May 23, 2014

We Renamed RunE2E. Here’s Why.

Filed under: Uncategorized — agramling @ 5:02 pm

When we started RunE2E as an SAP reseller in 2008, end-to-end (E2E) solutions ruled the day. Large companies typically chose a primary, on-premise solution, like SAP, and then planned their IT resources and investments around that choice. The name RunE2E sounded pretty good to us back then.

Well, a lot has changed over the past six years, and those changes are transforming enterprise IT.

The traditional business software giants – SAP, Oracle and Microsoft – continue to thrive and still offer end-to-end solutions, but they face more competition and their customers rely less on a single platform to meet every business need. On-premise isn’t dead, either. But companies are moving more assets to the cloud and often seek integration between the two.

And then there’s mobile. Smartphones, tablets and mobile apps are fast becoming the primary tools used for transmitting and receiving critical business information. That simply wasn’t the case six years ago.

As IT needs have changed, our business has changed, too.

For starters, we do much more than resell SAP. We’re a consulting partner for cloud leaders like Salesforce.com and Amazon Web Services. We’ve also built a growing mobility practice offering commercially available products, custom enterprise app development and mobile strategy.

Matching top companies to skilled consultants
Our core business is a blend of contingent workforce solutions and advisory services. When our clients lack internal expertise or resources to meet critical IT needs, they turn to us — and our consultants.

All of which brings us to our new branding and new name: Run Consultants. We think it is a simpler way to say what we do — and who we are. We’ve built a great business as RunE2E, but it’s time for a change, and we’re excited about our new brand and the launch of our new website.

Stay tuned. It’s been a fun ride so far, and we can’t wait to see what the next six years will bring!

 

July 11, 2012

Mobile Growth Takes Center Stage in IT

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — agramling @ 11:52 pm

At this point in the Apple/Android takeover of the IT world, it would be hard to find someone who wasn’t bullish on the future of mobile. But if you do happen to stumble upon someone in your business who thinks you should be sitting on the sidelines relative to a mobility strategy, then then simply show them this presentation from March 2012 by influential analyst Henry Blodgett.

The growth of mobile to date has been staggering, and its future is even more eye-popping. Consider these facts from Mr. Blodgett:

  • Mobile app sales are a $10B market and growing at 100% a year
  • Smartphone sales now surpass PC sales—for the first time ever
  • Half of all phones sold are ‘smartphones’ and 88% of Americans now own a cellphone
  • Almost 40% of Americans say they have bought something using their mobile device

The implications for US business are profound and companies must now quickly catch up to consumer trends in app use and mobile device choice. Equally important, companies now have new opportunities to use mobility for productivity gains and competitive advantages. (For example, check out this list off huge iPad deployments by major corporate accounts.)

Our latest venture, RunMobile, targets the mobile market with three core solutions: mobile app development, mobile device management and mobility consulting for the enterprise. All are important needs for businesses to consider and all are areas of growth and endless possibility.

September 1, 2011

Cloud Scenarios Driving US Business

Filed under: Uncategorized — agramling @ 2:08 pm

More than a marketing buzzword, the “cloud” is simply how people do business these days.  Consider these powerful trends:

  • Cloud leader Salesforce.com recently posted a record quarter and its growth—1.5 million paying customers—shows no end in sight.
  • The federal government is aggressively moving to the cloud—potentially moving a fourth of its total $80B IT spend there.
  • The internet’s biggest retailer, Amazon, is quietly becoming the world’s biggest cloud storage and hosting provider.

As I write this, members of the RunE2E team are attending two of the largest events in cloud and virtualization technology:  Dreamforce and VMWorld—and the emails coming back from these conferences speak of vast new opportunities for growth.

RunE2E is already helping SAP customers navigate a variety of cloud scenarios through consultative workshops and cloud development projects. The company also has inked partnerships with Amazon Web Services and VMWare to resell their products and services.

There will high-profile outages, security breaches and skeptics—all have been part of the maturation of the cloud over the past decade—but there’s no stopping it.  Cloud computing is already huge, and is about to get much, much larger.

March 11, 2011

How Small is Your Small Business?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — agramling @ 6:53 pm

With 20 or so employees and fast-growing revenues, Locum Leaders is a US Chamber of Commerce Blue Ribbon Small Business of the Year for the second year in a row. It’s a well-deserved honor for a young start-up that has consistently exceeded expectations.

But if the company keeps growing, as we expect it to, when will it no longer be a “small” business?

For the purposes of the Chamber’s annual Blue Ribbon competition, the current threshold is $20M in annual revenue. Grow beyond that and you’ve outgrown this particular award.

The US Small Business Administration (SBA) has a more exacting measure of small that takes into account three-year revenues and/or number of employees. The SBA definitions are important, especially for those who seek SBA loans or preferential treatment in the pursuit of federal contracts.

Software giant SAP, whose software products we resell at RunE2E, has used the term SME (Small or Mid-sized Enterprise) to define the vast market segment immediately below $1B companies. You could be a $500M industry leader and still be a SME to SAP—proving that all sizing is relative.

The lack of agreement on what constitutes a small business is one reason Scott Shane, a professor of Entrepreneurial Studies at Case Western, says the term ‘small business’ is baloney

Writing in Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Shane calls for more stratified small biz classifications that would range from ‘non-employer businesses’ and ‘microbusinesses’ (1 to 9 employees) all the way up to ‘large small businesses’ with 100 to 499 employees.  It’s this last group, he notes, that accounts for most of the job growth commonly attributed to U.S. small business.

