Kids are taking over the world. America’s C-suite seems to be getting younger and younger, and men and women born in the 1980s are taking top spots in the corporate world. Those millennials bring with them new technology demands and are making mobility ubiquitous inside America’s top companies. As the industry changes faster than ever before, technology providers like CompuCom Systems must meet clients on a new playing field—one where we are all connected and able to work at any time from any place.
With 11,500 employees and $2.3 billion in yearly revenue, CompuCom provides lifecycle services to Fortune 500 and market-leading companies in North America. Tony Doye, a London native, is CompuCom’s new CEO. He accepted the position in early 2013 as part of an exit plan that saw former leader Jim Dixon move to the newly-created executive chairman role. Doye has spent his first months navigating a sale (Thomas H. Lee Partners purchased the company in April), constructing his management team, and totally updating CompuCom’s portfolio.
BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
CompuCom has enjoyed 27-plus years of growth in the industry, but presiding over an ownership change gave Doye the unique opportunity to reexamine every piece of his company’s foundation. Doye was already familiar with his new company, as he once looked to purchase CompuCom himself while leading another large global IT services firm, but never completed the transaction. The company grew up as a hardware and software reseller, but in recent years became more intensely focused on growing the IT services segment. Doye’s predecessor separated products and services to protect both equally important divisions. “I found a Great Wall of China between the two halves of the company,” Doye says. “While that served the company well in allowing steady services growth, I felt like it was time to remove that wall and further integrate the company.”
He knew that a large and growing company like CompuCom could develop and deploy products and services together to major clients who are increasingly focused on mobility applications and cloud systems. CompuCom’s managed services capability offers compete lifecycle services to customers in an agnostic way, while most competitors don’t even have resale ability. Another important piece was in services for those users who are expanding into the cloud space. CompuCom serves more than five million users and has a great end-user base. Doye saw the opportunity to take advantage of shifting consumer behaviors. He moved quickly to develop systems for integrating, deploying, and managing products and services in a business environment with cloud capabilities.
As companies simultaneously become larger and more mobile, they have new concerns. They are worried about where smartphones end up, how data is accessed, if employees should mix business and personal data, how devices should be shared, and what levels of access are appropriate. “We consult on the right selection of products and applications and enable customers to make informed choices,” Doye says. CompuCom can also run analytics to help educate clients who can in turn track, manage, measure, and predict what is happening within the workplace or market. Without neglecting the important investment in cloud solutions, Doye was able to reshape CompuCom by emphasizing new areas of the company’s existing portfolio.
THE RIGHT TEAM WITH THE RIGHT PORTFOLIO
When Doye joined the company in 2013, he had the opportunity to create his new management team and decided to combine strong company veterans and outside experts. He’s brought in a new chief technology officer, CFO, and the company’s first chief marketing officer. “I wanted to combine the old with the new to promote a new way of thinking and help us break out of our usual patterns,” says Doye, adding that his strategy was to open employees’ eyes and help them focus on the portfolio.
That portfolio received a bit of a makeover after Doye examined the company. “I saw that we had a lot of stuff, but I don’t think we really knew what was most valued,” he explains. Doye looked at each piece and asked himself, “Are we invested here, or just interested in a one-time project? What do we do in a growing market that we can use well?” Those guiding questions helped the new CEO prioritize. He saw the need to cut some superfluous products and services while integrating others. That realization came after conversations with consultants who showed Doye that his company was like a patchwork quilt. “Now we’re transforming the existing squares into a more beautiful masterpiece,” he says.
Working that process through in the open helped Doye gain the confidence of his new team. “It’s easier to talk employees into giving up resources if they understand and believe in what you’re doing,” he says of the changes.
Throughout the year, Doye and his executives embraced marketing as a major platform piece and welcomed CMO Jonathan James from technology giant Infosys. James is focused on helping inform the market about CompuCom’s refreshed portfolio of solutions.
Additionally, the two colleagues are working collaboratively with industry analysts and sourcing advisory groups like Gartner Research, Forrester Research, and Alsbridge. The ratings and recommendations provided by these research firms are important, because companies looking to hire a technology provider will often consult their findings. “If you don’t tell these research companies who you are and what you do, they aren’t going to rate you, and you’re not going to get the new business they could bring you,” Doye says. CompuCom is also increasing its foray into social-media marketing, but is careful to do so with a calculated and judicious approach that enhances the organization’s overall brand in a comprehensive manner.
CompuCom is now emerging from its trio of transitions, and Doye says he’s ready to see the results of putting better products, services, and capabilities into the hands of his sales force. “We have a great team and a very loyal client base,” he says. “I think we will excite them about where we are going as we show them the road map.” Better connections with third-party channels will likely yield more business. With its transition over; CompuCom has entered its deployment phase.
Today, as he looks farther into the future, Doye envisions a company that interacts more with the community. “We’re seeing sensors everywhere, and mobility is taking technology into every aspect of life,” he says. CompuCom reaches many people, and Doye hopes he can find new ways to connect those people to the individuals and opportunities all around them.