July 25, 2014 By Jonathan Blackwood
Think of the CI Industry Leaders as power rankings.
We recognize the top integration firms serving 12 vertical markets, not purely by revenue but by a variety of factors including reputation, innovation and market approach. Put another way, these are companies that are making waves and worth watching.
CI spoke to 14 corporate market integrators (because the year is 2014 after all — last year we spoke to 13) about what helped them succeed (or fail!) at every step along the way. Check out what they have to say and click here to download the complete report, Meet the 2014 CI Industry Leaders.
“Our best strategy is to truly focus on the issues of [clients’] specific business. We do an awful lot of training on how to ask questions and how to understand the client’s business. We do not go in and talk about us and what we have and what we do.
“We really try to understand the client, their needs, their issues and the experience, and roadmap what they’re trying to build to be more efficient and more productive. That has worked really well for us.
“What’s been successful for us, and what’s been a differentiator for others, is the ability to build in managed services. This could be a video bridging service, a cloud-based digital signage service [or] on-site personnel, but to have those different offerings as a hybrid solution to the integration of the equipment.” —Derek Paquin, Principal, Sensory Technologies
“Our unique managed services program that includes remote proactive health checks and remote help desk have allowed us to provide the level of support that corporate customers require for their systems. By being able to identify trends and problems early through our health checks we are able to rectify the potential issue before it happens.
Related: Industry Leader Verrex Installs Giant Video Display in NYC Office
“Often we are able to identify a technical problem or even a need for an end user retraining before our customers do. Our remote help desk allows us to often repair systems without rolling a truck to the site. This resolves the issue faster than waiting for a technician to arrive on site and at a far less cost to the customer.” —Rob Simopoulos, President, Advance Technology
“You have to have an ability to provide a service at an extremely high level all the time. All customers are demanding, but corporate has zero tolerance. The corporate vertical is one that has traditionally been more well-funded.
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“They have lots of money, and when they have money there’s a certain amount of empowerment that comes with that money. They are very demanding, and they let you know that in a respectful way. That’s how we’re successful, because we develop those relationships.
“It stems from the New Yorker mentality. When you do it in New York you can do it anywhere. They want it done faster; Very rarely do we get customers outside the tri-state area [Verrex is headquartered in Mountainside, N.J.] that want work done on the weekends or that want a turnaround in two or three days. There’s a certain amount of energy that we have. We say ‘yes,’ and figure out a way to get it done. When you say yes all the time you develop a mindset and an ability to deliver.
“An educated consumer makes your life easier. There are customers out there that are not always familiar or comfortable with the technology. We act as the advocate, and absolutely that’s important. I think that more important are the customers that do know the technology, the educated consumer. They’re the ones that are looking for a partnership with an integrator. You don’t want to be just a vendor, you don’t want to be a number in a procurement list; you want to be a valued partner.” —Thomas Berry Jr., President & CEO, Verrex