systems and services for tens of thousands of businesses worldwide.  While not always visible to users, BMC’s software helps IT leaders manage generations of technology and tap into all the important trends shaping the future – mobile, social, cloud and big data.

The coolest thing is that success hasn’t dampened their drive to innovate. In fact, BMC, which already generates more than $2.2 billion in annual revenues, is poised to boldly re-invent their entire space with hot new products like the “MyIT” app – which instantly gives power back to users while ensuring appropriate controls for the organization. The new products will essentially re-balance the dynamic between IT and end users, helping us all find the middle ground that liberates user creativity and productivity while freeing IT from the shackles of non-stop reactive help-desk duty.

For people like me who have been marketing enterprise technology for 20+ years, that’s a pretty exciting mission.  The BMC partnership is exciting in other ways:

  1. BMC has savvy, experienced marketing and communications leaders committed to innovating and integrating across their functions. They’re not content with traditional, siloed approaches; are ready to push the envelope via digital and social channels; and yet keenly focused on what really works for a global B2B player.
  2. BMC ran an efficient and transparent RFP process complete with pop tests that simulate the client-agency working relationship. The resulting contract is value-based with budget tied to results — not hours. And in choosing WCG, they’re banking on a team of analytics, content, engagement and strategy experts — not the usual merry band of PR generalists. We believe this will become a dominant model for marketing services going forward.
  3. This is a significant win for WCG’s fast-growing technology practice, which is on track to surpass $10 million in 2013 revenues after only two or three years of focused investment. BMC complements an awesome client portfolio that includes HP, Intel, Qualcomm Life, Software AG, Surescripts and Verizon. In many ways, we believe we’re building out the next-generation agency — fully vested in multi-disciplinary and multi-channel integration, digitally and socially native with analytics at the core.

Bottom line: We’re thrilled that BMC has selected us as a “second sales force” and can’t wait to help advance their mission. We believe we’ll invent new models together that can re-define how technology clients and agencies manage global engagement efforts. We’ll learn a lot in the process, and plan to share our progress along the way.