Whatever the definition, Locum Leaders is proud to be a Blue Ribbon Small Business of the Year for 2011. It also proudly plans to outgrow the award one day soon.

December 7, 2010

Thoughts on Holiday Gifts and Giving

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — agramling @ 2:39 pm

We are not above sending or accepting a corporate gift every once in a while. When well-timed and well-intended, tangible gifts of nominal value can be positive relationship builders.

But our companies don’t send client gifts at holiday time. Instead, for the past few years, we have contributed on behalf of our customers to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.  

Philanthropy is an important part of W3, albeit in a somewhat informal way. As corporate givers, we do our best to answer the call for donations to local causes and have even lent a little muscle for an Adopt-a-Road clean-up program. 

Many of our employees support their own causes and can count on their peers to contribute generously whenever an email goes out asking for assistance.  Indeed, as I write this, we have simultaneous office drives underway for non-perishable food and children’s toys. Items collected will go to local charities.

With more business success, our efforts may one day become more formalized and larger.  But for now, it is gratifying to see employees’ engage one another in the spirit of giving without a lot of management pressure or structure. In doing so, they have our encouragement and support—and our gratitude.

October 1, 2010

Building Culture at Work

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — agramling @ 12:25 pm

You’d be hard-pressed not to examine your own workplace culture after reading Tony Hsieh’s best-selling business memoir—Delivering Happiness:  A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose. The CEO of Zappo’s outlines the growth of his company from a small eCommerce startup to a billion–dollar enterprise, which is ultimately acquired by Amazon.com.

The Zappo’s story, for those unfamiliar, is about the company’s reinvention of itself through the identification of its core competencies and values. The online shoe seller maintains a legendary focus on service (described as ‘delivering WOW service’) and gives its employees a great deal of autonomy to keep customers happy. Hsieh describes how ten core values form the basis for decision making at Zappo’s and how those values evolved.

The evolution of the company’s culture—not just its end point—offers a key lesson for entrepreneurs. Try as you might as a leader to ‘create culture,’ workplace attitudes evolve and are defined over the life of a company—sometimes by happy accident and sometimes by design. The ideal role of management, as highlighted in Hsieh’s book, is that of a guiding force rather than as strict dictators of corporate rules and behaviors.

Locum Leaders is writing its own story these days as a workplace defined by strong values and happy, motivated employees. The company was recently voted one of Atlanta’s Best Places to Work based on independent employee surveys conducted for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Congrats to CEO Will Drescher and team for their focus on a positive culture.

August 11, 2010

The Value of Information about Information

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — agramling @ 2:40 am

Marketing guru and blogger Seth Godin recently wrote about companies that specialize in ‘information about information.’

He cites Bloomberg, Google and Facebook as companies that aggregate, analyze, and sell information as their core business. “They create a meta-layer, a world of information about the information itself.”

Business acumen in data collection and analysis extends beyond internet companies. Many manufacturers, CPG companies and retailers (Wal-Mart, for example) owe as much of their success to their vast information infrastructure as they do to the products that they make or sell.

On the other end of the spectrum, we talk to a lot of companies that struggle to harness their data. At businesses large and small, critical pieces of information about customers sit on individual laptops and personal spreadsheets instead of being funneled into a larger centralized database or CRM solution where the information can be managed, shared and analyzed for the benefit of the enterprise.

SAP CRM and SAP Business Objects are powerful solutions sold by RunE2E that help companies organize valuable business information. And why is this so valuable?

Because, says Godin, information compounds. “A tiny head start in access to this information gives you a huge advantage in the stock market. Or in marketing. Or in fundraising.

“Many people and organizations are contributing to this mass of data, but few are taking advantage of the opportunity to collate it and present it to people who desperately need it.”

June 7, 2010

Locum Hiring Trends In Focus

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — agramling @ 6:19 pm

There are a multitude of multi-billion dollar segments within the global staffing industry, one of which is healthcare. To stay on top of trends in the segment, someone on our team usually attends the annual Healthcare Staffing Summit put on by Staffing Industry Analysts.

This year the meeting convenes in Chicago and we’re pleased that Locum Leaders CEO Will Drescher has been tapped to join a panel discussion on locum tenens. Specifically, Will and others will review trends in outsourcing and the impact on buyers and sellers of locum services.

In brief, hospitals are increasingly outsourcing entire service areas to specialized management companies. Your hospital’s emergency room or radiology department may, in fact, be staffed by doctors who live locally but are employed by a third-party in a different state. 

In Will’s business, the trend is most pronounced in Hospital Medicine. Large regional and national hospitalist management companies like IPC, Sound, Cogent, Apogee, Team Health and others operate the hospitalist programs at perhaps a third of all acute care hospitals across the country. If you are in the staffing business, these companies are important entities as they control a significant number of physician jobs.

Each of these companies has its own unique hiring practices and differing perspectives on the use of temporary or locum tenens staff. The good news, overall, is that in most parts of the country and in most specialties, physician demand far outstrips supply. That trend is the most compelling one that drives the healthcare staffing industry forward, and will do so for the foreseeable future.