Pandey recommends choosing frameworks to make these tough calls. He and his team turned to a framework popularized by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, who urges managers to determine whether a decision is irrevocable (Type 1) or easily reversed (Type 2) — and to always make sure they know the difference.
“A furlough is reversible. A layoff is not,” Pandey said in an interview with CRN, the trade publication for solution providers and system integrators. Pandey also applied the “most good” framework. “(Author and speaker) Simon Sinek, someone I deeply admire, refers to the ‘most good’ rule as, ‘Better we should all suffer a little than any of us should have to suffer a lot.’ ”
In an article he penned for Inc. magazine, Pandey encouraged leaders to smash silos and improve collaboration.
“We are working together in ways we haven’t before,” he wrote. “In sales, for example, we are blurring the lines between account managers and sales engineers.”
Most of all, companies cannot afford to neglect the emotional wellbeing of their staff.
“Strong leadership involves sharing wins both large and small,” Pandey said in his Inc. article. Nutanix does that at employee Town Hall meetings. “The positive feedback was enormous,” he added. “Employees have been sharing their success stories with each other — lifting morale and inciting innovation.”
Products — Improving and Innovating
Nutanix built a business around hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI), which uses software to emulate the operations of servers, switches and other data center equipment. These functions are centralized in applications optimized for efficiency and ease of use. Running these apps on commodity hardware helps companies streamline their IT operations and slash the total cost of ownership.
One of the core use cases for HCI is operating on-premises clouds and hybrid cloud systems that combine on-prem with public cloud services like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. That cloud-centered structure also paved the way for Nutanix to offer desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), two crucial technologies for adapting to work-from-home requirements. HCI is evolving to become the foundation many businesses use to run their hybrid cloud infrastructure.
Pandey has long argued that enterprise IT teams should enjoy the same kind of consumer-grade user experience that people have come to expect from smartphones and desktop applications.
“In product development, we are asking about the ‘why’ behind our products,” Pandey said. A sharp focus on the user experience doesn’t change because of a pandemic. But it does require new thinking in areas like product demos, which can be pivotal to closing sales at the enterprise level.
“In marketing, we are thinking much more about digital ‘try-and-buy,’ requiring engineering to be part of the marketing process,” Pandey wrote in his article for Inc. “Try-and-buy will become paramount — no matter how complex the solution — in a world where we can’t travel or meet face-to-face.”