Putting Some Skin In The Game

GreenPages CEO’s Big Bet Pays Off

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GreenPages CEO Ron Dupler isn’t afraid to make a big bet. Like any CEO worth his salt, he knows his job is to make sure he is running the company to be successful not just for the short term (the current quarter) but the long term (five to 10 years out).

Dupler, who took the helm of the $100 million national solution provider six years ago, has taken the Kittery, Maine-based company from a product-oriented solution player to a business-oriented technology consulting power that is widely recognized as one of the top VMware partners in the country.

To achieve its VMware superstar status, GreenPages had to put “skin in the game,” investing heavily in VMware solution architects even when the technology market was in a freefall. GreenPages, to its credit, used the downturn to become a more formidable company. It took the kind of investment that is the difference between thriving and merely surviving in a rough-and-tumble technology market.

Dupler set the course and the GreenPages team has risen to the occasion. GreenPages CTO John Ross has pulled together a top-flight technical team. About half of GreenPages’ 170 employees are technologists. GreenPages’ product is its super-sharp strategic business and technology consultants.

VMware, by the way, looks at GreenPages as a go-to partner that can be called upon to get it done in high-pressure, technically challenging situations. GreenPages’ passage from product player to technology consulting powerhouse was no small transformation.

Dupler was able to pull it off because he had a clear view of where the channel was going and he was not afraid to make a big bet. That big bet was on cloud computing and the technology muscle necessary to pull customers from the dark ages of computing into what GreenPages calls the “brave new world.”

“We have seen a lot of work right now with infinite market demand for skilled people who know how to deploy virtualization and cloud technologies,” said Dupler. “This [virtualization and cloud] trend is picking up. We are very bullish right now on the market and where we sit.”

Bullish indeed. GreenPages is positioned well for the cloud solution wave. Dupler made his call three years ago. Back then, it wasn’t such a sure thing. It’s easy to look at him now as a channel visionary. At this year’s GreenPages Solutions Summit, there were few cloud doubters.
Dupler’s move sets up GreenPages for big sales growth in the years ahead. If he did not make that big bet, GreenPages almost surely would be floundering right now. That’s something all solution providers trying to catch the next technology wave should think long and hard about. Are you afraid to make a big bet? And do you have skin in the game with some key vendor partners? If not, you may be about to head off a cliff.

BACKTALK: Are you a player in the cloud computing game? Let me know at steve.burke@ec.ubm.com.

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