By Jennifer Bosavage
October 19, 2012
Some of the fastest growing enterprise companies in the world rely on CRN Fast Growth company Redapt, which is focused on delivering innovative data center infrastructure solutions that provide real business value. Here, David Cantu, COO and co-founder of Redapt, discusses how innovation is the lifeblood of fast growing solution providers.—Jennifer Bosavage, editor
IT continues to evolve every day. As a solution provider, we help customers understand their full range of options that can allow them to be more efficient, save dollars, and be a catalyst for growth. That is what motivates the enterprise to adopt.
Incorporating the advances in technology, our goal is to build the best solution that meets their needs of our clients today, and will scale for their needs of the future. It’s important that we internally champion innovation through our solutions, processes, and daily practice.
We are continually identifying and evaluating new and most promising cutting edge technologies to stay ahead of the ever changing IT curve. We are investing in a top-notch team of experts who are passionate in the evolution of IT, so we can help our customers gain a strategic advantage, from operating IT as efficiently to launching new apps and growing the business.
Coupled with our internal team, we bring state-of-the-art solutions to our customers by understanding the advancements in technology among our worldwide partners and industry leaders. Just as we foster relationships with our customers, we strive to maintain excellent relationships with our partners.
Cutting Edge Technology drives new business opportunities. Partnering with the best enables us to be experts among multiple emerging technologies before they hit the market. We are always one step ahead of the curve so our customers can focus resources where they belong: hiring great people, building great products, and moving their industry into the future.
Whether our customers are interested in cloud technologies or big data, we are here to educate and nurture the adoption of new technologies. Those advances in IT are allowing new businesses to deliver apps and services that were not technically possible five years ago.
Technology continues to become more intelligent with each update getting more efficient than the last. Smarter computing creates increased customer need. As customers adapt to more efficient technologies, they too become smarter, more proficient, and more valuable. It is our job to continually increase their conductivity in processes, services, technologies and ideas. We strive to continuously meet their growing needs by providing value year after year, update after update.
October 05, 2012
Rick Cantu, CEO, president, and co-founder of Redapt, explains how company culture is nurtured and developed. The result? A Fast Growth solution provider with happy employees who want to help customers solve problems, day in and day out. (Redapt is #8 on CRN's 2012 Fast Growth list, with two-year growth of 542 percent.)— Jennifer Bosavage
At Redapt, we consider ourselves a people company first and an IT company second.
Nearly two decades ago, when my brother and I founded Redapt, we understood the value of relationships and going above and beyond for every single customer -- that stemmed from our first jobs at Nordstrom. Information Technology has changed a lot in nearly 20 years, but we still believe there is nothing more important than building exceptional relationships with customers, partners, and employees.
Whether our customer is one of the fastest-growing Web or tech companies in the world or a Fortune 1000 enterprise business, we have the same goal: to help their team with any IT data center challenge they face. We believe in the importance of taking time to understand our customers’ business issues, goals and people. In this process a relationship is born or strengthened, and, ultimately, the solution will meet their needs of today and will scale to meet the needs of the future.
From our executive, technical, and sales teams to customer service and shipping, we view ourselves as an extension of our customers’ team. There is no task too big or too small if it drives their success. We’ll do whatever it takes, and work as long as needed, to get a customer’s new app launched or rack of servers up and running.
Our customers come to Redapt because they want best-in-class IT solutions; they stay because of our best-in-class people.
To deliver the best solution and create long-lasting relationships, we hire creative and goal oriented people for our own team. It is our employees who champion our innovation and success, create relationships inside and outside the work environment with customers and partners, and keep us growing. Our employees thrive in our workplace and we pride ourselves on the culture we create, maybe that’s why one quarter of our employees have been with Redapt for more than 10 years.
As a leader and entrepreneur, it’s important to encourage creativity, design goals, and reward greatness and success. We have an open and collaborative workplace, but we don’t believe our team should live in it. We play as hard as we work. Catch a Seattle Sounders game, cut past the line at our exclusive SXSW party, or have a good time at our Christmas gala.
Redapt employees are passionate about the future of IT. They get excited when they talk about cloud computing and how it can change the world. They care about our customers’ visions and helping them get there. Our employees want to play a part in the IT evolution, because we are imagining it, designing it, and building it right here.
