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Bruce Geier

Bruce Geier would trade places with Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre in a heartbeat. Among his most prized possessions are a mint set of 1957 Topps baseball cards and Muhammad Ali’s first championship belt from his defeat of Sonny Liston.

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Published for the Week Of November 15, 2004

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Bruce Geier would trade places with Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre in a heartbeat. Among his most prized possessions are a mint set of 1957 Topps baseball cards and Muhammad Ali’s first championship belt from his defeat of Sonny Liston.

The 51-year-old solution provider also counts sports greats among his circle and is an active supporter of the Deacon Jones Foundation, which offers scholarships for inner-city children. “He’s a great friend, a super guy and a pillar of the community,” says Jones, a pro-football Hall of Famer. “Everyone could learn something about giving, gratitude and charity from Bruce Geier.”

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For the president and CEO of Technology Integration Group, one of the longest-running and most resilient midmarket solution providers in the country, the sports psyche that colors his personal life extends into his business world as well. When Geier talks about how he guided TIG from a startup in 1981 to a national midmarket powerhouse, it’s all about adjusting the team to meet changing market conditions.

Now TIG has become a model for making a transition from a company that, until recently, had been focused on product sales to one that leads with solutions. TIG’s revenue peaked at $222 million in 2001, when the advent of telemarketing and direct manufacturer initiatives began to cut into revenue. It dropped to $194 million in 2002 and to $192 million in 2003.

“I personally had to take a look at how we were going to compete going forward,” Geier says. “We were always going to play in the product business, but the transactional deals that we were having with bigger companies were going to be impacted when companies like HP can sell to them cheaper than they can sell to us.”

Because of this, he set out to transform his sales team to focus not just on products, but also on security, enterprise-storage and help-desk solutions. Throughout the transition, Geier hired good people who were team players with technical skills. “We wanted our salespeople to know enough technology to look for pain in a customer,” he says.

After a three-year decline in sales, TIG’s new team delivered in 2004 with revenue of $226 million. “We have built a company with huge momentum that now is not losing transactional business because we have given the customer a compelling reason to continue to do business with us,” Geier says.

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