The Rio Olympics are here, which means it’s time to start hearing all those inspirational stories about the athletes who have made the team. Back in June, Anders Weiss and Nareg Guregian secured their spot on the U.S. Olympic team for pairs rowing. Weiss penned a recent article for TIME in which he explained the difference between working hard for work’s sake and working hard for the purpose of improving. In it, Weiss explains: “If you think success is predetermined by talent, it becomes a product of something you can’t change. But if you look at it as a product of hard work, then it’s up to you to control the outcome.”

Translate this to the business world, and it comes out like this: Focus on the outcomes you want to achieve, and the agility required to compete efficiently in the marketplace – not the minutiae of the situation.

the outcome

Just like in the Olympics, the outcome is everything.

During the recent Cisco Live conference, Cisco’s annual education and training destination for IT professionals worldwide, thousands of business and IT leaders gathered to enhance their skills using products, solutions and services from Cisco and its key partners. Many of them discussed ways to reach their desired business outcomes through IT solutions. In fact, Sungard Availability Services and its customer Zyme took part in a panel discussion with Cisco to discuss this very topic.

The goal? Spend some time discussing the various business challenges their customers face, and review the lessons learned from Zyme in terms of how they’ve addressed these problems – using partnerships and infrastructure.

For Zyme in particular, this emerging leader in Channel Data Management solutions hoped to gain the visibility it needed to strengthen business operations and align objectives with its channel partners. By collecting real-time granular data from channel partners, Zyme helps companies reduce channel inventory, eliminate incorrect payments and dramatically increase revenue. Manufacturers (like customers Acer, Xerox, Lenovo and Logitech) need clear visibility into their indirect distribution channels, and Zyme helps them gain real-time visibility into those very questions.

In short, Zyme sought a more agile, robust, flexible, and high performing environment. The Sungard AS solution initially embraced virtualization, then moved to a private cloud supported by Cisco.

The result? Three times the amount of data can now flow through Zyme’s platform. Processing times were reduced by 30 percent due to hardware improvements; a Recovery Point Objective (RPO) of four hours was achieved and a Recovery Time Objective (RTO) of 12 hours was reached. The hardware deployment was reduced from 10 weeks to 10 days.

By helping software vendors respond to the changing needs of their customers (i.e. customers don’t want to buy licenses anymore, they want to consume applications) and move software written for a licensed model into a ‘consume as you go’ model (for billing and support), the partnership was able to help mitigate this challenge. It was a tough training regimen, but it landed them on the winning team.

That’s a prime example of focusing on the outcome, not the minutiae. And it makes all those long workouts worthwhile.

Learn more at here.