October 03, 2012
MicroTech president and CEO Tony Jimenez founded his company in 2004. Today, the IT solution provider is focused on Technology Services, unified communication and collaboration, cloud computing, product solutions, network systems integration, cyber security, mobility and social media solutions. The $343 million company employs more than 450 professionals supporting more than 100 prime contracts. Earlier this year, Jimenez was named the "Small Business Person of the Year" by the Small Business Council of America. Here, he discusses the importance of true leadership. (MicroTech is #72 on the 2012 CRN Fast Growth list.)— Jennifer Bosavage, editor
One day, Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. “Which road do I take?” she asked. “Where do you want to go?” was his response. “I don’t know.’ Alice answered. “Then,” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.” --Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll’s famous quote offers a bit of wisdom that is both timely and relevant for those of us trying to make sense of the current business operating environment and achieve sustained growth. To say that the present environment is one characterized by VUCA -- Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity -- understates the sense of angst both business leaders and their employees are feeling, and with good reason.
Several factors contribute to a sense of anxiety and worry in the market. The coming presidential election typically creates uncertainty and a slowing down of federal procurement actions as agencies wait out possible changes in their leadership teams; the possibility of sequestration and the attendant confusion it is anticipated to create remains on the horizon; smaller federal budgets regardless of the election outcome are seemingly a certainty for the foreseeable future. So then, what’s a CEO and business to do?
It strikes me that first and foremost, those of us in leadership positions need to put on our sense-making hats and help our people and organizations, as best we can, to understand all this unpredictability and turbulence in the market place. While none of us are clairvoyant, I know I need to provide my people increased clarity regarding our organizational purpose and meaning, helping them ascribe new meaning for what are rapidly becoming new realities for us.
My main message is that within all this chaos lurks opportunity for any business willing to rethink how it goes about providing outstanding solutions and service to its customers. While the immediate road ahead will be challenging, and no doubt fraught with more than a few potholes and detours (and most assuredly there will be corporate casualties), the prevailing business environment also affords those willing to change to somewhat reinvent themselves.
As opposed to minefields, I see opportunities for MicroTech to serve as a thought leader in areas of the market place still evolving and defining themselves, such as cloud, mobility, data center optimization, big data and social media. While there may be less federal spending across the board in the near term, I am confident that those private sector entities that show demonstrated value in the market place will still find their fair share of opportunities. At MicroTech, we plan on taking the “opportunity” road to help us continue to grow our business.
October 01, 2012
Skip Liesegang is vice president of the government channels division of immixGroup, which helps technology companies sell to the federal government. He can be reached at Skip_Liesegang@immixgroup.com. Here, Liesegang discusses how the upcoming presidential elections could impact your government business. ImmixGroup was #67 on CRN's 2012 Fast Growth list.—Jennifer Bosavage, editor
As the nation looks to the next presidential election, the government’s current fiscal year is drawing to a close. Uncertainty over the federal budget is higher than normal. Congress may reach a compromise on the budget during the “lame-duck” session between the election and the next congressional session.
It’s not all doom and gloom for companies selling into the federal government — government IT opportunities are still plentiful. In order to succeed in this environment, vendors need to understand where the opportunities lie, the policies that effect procurement decisions, and how to evolve sales strategy to support the new procurement models.
To find those government IT opportunities, companies have to take a close look at each agency’s 2013 and 2012 budget documents to see where the agency wants to go in the future. Keep in mind that until at least March, agencies will be constrained to spend in accordance with 2012 appropriations. The best sales opportunities are in programs that may be already in development; those have the best chances of continuing. It’s also important to find those programs that may already have passed muster with TechStat reviews, which would do away with programs that are exceptionally late or over-budget.
It’s undeniable that the past 18 months have created huge changes in federal IT acquisition and procurement policy. Many of the IT policy changes were proposed by former federal CIO Vivek Kundra and more keenly focused on by his successor, Steven VanRoekel. The policies look to cut operating and maintenance costs, improve the speed of application development, and move to shared services as a procurement model.
Those changes are almost certainly inevitable, even in the event of a change of hands in the Office of the President. Draft legislation is circulating on the Hill that would hardcode them into law. Reviewing the new Digital Strategy, and the Federal Data Center Consolidation and Cloud-first strategies will give companies selling to government the best idea of how to position technology for the most receptive ear during the IT acquisition planning process.
On the procurement front, changes have been more scattershot. Between Congress and the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, contractors will see looser rein over pre-solicitation communications, tighter control over supply chain management and prevention of counterfeit goods, greater emphasis on small/disadvantaged business contracting, and more demand for commodity IT purchases and strategic sourcing agreements.
Value-added resellers, solution providers, service providers, and federal contractors all have to ask themselves the fundamental but critical question, “How do I transform my business model in light of these changes?”
