We’ve all heard the old adage, “The only constant in life is change.” Yet, no matter how cliché this may seem, I’ve realized throughout my career, this is reality.
I’ve always been impressed with how both the company I work for and the companies I work with deal with constant shifts and transformation. Being in technology, we all witness change move at a record pace. In the last decade, we’ve seen the rise of everything from mobile to cloud to AI. We’ve seen entire industries emerge and watched traditional businesses reimagine themselves.
The last year has been a torrent of change. It’s fascinating to see how our clients are evolving, and I’m honored to be part of Converge’s own transformation alongside those clients. As our clients have more and more pressing demands for innovative solutions and high caliber expertise, we’ve been transforming as we integrate companies we are acquiring, introduce long-standing clients to new faces, offer new solutions, and, most importantly, refine and cement our culture.
Rapid response driving new business models
The companies we serve are adapting to the changing world rapidly, both in terms of updated business trends and the more recent challenges the past year has brought. Our clients have been seeking non-traditional solutions to traditional business initiatives.
Cloud-based solutions are one of the biggest, most fundamental shifts we are seeing. Companies need to scale up (and sometimes scale down) quickly and need flexible capacity and cost structures to make it happen. Cloud is proving to be a powerful lever here.
Automation, driven by AI, enables us to decrease administrative overhead and simultaneously scale expertise. Robotic Process Automation, Natural Language Processing, and Computer Vision are unleashing a new digital workforce. Organizations are starting to consider how complex business processes become simpler with a bot on every employee’s desk.
Direct-to-customer communications and transactions that traditionally would go through other businesses are being disintermediated quite a bit, with companies needing to interact with their customers directly and more frequently. In other cases, new intermediaries have emerged; home service and home delivery come to mind as good examples. This often means that companies are rethinking how to best serve customers and how to do it profitably. In the same vein, companies are rethinking, resizing, and reconstituting the role of their traditional brick-and-mortar businesses. Many are leaving some of their physical infrastructure behind, while others are transforming its role in their businesses. Both usually come with big technology and process implications.
Similarly, a lot of businesses are learning how to work remotely, some with massive workforces and intense traditional in-person processes. We’ve seen a huge uptick in communication and collaboration technology needs and have been an eager partner there. We’ve found that the new-era communication and collaboration environment is a lot more than a few new tools – it’s an entire shift in culture, process, and attitude.
Our priorities for focus and improvement
Here are some of the important priorities we’re working on and will pass on to our clients, partners, and employees:
- Advanced Analytics: The value of data and new ways to make important business decisions (e.g., grow profits and reduce costs) based on data that has been untapped for so long. We’re really doubling down on data strategy, business intelligence, and analytics. We’re diving in and understanding how techniques like AI and machine learning can add value.
- Cybersecurity: Cybersecurity is critical in today’s world, and it needs to be part of every IT decision whether it is around applications, networks, infrastructure, Cloud decisions and deployments, integration of systems, etc. We don’t see it as stand-alone technology; it’s a crucial component of every initiative we work on.
- Cloud: There’s so much hype about cloud that many don’t know where or how to act. There are many different definitions and varieties, a lot of solution providers making big promises, a lot of analysts pointing in different directions, etc. Businesses need to first develop a solid cloud strategy and make sure they are not missing opportunities nor moving to the cloud just for the sake of moving. We’re working hard to make cloud simple, real, and valuable for our clients.
- Platforms: There are so many changes in the industry around infrastructure platforms, storage platforms, and (even more so given the current situation) collaboration platforms. It’s difficult to get a handle on what is going to be best for a business and to evaluate ROI and cost of ownership. We’re doing all we can to vet the best solutions with our clients. It goes beyond simply picking one and extends to incorporate everything that goes with each platform, which includes data, security, integration, process, organization, change, skills, etc., to make the solutions work.
Our own journey through change is driven by our clients’ needs
Here at Converge, change is in our DNA. As market conditions continually throw challenges in our (and everybody’s) way, we’ve been accelerating this change. There’s a reason for our name – our growth strategy is one based on “converging”. We find great technology and services companies that are beloved in their local region and have fiercely loyal, long-term clients, and then we make strategic acquisitions. These companies have an ethos that we treasure. They are pragmatic, client obsessed, and deeply knowledgeable of their trade, their region, and their industry. When we acquire these great companies, we expand our service offerings and solution portfolio to offer all of our clients the expertise as it becomes available to the greater organization. We have built a national platform by combining the brightest and best from around North America, and our clients are benefiting greatly.
We will always have more work to do to ensure the value to our clients continues to exceed the pace of their business transformations. We are continually proving to our clients and partners that we are working like an integrated machine, not just a collection of companies. We’re introducing our long-standing clients to new talents and new solutions, and we’re learning some new moves along the way. We know it’s about client trust, and that’s what we’re trying to build through our quality, our execution, and our value. We’re integrating new solutions into our offerings. We work to incorporate these new solutions together to solve our clients’ most pressing business challenges. Our effort to build Converge from our acquired companies is more than changing some logos and signage (although we’re doing that too) – it’s about changing how we operate and serve.
A huge part of this is culture. Our culture has always been one of pragmatism, honesty, and a hard day’s work, all while being super curious and explorative with new ideas. We’re building this culture company-wide, from leadership on down and back up. Again, we’re building trust – an essential input to and output from our culture.
Challenges are now opportunities
What are we here for if not to embrace a new challenge and conquer it decisively? The torrent of change we’re going through can be rough. Personally, it’s one of the things that energizes me on a daily basis. We are in the business of helping our clients solve problems to enhance their business outcomes. Without change, the equations and the answers are all the same.
I am honored to work with amazing companies everyday who are dealing with unprecedented change. Converge is growing, not just bigger, but better. All that work is being done so we can be the best partner possible for our clients. We’re putting together something great – new capabilities, new regions, new people, new ambitions, new relationships – and I’m thrilled to be along for the ride.