Denali Reinvents Itself With New Texas Mobile Device Integration Center

Denali Advanced Integration's grand opening of a new Plano, Texas, facility this month was more than just another expansion by an SP500 power.

The state-of-the-art facility is the culmination of a three-year multimillion-dollar mobile device integration and enterprise subscription services makeover for the Redmond, Wash.-headquartered company. And, it puts Denali, the 2013 winner of the CRN SP500 Mobility Elite award, firmly on the mobility services fast track with Plano as the hub of a fast-growing global business that is already winning over demanding enterprise customers.

In fact, Denali -- No. 116 on the SP500 with $180 million in annual sales -- is already moving 1,500 mobile devices a week in and out of the integration center for CROSSMARK, a leading sales and marketing services company headquartered in Plano, with 36,000 associates in 47 offices around the world including Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Mexico.

[Related: SP500 Spotlight: Denali Advanced Integration: A Titan Of Transformation ]

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That enterprise services agreement with CROSSMARK is backed up by a full spectrum of Denali subscription services including a help desk that is taking on thousands of calls a month from CROSSMARK associates.

"There are very few companies that do what Denali does," said Rick Webster, vice president of IT operations for CROSSMARK, the "anchor" tenant for the 20,000 square-foot Texas facility. "This is not like going to a call center or a shipping vendor, where there are lots to choose from. There are not a lot of companies that specialize in both mobility logistics and support services."

Denali's no-holds-barred commitment to the mobility device management market and ability to scale the business globally were critical to winning the CROSSMARK business. But, it was Denali's "ability to understand" CROSSMARK as a sales and marketing services business for consumer brands that sealed the deal, said Webster.

"Denali is not only able to handle the large numbers of transactions that we do, but just as importantly, they can empathize with us and our customers," he said. "They were the only company that we found that could really understand our business, how it worked, and be able to scale to our needs, to continue to grow with us as an organization."

The mobile device rollout and services are critical in helping CROSSMARK associates drive sales for leading consumer-branded suppliers by providing samples and stocking shelves for the behemoths like Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Target, Kroger and more, said Webster.

"With more than 36,000 employees globally, we needed a company that can understand how critical these functions are to our business and then be able to empathize with our employees to solve their needs very quickly from a service desk point of view, or be able to get a device shipped to them immediately," said Webster. "Without these devices and the software our associates can't do their job."

Webster says Denali has hit a "grand slam" from a services and logistics perspective with a rollout that has already reached 9,000 devices with a combination of ruggedized Motorola devices and Android-based smartphones and tablets.

Denali, which has 30,000 devices under management, even integrates and supports devices it does not sell such as Android-based smartphones.

"Denali's ability to configure, box, crate and ship 100-plus devices a day has been spot-on," said Webster. "The shipping logistics that Denali has is very powerful -- that is going to set us apart from our competition."

NEXT: Denali CEO Daher: You Must Think Like The Customer To Win In Mobile Device Market

As Denali has ramped up its end-to-end secured mobile device management subscription service for customers, Denali CEO Majdi "Mike" Daher attributes the company's success to an ability to "think like" and then "be the customer."

"Our philosophy is very simple: We are customer driven," said Daher, who started at Denali Advanced Integration 21 years ago with his brothers, building it into one of the most respected SP500 companies in the country. "We make sure that everything we do is centered around a customer gap, challenge or opportunity. You have to understand the problem from a business perspective and then the technology follows."

Many companies make the mistake of leading with technology first rather than focusing squarely on the business problem, said Daher. "I always say think like the customer thinks," he says. "The customer does not care about buying a tablet or a server or a network. That is not what they are about. Their existence is about serving their customers. Technology is an enabler. We have to think like the customer."

Daher said the exploding mobile device management market was a natural for Denali, with large enterprise customers scrambling to provide mobile devices and services for an increasingly mobile workforce. "IT [departments] are getting pressure from their users who want to be outside the four walls to be able to do their work," he said. "That is a business problem. It is not a technology problem. The business needs to solve it so employees can do their job."

Denali's privately held, family owned status has enabled the company to make big investments like the Plano, Texas, facility as it has moved through transformations to provide enterprise subscription services, said Daher. "We are blessed that we have the ability to make those kind of decisions," he said. "We don't have shareholders. We have a long-term vision. Anything that we do has a three-year ROI [return on investment]."

The Plano facility is a coming of age of sorts for Denali, which has gone through a process that Daher refers to as "SET" (survive, evolve and transform). That SET process has changed the character of Denali from a midmarket infrastructure provider to a global provider of enterprise mobility and cloud services with a new consultative enterprise-focused sales force that has over 150 years of enterprise experience.

Denali has been on the ground doing business in Texas since 2010, quietly setting the stage for the new facility, said Daher. "We have been here working with big companies," he said. "Most people didn't know it. But, we are already delivering to our customers. We have built this facility from the ground up for mobile devices."

NEXT: Getting In On The Internet Of Everything

Denali has moved slowly and steadily into the enterprise-subscription mobile devices market to ensure that it provides best-in-class service for its customers, said Denali's Daher.

"We don't want to grow the business faster than it can be supported," he said. "We have to support our customers the right way. You have to operate as part of the customer's IT business. This is not just providing an outsourced service or deploying devices. This is not just about managing and monitoring devices. You have to be the customer."

CROSSMARK's Webster said Denali has done just that for his company. "There are lots of companies that can do the service desk or handle warehouse and logistics," he said. "But there are very few companies like Denali that really understand the mobility space. It is a growing industry. We are just scratching the surface for where we are headed as an organization."

Daher is looking forward to capitalizing on what Cisco CEO John Chambers has called the internet of everything: a $14.4 trillion opportunity with the number of Internet-connected devices soaring from 10 billion devices in 2013 to an astronomical 50 billion devices by 2020.

"Mobility is the single largest opportunity in the IT business," said Daher. "The opportunity is tremendous. All this new technology that is being injected into the customer's IT environment needs design, management, support and services. Disruption creates opportunity. Our three business pillars are: mobile, secure, connected. We have built a full spectrum of services around those pillars, making us the seamless mobile-secure-connected partner for our customers."