While recognizing that government IT opportunities are evolving toward technology “as a service,” some companies are struggling because this is a very different business model. It’s a challenge to build an organization that grows customers based on recurring revenue when the customer has only annual spending authority. Many manufacturers have not yet transformed and positioned their product set to address this challenge by offering the government acceptable options.
Such changing dynamics have caused some companies to adopt a “wait-and-see” approach. Professional services firms know they will need to scale back, but how fast? Product-centric companies know they will have fewer, but more centralized, customers. Some are leading by helping agencies set future-leaning architectures, providing the infrastructure -- servers, networking, storage management, and application middleware -- that enables virtualization and increases bandwidth, which in turn will drive the new cloud-based IT policy goals.
For the rest, it’s important to take a fresh look at partnerships. Cloud-based services will require the transformation of the classic reseller model. Beyond just bringing together various product sets, companies have to take a closer look at the delivery mechanisms by which these solutions are being sold to the government. Take software: Government IT opportunities are moving from perpetual licenses to subscription or usage-based arrangements. Manufacturers and publishers do well to work with the channel to create new options and make them easy to buy, with clear terms, under existing contract vehicles.
Remember, the government is being very careful about spending for capital expenditures. Buyers are looking at up to 10 percent reductions in their budgets. Companies selling to the government will have to create more granular pricing structures with more flexible options to accommodate ever-increasing requirements in a time of decreasing spending authority.
VARs and solutions providers have to show how they can help government agencies meet the big mandates of virtualization, consolidation, cloud services, security, mobility, etc. – all in a cost-efficient manner. What’s more, they have to finely tune the message to show how they can meet those mandates in light of looming sequestration.
Finally, it’s important to note that contractors are still required to work with a variety of small businesses to meet not only socioeconomic goals, but to bring niche solutions to government in a competitive manner. There is an opportunity for VARs to step into that role, to a degree that might otherwise traditionally have gone to bigger contractors.
September 28, 2012
Dan DiSano has been President and CEO of Axispoint since June 2002. He served on President Obama’s Transition Team as a member of Technology, Innovation and Government Reform. The IT solutions provider has been on CRN's Fast Growth 100 list three times (2007-2009), and this year, with 47 percent two-year growth, the $44 million company is on our Fast Growth Up and Comers list. — Jennifer D. Bosavage, editor
Having a positive culture that works for your organization is critical to your company’s success. Vision and strategy are incredibly important, but without a culture that works, even the best strategies can fail.
I believe business success is driven by a few key variables, none of which is more important than execution. You can devise a sound and inspiring vision and an intelligent and robust strategy, yet without the right execution, those visions will be mere words and strategies will die on the vine. The combination of culture and execution is what truly drives success.
[Related: MicroTech CEO Tony Jimenez: Clarifying Cloud ]If you have a culture of execution (and again, what you’re executing upon will be different based on your charge, behaviors and principles), you will have the best opportunity to meet your organization’s objectives and most likely have fun in the process. Don’t discount happiness, as I’m a believer that the more excited, interested, passionate and yes, happy, your team is, the more productive your organization will be , although I have seen a few exceptions to this rule.
One other aspect I have witnessed first-hand that can greatly help drive your culture and execution is accountability. Organizations can vary how they parse accountability (by person, team, company, combinations thereof), but having real ownership and accountability over an area, work flow, process, system, project (whatever it may be) can provide the necessary empowerment and measured results to assist in execution.
I have seen organizations with lack of accountability have real issues with driving results because teammates can flounder and are simply lost. The best organizations seem to have a strong yet simple vision, excellent strategy and objectives, a real culture of execution with teammate accountability and empowerment, and often have fun on the journey.
- Innovation Drives Efficiency And Cost Savings
- Secret To Success: People First
- Within Chaos Lurks Opportunity: The Leader’s Role Is To Find It!
- Shared Services Take Center Stage in Federal Policy and Channel Sales
- Cultural Dynamics: Happy Staff, Healthy Sales
- Clarifying Cloud
- Know the Big Picture in Federal Technology Drivers
- Practical Tips for Working with Government Vendors
- Gov't Customers Demand Tech Solutions Support the Big Picture
- Shared Risk Takes Center Stage In Federal Policy, Channel Sales
- Strategic Partnerships – Diversify or Die
- Software Migration Simplified
- Create a Culture of Urgency
- Myths of Growth: Myth #4, Never Turn Down a Sale
- Have Fun While You Grow
- Four Myths of Growth, Myth 3: The More Vendor Partners, the Merrier
- Spend Money to Make Money
- Focus, Build on Relationships and Stand For Something
- Four Myths of Growth, Myth #2: High Growth Companies Need To Be Controlled From the Top
- Breaking Out of the Reseller Mold