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Step 3: Grow With Your Partners
As these companies grow, their partner relationships continue to evolve. For example, BlueWater initially focused on a couple of technologies with Cisco, but now they are engaged in the vendor’s entire suite. “Our breadth of technical expertise has grown. We’ve grown with Cisco as far as business units, and in terms of the increasing numbers of people we deal with. We are able to understand what the road maps of our vendors are now,” said Liddiard. “EMC and VMware are new vendor additions we brought on as we grew. We’re looking to add complementary products.”
In a former life, Shields had to partner with VARs. That experience shaped his view of how his own company should, and should not, operate. “We learn from positive and negative experiences,” he said. “We lead from the front, and work really hard. We try hard to lead from the front and please our customers every day.”
Aside from all the planning, people managing and partnering, there are intangible rewards from running a fast growth company.
“The most rewarding, I think, is bringing the agility and nimbleness we’re known for and maintaining that way of doing business to clients even as we’ve grown,” said BlueWater’s Liddiard. “The second-most rewarding aspect is to see the employees grow. My services team took on managerial roles four years ago. It’s extremely rewarding to see where they are today, and how they continue to take on responsibilities.”
For Jimenez, the rewards are even more personal: “It gives me the ability to share my success. I’m able to spend money to give back to the community. I’m a member of a number of communities -- I’m a veteran, an Hispanic, a small businessman -- and I’m fortunate that I am able to help them locally and nationally.”
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