EVOTEK was a concept only a few short years ago. From Concept to over $100M, is beyond what I could ever have expected in such a short period of time. After all, me and a few others founded a VAR. VAR — a dying category. So, why did we create a company in a dying category, in a market that doesn’t need another VAR? And why did it instantly scale across the most recognizable, large enterprise customers in each of the markets we serve?
An Industry Disrupted: A New Category
A new category is born. We started a new category and didn’t know it. While it doesn’t yet have a name, we have not seen companies that look anything like EVOTEK. From our go-to-market model, our industry thought leaders, senior executives, top engineering and sales talent, we don’t fit as a VAR. We have invested heavily in service practice areas that drive business outcomes. We have each of our practices managed by an executive leader that has practice experience in that field. So yes, the practices drive the resales side of our business, so technically we have a VAR component of our company. But, I do not think of EVOTEK as a VAR.
Business Outcome Focused
Since inception, our business plan was to hire leaders that want to solve today’s problems, with an eye on what’s coming. A recognition that “VAR,” as an industry was dying. The good ‘ol days of “selling boxes” was over. And the “V” in VAR never quite came to fruition as it was originally advertised. Quality of services and customer experience was going to be the new frontier. Companies that make this pivot will shape tomorrow’s landscape. In 2018, Digital Business, begins with Digital Experiences. Digital experiences may be in a customer data center, a public cloud, or a combination. Business safety has emerged as the most talked about topic across the industry, and also carries the biggest risk to digital business.
Throughout my career, I have found staying connected with people was my passion. Connecting with people on their career or personal interests and always showing care. Many of the people I work with have been friends for 15 years or more. This has brought me a sense of self-awareness for what I am great at and where I can leverage the greatness in others to contribute to our company. So, deciding to avoid the general founder’s dilemma, with the expected rise and falls, I made the decision early that if EVOTEK was to be about the people, I needed to make it about the people. So, I created a platform for our team to contribute and create our world-class culture. Since that paramount decision, we have attracted a level of executive leadership talent that a company like ours would be an unlikely home. Each year Deloitte conducts a Global Human Capital Trend, which is largely focused on diversity. At EVOTEK, our leaders, as well as our employees are diverse, in fact nearly half of our leaders are women. There are a lot of studies on the relationship between diversity in leadership and multiples of cash-flow. Leadership.
VAR – A Dying Concept
What happened to the “V” in VAR? And how did this industry get hooked on pushing boxes? Many years before EVOTEK was even an idea, we have seen a decline in the industry around their level of investment in the “V” part of their existence. We have seen in recent years, many VAR’s get so large and unprofitable, they get acquired for pennies on the dollar by private equity, or a competitor. When this happens, costs (ie. compensation, jobs & resources) get cut, executives get fired and culture changes. Did you ready my article on private equity in the VAR space? This has been a huge benefit for EVOTEK and, in fact, has accelerated our growth. We have seeing an influx of top talent calling us to see where we are hiring. Is it only due to acquisitions? Toxic Leadership? Or just plain, they don’t like their Boss?
This is the exact reason we created EVOTEK. It’s a classic story of a motivated group of people, fed up with the old model, leading a revolution.
Something like this has been at the beginning of every market disruption. A new business model. A new route to market. A new Category.
A Different Kind of Partnership
EVOTEK has created a business model that, in itself, is disruptive. EVOTEK shares 35% of net profits with its partners, a designation that is earned. This is also how EVOTEK runs the company, as we are privately funded and don’t have outside investors, means we don’t have a board. The great news is this makes us both nimble and connected to what needs to happen immediately for EVOTEK to remain ahead of the curve. Every decision we make, gets evaluated through a lens of how it affects our people and our culture. It also means, EVOTEK isn’t the right fit for everyone. It takes the right person to make the commitment and sacrifice to achieve the deep employee–customer relationships that we do at EVOTEK.
Enabling our customer’s success with technical capabilities is the legacy value provided by a VAR. However, we have been finding an equal and sometimes greater value in our ability to ensure the right terms. Regardless if it is price, the capacity of an enterprise agreement or a SaaS model, we have a fiduciary responsibility to our customers to help them achieve the best possible solution, at the most favorable terms. Many of our executives have spent the majority of our careers at a manufacturer; and have intimate experience with license agreements, terms, revenue recognition practices and overall contracts.
A Look Ahead
As we continue to evolve our world-class delivery organization, we expect to see staffing and residency being an increasingly more practical need by our customers; especially in our areas of focus: Mobility, DevOps, Cloud and Security. All of these areas have a talent shortage in the industry. This is why we created an in-house staffing arm. We need to have high-quality resources that we can deploy when needed, meaning we need to have them vetted and ready to go.
To the Haters
Our model was criticized widely by our competition, not as a true evaluation of the model, but out of owners greed. Greed that owners would be unwilling to share profits with employees. We have watched a decade of owners buying race cars, airplanes and wineries off of the backs of their hardworking employees. That model is dead. Employees matter. Treating employees fairly creates loyalty. Treating employees like partners, creates follower-ship. Treating employees like they are the most important asset of the company, creates passion. I love that when someone makes the decision to join EVOTEK, they are beginning the last job they will ever have.
Thank you to our customers who bet on us early and continue to give us trust. Thank you to our partners for your support for the massive effort that we jointly undertook. Thank you to our employees for giving EVOTEK your dedication every day.
EVOTEK — A Digital Experience Business Enabler.