For Trace3, transformation begins not with technology but with people, said CEO Hayes Drumwright.
Irvine, Calif.-based Trace3's sales grew to $186 million in 2010 from $110 million in 2009 and Drumwright said he is expecting to reach $300 million this year. "We've done an exceptional job of hiring people, and did it all organically," he said. "Other companies grow by acquiring businesses. We focus on hiring people, and try to give them the right structure to build their business."
Trace3's growth spurt started in 2009 when customers pushed it to transform by building a services organization, Drumwright said. "Customers asked us to become like a mini Accenture," he said. "We help customers look across their company, eliminate silos, and let them run like an Amazon."
Real growth, however, will come from moving into cloud computing, especially for smaller companies not saddled with legacy applications, he said.
"The biggest problem with Fortune 1000 companies is their legacy apps," he said. "They have an average of 300 to 400 legacy apps. But smaller companies with fewer legacy apps are moving to the cloud, and new companies are starting in the cloud."
That outlook is reflected in Trace3's own infrastructure. "Our ERP and accounting is all done in the cloud," Drumwright said. "We only have three IT people. We don't want a lot of IT people. We're proof that smaller businesses are going that way."
Customers are also moving in that direction. Drumwright cited Kelley Blue Book as a company transforming for the cloud with help from Trace 3, which is providing NetApp's FlexPod cloud storage architecture in conjunction with Cisco's Unified Computing System.
"Internally, Kelley Blue Book is putting everything in a private cloud," he said. "We're helping them develop the infrastructure and deploy it, and helping them integrate with public clouds."
By Joseph F. Kovar
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