CEO Ken Lamneck: 7 Keys To Insight Enterprises' Success Helping Businesses 'Run Smarter'

Not Your Father's Insight

Insight Enterprises has come a long way since CEO Ken Lamneck took the helm nine years ago.

Under Lamneck's leadership, the company, No. 13 on the CRN SP500, has been transformed from a product-focused reseller into an IT services powerhouse delivering breakthrough solutions in the hottest markets including internet of things.

That services charge has taken the Phoenix, Arizona headquartered global systems integrator from $4.1 billion in sales when Lamneck took over as CEO to a more than $7 billion company with a robust services portfolio.

Lamneck has built out the company's services portfolio – which is growing at a 23 percent clip- through a combination of acquisitions and organic investment in talent development. Insight was just recognized by market researcher Gartner for the third consecutive year in Gartner's 2019 Magic Quadrant for Managed Workplace Services North America.

The biggest change is the addition of a 1,000 strong software development/solution architect team. There was literally no software developers at Insight when Lamneck, a 27 year tech industry veteran took the CEO job.

Lamneck, who graduated from West Point Military Academy and then spent five years in the Army rising to the rank of captain, insists the key to Insight's success is keeping the focus on the team with a strong emphasis on purpose and values.

"It is really about the team," he says. "This isn't my company. This is every individual in the company's company. We can make this as great a company as we want. We all just have to live the values and feel the responsibility that this is our company."

Here are Lamneck's keys to making sure the company is tops at helping businesses run smarter.

Purpose And Values

Insight's success starts with a razor-sharp focus on "our purpose and values as a company, which really define the culture," says Lamneck. "Our purpose is to build meaningful connections to help our client's businesses run smarter. Our values are really pretty simple: it is hunger, heart and harmony."

That focus on "hunger, heart and harmony" has been a big differentiator in driving the organization to go above and beyond for customers, says Lamneck. "We really preach and live those values every single day," he says. "It starts with having a baseline that establishes what the culture of the company is and making sure that everybody understands it and buys into it."

Game-changing Acquisitions

Lamneck, who has powered the global solution provider into next generation digital transformation technologies, has acquired seven companies during his tenure.

The most recent game changer was a deal last August to acquire Cardinal Solutions, a Cincinnati, Ohio-based Microsoft Partner of the Year with a focus on OpenSource and Azure. That deal boosted Insight's skills in mobile application development, cloud enabled business intelligence and internet of things.

In 2017, Lamneck completed two acquisitions: Datalink Corp., a data center focused solution provider with strong enterprise solution skills including 130 field engineers/solution architects; and Dutch cloud service provider, a Microsoft Country Partner of the Year and Worldwide Cloud Partner of the Year for Enterprise.

Lamneck said the key to successful acquisitions is making sure there is a good cultural fit. "The first thing we look at when we acquire a company is making sure the culture is right," he said. "Then we focus on integrating those companies very, very carefully into the organization. We take extreme care with a focus on the individuals themselves because it is a different environment for them initially and you really have to make sure they know they are valued."

One of Lamneck's mantras is the only thing that separates Insight from the competition is the company's talented employees and the solutions that they deliver to customers.

"There are so many competitors out there that on any given day we all do a lot of the same things," he says. "If you don't have the best people and the right solutions then you can't be successful."

A Focus On Four Key Solutions Areas

Lamneck has sharpened Insight's focus on helping businesses run smarter by upping the company's cutting-edge technology solutions skills. That means investing in highly prized technical talent with a focus on four primary solutions areas: Digital Innovation (Innovate Smarter); Cloud and Data Center Transformation (Running Workloads Smarter); Connected Workforce (Work Smarter) and Supply Chain Optimization (Invest Smarter).

Key to the running businesses smarter is the 1,000 Insight software developers/architects that are making businesses of all sizes more competitive in a digital innovation economy.

Insight's Digital Innovation success has been fueled by the company's acquisition in 2015 of BlueMetal, a Boson based interactive digital solutions provider with big data, mobility and application development expertise.

