Magazine Article | January 5, 2017

Reader Spotlight: Douglas Gamache, Chief Information Officer / Partner, Impact Networking

Our One Source business model minimizes typical pains associated with multiple vendors. We design solutions leveraging a mixture of software and equipment with a strategic plan that focuses on a long-term partnership. Our Account Managers offer support to C-Level stakeholders to assess the role of information workflow in the enterprise.

CAP Software

Will Atkinson, President, CAP Software

Describe the most innovative installation/solution you’ve been involved in recently.

When we work with potential customers on a solution from any of our services or offerings it is always a great thing to win the deal while helping the customer save money at the same time.  Furthermore, when we are able to help the customer increase revenues we see that as the true win-win.  With our Managed IT Services we are seeing more potential to help customers increase revenues.  A recent Managed IT Services project created a new revenue stream for the business by creating a platform to be able to charge visitors for WIFI bandwidth which has become 25% of their annual revenue.  Creating that opportunity for the customer has since made our partnership continually stronger.

What is the biggest threat to your business? What are you doing about it?

I think the manufacturer is by far the largest threat to our business and all other VAR/MSP/ISV in the channel.  Manufacturers are continually changing their model to match what the dealer is doing and they are able to do it at a lower cost due to the economies of scale.  Impact has continually been putting their footprint in the market as a business that is large enough to support the needs of large firms but flexible enough to be able to turn on a dime.  We have always listened to customer request for customization requests to help it easier to work with Impact.  These are the types of things that large manufacturers are unable to do.  This is where we succeed in the mission of keeping our customers happy.

What is the biggest opportunity for your business? What are you doing to take advantage of it?

The largest opportunity for Impact is to match the customers need for flexible IT Technology, their data, and how they interact with it.  By this I am referring to making it easier for end users to have the same type of interaction with their data from the Office, Home, Mobile, and Conference Rooms while keeping it all safe and secure at the same time.  We have made several investments in our partnerships to demonstrate these capabilities with our customers.  Some of these partnerships include CloudJumper to embrace the DaaS option, Prysm Visual Workspace for managing content within Meetings

What emerging technology will have the biggest impact on your business and why?

Cloud and Desktop as a Service are the technologies that will have the biggest impact on our business.  It wasn't too long ago that every small business needed the standard Small Business Server for hardware just to start working with them.  Now we find that almost every business we work with is moving to the cloud.  Making sure that our engineers continue to go through official training and become experts in these emerging technologies is the only way to stay on top of what is new to provide Impact and our clients with the best advantage.

What technology do you wish you had embraced sooner and why?

Desktop as a Service has had a huge interest recently and was a large gap in our offerings that we should have started sooner. Although some VARs might wonder if their customers would be ready for this we feel that this is a perfect time for many businesses to decide if they would like to spend a lot of money on IT infrastructure or move that money to solutions to make the companies more agile and flexible. 

Where do you see the channel in 10 years?

As with many other services industries I see the channel slimming down to less VARS getting involved primarily due to acquisitions.  Economies of scale will play a larger part in the market and being the small mom and pop shop will not cut it in the future.  As more manufactures have direct access to the customers it will be more difficult to compete with them unless the business is scaled with the employee skill, distribution capabilities, buying power, and the operational efficiencies.  Generally speaking, the small business will come short every time.

What about your company culture attracts new employees and helps retrain current ones?

Culture is huge within our company.  The founders of Impact have seen firsthand from the previous companies they have worked at how a bad culture can demotivate employees very quickly.  When creating Impact Networking they put culture on the top of the list and through employee suggestions it has only improved through the years.  Looking over sales focused organizations you will see rewards and trips across the sales team but Impact takes it to another level.  All the goals that Impact strives for are a combination of all personnel in the company from sales, service, supplies, Delivery, and maintenance, so when Impact hits their revenue goals the whole company gets to go on an all-expenses paid trip to Mexico.  It is quite a scene to see 100+ employees sitting by the pool to celebrate how well they came together to achieve the same goal for the company.  This helps keep the teams close so working through different departments is the norm, that of course spreads to the customer service that is provided to our clients.

What advice would you give to a VAR/MSP/ISV new to the channel?

Be ready to invest and invest heavily especially within IT Services.  Everything from the employees to the tools come with a price to pay but you need to be ready to jump completely into the ring.  Standing by the side will not produce any momentum.

If you weren’t a VAR/MSP/ISV what would you be doing?

I don’t see anything else that I would be doing, the opportunities for Managed Service Providers keeps growing and it is an exciting time to be a part of Impact Networking and see the changes that we have gone through.

What is the best business book on your shelf?

Jack Welch and the GE Way by Robert Slater