Trace3 looks at the role of “solutions provider” differently.
Tyler Beecher, CEO, explains, “We solve business problems. The answer I love to give is that we’re in the IT ascension business.”
Beecher explains businesses are recognizing myriad possibilities can be achieved through technology: “IT is the business.” He says considering its importance to a business, it’s necessary to elevate IT’s position, and the chief technologist should ascend to a leadership and decision-making role. This will help the business mine digital information on which to base intelligent decisions that will drive the business forward.
“We live in a world where IT leaders are asked to answer difficult questions based on data,” Beecher says. “Our belief is the CIO is becoming the most important person in business.”
Chad Cardenas, chief innovation officer for Trace3, says if CIOs need to be in a position to truly lead a business, then they need tools to help them. Trace3 begins with VC briefings. This program brings CIOs together with venture capitalists (VCs) and technology innovators that present solutions that can address their specific business needs. Trace3 works with CIOs across verticals — e.g., healthcare, finance, retail, and hospitality — with teams that expertly address these markets.
Cardenas says the program is also an opportunity for VCs to gather insights from CIOs to help shape product development and investments. Although Trace3 works with VC partners, the company seeks out solutions from other portfolios if a client’s needs require a broader scope. “Nothing is off the table when it comes to client needs,” Cardenas says.
Cardenas says Trace3 has conducted about 150 unique briefings in about two-and-a-half years and the program is evolving. In “VC 2.0,” companies are arranging for regular meetings through Trace3 addressing different issues, such as security, Big Data, or cloud computing.
Beyond VC briefings, Trace3 takes CIOs and their businesses through an “envisioning” process. Cardenas explains that in this step, a team from Trace3 goes to the client’s location “to show them what’s possible in their own shop.” Trace3 also facilitates consulting to help businesses understand how technology solutions can impact their competitiveness and how to align their teams to use solutions effectively. Trace3 also offers “PR-as-a-Service” to assist with buy-in, to build credibility, and drive outcomes.
Beecher points out, “Innovation is working.” Trace3’s customer base totals more than 2,000 including a number of Fortune 500 companies such as Vizio, Nordstrom, and Verizon Wireless.
And Trace3 is growing. The company announced this month that it is on track to reach a record $500 million in annual sales this year, more than 20 percent growth over 2014. Sales to-date for 2015 are accelerating, setting monthly revenue and profitability records, and revenue per employee has grown to approximately $1.7 million with fewer than 300 employees.
Trace3 shared comments on the company’s success from Katy Ring, research director of IT services for 451 Research: “Trace3 remains a fascinating example of a VAR that has seized the opportunity to transform itself into a consulting-led organization as the only really credible way to become a trusted business partner for its clients.”