VAR500: 20 Titans Of Transformation

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Champion Solutions Group

Chris Pyle knows transformation. How can he not? As the CEO of a company founded in 1979, he's seen the countless shifts needed to stay ahead of the curve. But the era of cloud computing, mobility and tablets has gotten Champion Solutions Group's transformational juices flowing again, maybe more so than ever before, Pyle said.

"Champion had to focus on our business transformation," he said. "It's a journey, not a destination."

For Pyle, the transformation journey is to always keep a keen eye turned to "the next practice." Where many companies, including some of Boca Raton, Fla.-based Champion's competitors, are content following the "best practice," Pyle and his crew are constantly chasing the next one.

That has led to the launch of a full-on cloud computing practice well before many others. And now Champion is hot on the virtual desktop, a practice that has spun from its virtualization play. All told, Champion has brought 75 clients to some section of the public cloud, Pyle said, and probably the same number to the private cloud. For Champion, delving into the cloud meant total immersion. It used the very cloud offerings it planned to sell in a what's-good-for-the-goose-is-good-for-the-gander move.

"We need to learn that it's changing right in front of our eyes. And quickly," he said. "The best way to learn is to do it ourselves. This business transformation has to come from within."

Overall, he said, the key to transformation is to maintain a strong services focus. "You have to provide a certain level of service and support," he said. "Just moving customers to the cloud isn't going to make you a lot of money."

Pyle estimated that Champion's own move to the cloud has saved it as much as $10,000 per month, an incredibly powerful metric he can show potential clients. "A lot of our clients are looking to us," he said. "You have to start the conversation with the clients, and it really has to start from within."

By Andrew R. Hickey


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