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|Axispoint CEO Dan Disano|
Dan DiSano, the president and CEO of IT integrator Axispoint believes that even though it's a challenging business environment, technology is a key market that will enable change and take the economy as a whole back to strong growth. DiSano, who is also an active member of the Best of Breed Conference advisory board, is also a pioneer in the technology space. He was invited by President Barack Obama to join Obama's TNT (Technology, Media and Telecom Committee) where he assisted the Campaign in writing technology policy. Speaking with CRN, DiSano discusses the IT industry today and how his firm is approaching the years ahead.
Can you please give us your current view of the IT solutions landscape?
The IT solutions landscape is clearly a growing area because IT is a major need in all firms in all industries. There has been a positive effect and a slight negative effect. Over the last few years, we have seen IT as a cost center in many organizations as they are looked to [to] reduce costs, gain efficiencies, let a certain amount of people go by automating processes, etc. -- those were the main focuses of IT. But, in the last couple of years, we have seen a very positive change. In addition to being used to gain efficiencies, IT has also [been] looked to as a revenue generator, which has made a world of a difference to both business and technology service providers like Axispoint.
The slight negative change this year is due to the global markets being poor and, nationally, we have just come out of the worst recession of our lifetime. We still see high unemployment, and the credit markets aren't as good as they once were; this has led to a slight lack of confidence. In IT, this lack of confidence lengthens sales cycles. It takes companies a lot longer to make decisions on IT spend that they may have six years ago.
The Best of Breed Conference is about companies on the edge of transformation; can you tell us about your transformation within Axispoint?
Our transformation is not about products to services -- a lot of companies you may interview may have that significant business model change. We have always been a services-led entity. We lead with service and sell products as part of our solutions, but we are highly consultative -- we go to our clients and listen to their business needs and drive a technology solution that meets those needs. Our transformation has been a little different. It has been circled around "deeper domain expertise" in both technology and verticals.
We see that technologies like social media and collaboration on our application services side and DAS [distributed antenna systems] on our infrastructure and mobility side have really become critical technologies in the marketplace. Getting deeper technology expertise in those areas has been very important to Axispoint. On the domain side, verticals such as media and entertainment and healthcare have been the two important and high-growth verticals for us. The ability to have a deeper level of knowledge is really important to our customers. Customers don't just want IT services companies who are generic, they want IT services companies who know their business. Our transformation has been around deeper domain and technical expertise, which has been really successful for us in the market.