The Cloud and Data Center Team unit has been boosted by the acquisitions of Datalink and "The Cloud and Data Center team is all about hybrid cloud and how we help customers figure out what workloads make the most sense to keep on premise or move to the cloud," says Lamneck.

The Connected Workforce unit is chartered with providing customers with a modern workplace, said Lamneck. "That solution area very much focuses on what does that experience look like for the individual worker," he says. "It incorporates desktops, notebooks, collaboration types of devices as well."

Finally, The Supply Chain Optimization business is aimed at combining IT procurement automation, ecommerce, and strategic sourcing aimed at helping businesses run smarter. "That is really making sure we can provide our clients with the most optimized infrastructure and support so they can innovate more," says Lamneck.

A Diverse Organization

Lamneck has made cultural diversity a top priority at Insight.

In fact, the company was named to Fortune magazine's 100 Best Workplaces for Diversity this year. In the 2018 survey by Great Places to Work, 84 percent of the 1,300 Insight employees that took the survey said they believe teammates are treated fairly regardless of race, gender, age, ethnic background, disability or sexual orientation. "We think diversity is a critical ingredient of building the right culture long term for all of our teammates," said Lamneck.

Insight last year implemented new hiring practices with a goal of 50 percent diverse candidates represented in final applicant pools for each opening.

That focus on diversity has proven to be competitive advantage for Insight, said Lamneck. "Diverse organizations are proven to be more innovative, more culturally accepting," he said. "Good ideas and good leaders come from all walks of life- not just one profile. It really enables us to tap into a much broader professional workforce."

Leadership Development

Leadership development is one of the key tenets of Lamneck's management philosophy.

In fact, Lamneck makes sure all the company's senior leaders-- including himself -- have a defined leadership philosophy that they share with their teams. "These are our core beliefs and how we operate," says Lamneck, who has also sent senior leaders at the company to a leadership boot camp at West Point. "Obviously good leaders create the right environment for our teammates to flourish."

The Insight leadership development initiatives include education and training programs at all levels of the company. "We are making sure that we are constantly building a good bench of leaders to develop and promote from within," says Lamneck. "If you are hiring too much from the outside it is a little harder to continue to build the unique culture that you are trying to."

Last year, Insight expanded its Purpose Driven Leadership Program To Europe, Middle East and Africa. The company is also working on expanding its Aspiring Leaders program.

All of the Insight leadership and development programs are global so that no matter where the training is taking place there is a common criteria. "Leadership is a global scenario," says Lamneck. "We don't want people using different criteria for leadership."

A Cool Place To Work

One of the biggest changes that has taken place under Lamneck is making the company a cool place to work for technology professionals focused on driving breakthrough innovation.

Last year, Insight was named Microsoft's artificial intelligence partner of the year and Microsoft's worldwide modern desktop of the year winner. In addition, the company was singled out by Microsoft with US awards for DevOps and Internet of Things.

One of the company's IoT solution game changers: a drone-based imaging solution that automated track inspection for a major railway with a faster response time for safety issues. The Insight Digital Innovation solution – which included an Azure cloud-based data repository- provided the railway with real time alerts on safety issues. And at Microsoft's IoT Action event last year, Insight engineers demonstrated Project Edison, a real time internet of things solution focused on first responders. That solution accelerator is aimed at helping emergency workers act more quickly to save lives.

It's those kinds of solutions that helped Insight rank No. 23 on Fortune Magazine's 2019 Best Workplaces In Technology list.

Among the 2018 awards for Insight were open source kingpin Red Hat's National Value Add Partner of the Year and cloud software provider Quadrotech's partner of the year.

It's Not About Me -- It's All About The Team

Lamneck goes to great lengths to make sure that the company's 6,600 employees know it not about him or the other senior leaders at the company – it's all about the team.

"This isn't my company," he says. "This is every individual in the company's company. We can make this as great a company as we want. We all just have to live the values and feel the responsibility that this is our company. The things we do everyday make a big difference. That's why we really try to make sure our people understand they have a real say in the business and what they do everyday makes a meaningful difference."