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Groupware Technology CEO Mike Thompson: 10 Blockbuster Tech Bets

Groupware Technology CEO Mike Thompson, who transformed the Silicon Valley solution provider into one of the most respected providers of cutting-edge cloud solutions in the country, spoke with CRN about the big technology bets Groupware is making in 2020 including artificial intelligence, application modernization and professional services.

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The Wayne Gretzky Of The Channel

Groupware Technology CEO Mike Thompson says the secret to his company’s success is keeping ahead of the fast-moving technology curve, which means following the lead of one of the greatest hockey players of all time: The “Great Gretzky.”

“I use the Wayne Gretzky quote to describe our success: ‘Don’t skate to where the puck is, skate to where the puck is going,” said Thompson, whose leadership has propelled Groupware Technology from a $1.7 million also-ran when he took the helm15 years ago into a $310 million Silicon Valley cloud powerhouse. “That means listening, looking at trends and understanding how the market dynamics are changing. … We have to be forward-thinking with regards to where the market is going. That means understanding how to get there and accelerating that so we can get there ahead of others and make sure that we are a market leader.”

One of the keys to keeping ahead of the competition is listening closely to customers, said Thompson. “I think in this market a lot of people come in and go straight out with what their value is,” said Thompson, who was a semifinalist in the Ernst and Young (EY) Entrepreneur of The Year 2018 Northern California awards program. “Our value is different to each of our end users. That is why listening and understanding the problems they are trying to solve and then responding to how we can potentially help them be successful goes a long way versus saying, ‘Here is the value I can provide you’ without even understanding if that is even a value to the customer.”

Another Thompson management mantra: making sure that Groupware Technology, No. 87 on the 2019 CRN Solution Provider 500, delivers $2 million in revenue per employee. “That $2-million-to-one-employee ratio ensures that we are a profitable and viable business so we can reinvest back into employees and emerging technologies, so we can continue to evolve, grow and meet our customers’ needs,” he said.

Here are what Thompson says are his 10 big bets for 2020.

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