“I already have 20% of the $5 million that I set out to raise before starting the program - primarily as a result of implementing the Investible Partner blueprint™ in our business.”
Incorporated in 1998, Apache is a Microsoft Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) only consulting company. The team helps their clients increase profits through the adoption of the latest Microsoft SaaS Solutions by first addressing business pain points, and designing the right solution to solve their customers’ problem into the future.
As an Investible Partner, Apache Director Rob Garsia sat down with us to talk through his experience in the program to date.
What were the things your business was challenged with before starting your Investible Partner journey?
Our challenges were a bit different to traditional lead-generation problems in a business. We weren’t so focused on generating net new business at that time. We were more interested in getting the business in a better shape – getting the marketing right, and making sure our messaging was consistent across the business.
We also wanted to better align ourselves with Microsoft, so that our future clients could really see the relationship between Microsoft and ourselves. We ultimately wanted to increase the value of our company in the Microsoft ecosystem. With experience inside Microsoft, we were confident that Partner Elevate knew what Microsoft are looking for from their Partners. The Investible Partner Blueprint™ was exactly what we needed to grow and scale our business in the right way to meet our goals.
We knew that getting the business in order from the inside out would result in picking up new business, but we saw that as a flow-on effect of implementing the Investible Partner Blueprint™ from a business-wide perspective.
Because we've operated for 20 years in a certain way, we understood that if we wanted to grow, and play more with Microsoft, we had to be more aligned with Microsoft – while keeping our personality, values and purpose of course.
What was your initial reaction when you first came across Partner Elevate?
Des and I started talking about the program in the very early stages of its development, and I really liked what he was doing and what it stood for. I liked how he wanted to shape Partners using the Investible Partner Blueprint™ rather than through a program that was run through Microsoft.
I was 100% on board from the beginning.
Any hesitations before starting with us?
The only hesitation was around being clear to the business what the end objective is.
The perception with many of these programs is that you pay $X,000 and “get” leads in return. For us, I wanted to be clear to the business that this is an educational program, that guides us through the implementation of a Blueprint that would help the business from all angles – helping us be more decisive, have predictable control of the business, and relevant currency as a segment leader for Microsoft.
It was about communicating to the business that that the program wasn’t about us bringing them leads but aligning our skills and capability with Microsoft so they choose us as a preferred partner. And there is much more that needs attention to make this happen than simply generating leads.
Tell us about your journey so far – were there any surprises?
The unexpected aspect was finding the right person in my organization to meet your business profile as well. We’re strong believers in making sure whoever we partner with is a match for our people and our values, too.
So, when I saw how Partner Elevate approached working with our Marketing Director, and he started to engage and understand new ways of thinking, and unpacking the blueprint – I was really happy with how that discovery and learning approach was handled. I'd say aligning personal and professional personality profiles can be more difficult than it sounds, but Apache and Partner Elevate was a great fit.
In relation to the marketing activity - you also helped us evolve from the traditional relationship marketing to a more nurturing marketing approach. We’ve learned how to really get our pipeline working, and how lead generation should look for Microsoft – which really is our end goal.
What are some of the processes in the business where you’ve seen improvement?
Most obvious right now is our marketing processes – which is what we needed. Specifically, our brand building, lead generation, communication to clients about what we offer, and why they should choose us for their transformations.
Lastly, what outcomes or results have you seen after working through the program, so far?
I have commitment $1 million of the $5 million that I set out to raise before starting the program - primarily as a result of implementing the Investible Partner Blueprint™ in our business.
We saw results straight away. It's not the kind of results where we might say – we picked up two clients and two jobs out of this - it's that we've generated interest by generating a brand. People are recognizing who we are out there. It’s not just a hard sell strategy, people know who we are.