Every great modern company requires a reliable, efficient operations platform to succeed. Each requires a solid base on which it can perform the day-to-day tasks necessary for continual growth. Illumiti, an Ontario-based Systems Integration and Management Consulting company, has a strong focus on helping mid-size companies realize their business potential through providing the highest quality consultation advice, business solutions and post-implementation support.
Illumiti was founded in 2000 as a consulting company aimed at assisting companies implement and leverage SAP® solutions. Illumiti experienced growth in both staff augmentation and turn-key project services in those early years. In 2003, the firm reached its first major milestone: when SAP® introduced SAP® Business One, a management software solution for small to midsize companies, Illumiti joined as a value-added reseller.
In response to continual growth and customer satisfaction, Illumiti expanded into the United States. The 2007 cross-border expansion allowed the company to open two new offices; the first in Houston, Texas (subsequently relocated to Denver, Colorado); and the second in Boston, Massachusetts.
That same year, SAP® approached Illumiti with the offer to become a value-added reseller for the SAP® Business All-in-One solution for mid- to large size companies. Illumiti’s servable market again grew substantially. At the time, the firm could resell SAP® solutions to any company with annual revenues up to $250 million – today, Illumiti’s track record of high performance and changes to SAP®’s Channel model now allow Illumiti to sell SAP® software to any company with annual revenue up to $1 billion and in some cases even to larger businesses.
In a recent Canadian Business Journal interview, President and CEO Nir Orbach explains, “We saw this opportunity as a mechanism to fuel our growth. We had the ability to sell software, which in turn automatically drove our implementation consulting services, and in most cases post-implementation support.”
After broadening its market focus in 2007, Illumiti focused most on the midsize business market. Some key ingredients of that focus in the ensuing years to date are Illumiti’s project methodology; high-calibre consulting pool; and concentrated development and implementation of solutions for selected industry verticals.
In 2008, Illumiti recognized a strong customer need for mid-sized companies to focus on their core business and to partner with trusted external providers to manage their IT infrastructure. Illumiti partnered with OnX Enterprise Solutions (then called Momentum) to enable it to offer solutions for hosting and managing of its clients’ SAP® infrastructure in safe and secure data centres. In June 2014, Illumiti announced an additional partnership with SunGard Availability Services, a globally renowned IT Operations Support provider.
“Both companies have an excellent reputation and are great partners for us,” notes Orbach.
Today, Illumiti is one of Canada’s largest SAP® value-added resellers for the midsize business market. The firm offers a variety of solutions, including SAP® products and services pertaining to Business Applications, Analytics, Mobile, Database and Technology as well as Cloud solution. Illumiti’s engagements include turnkey product services, management consulting, and post-implementation support. It operates two Canadian offices in Richmond Hill, Ontario, and Calgary Alberta; its two United States offices; and a European office in Switzerland. Illumiti has received the Canadian SAP® Business All-in-One Partner of the Year award for over 3 years, and recently won the 2014 SAP® North America Partner Excellence Award for Reselling in Canada.
The Benefits of Illumiti
When a customer chooses to purchase their SAP® solution from Illumiti, they are receiving much more than a base product. They receive the consultation, tailored implementation, and post-implementation support to truly help their business succeed.
“We have a very pragmatic focus on ensuring that our customers truly do benefit from the SAP® technologies we sell them and the consulting services we deliver,” Chief Operating Officer Dror Orbach explains.
“We’ve spent a lot of time identifying how to deliver products to the mid-market at more affordable prices, and how to build tools and templates that allow us to constantly improve the way we deliver solutions to our customers.”
In order to best facilitate the needs of each client, Illumiti develops template software solutions targeted at a particular industry. This provides the customer with an outline of the SAP® solutions that may best optimize their business. Illumiti can then provide client-specific tailoring to truly create a unique solution for each unique company’s need. This is a large competitive advantage in an industry rich in niche sector-specific providers.
“If you adopt a change in an industry template, you drastically reduce the effort and risk involved in implementation. We put the focus on what really matters to our client’s business, rather than just best practice,” explains Nir Orbach.
Illumiti also ensures that the information customers receive at the point of sale is accurately reflected in the solution and support services delivered.
“We have a strict focus on accountability, from our sales process to our delivery team,” says Dror Orbach, “The same delivery executives tasked with describing our solution to a prospective customer and for providing cost estimates for our proposals are also ultimately responsible for the actual implementation of the solution. When we tell someone we are going to deliver a capability, we do. This is a critical element of our success.”
When conducting a project such as an SAP® implementation, some companies can only dedicate part of their key employees’ workdays to the project. In order to mitigate wasted human resources and thus lower customer costs, Illumiti provides ‘part-time’ consulting teams. These consultants can divide their time between several different projects while successfully meeting the milestones for each customer.
“If we employed a full-time team to a single project with a mid-sized client, our team and the client’s team would often be unable to work at the same pace,” says Nir Orbach, “The full-time consulting model would be wasteful in many cases. We try to reach an optimal balance in terms of time spent with each customer, allowing them to work at the speed that’s best for their business.”
Illumiti’s success in Canada propelled the firm to consider further international expansion. Today, about 70% of Illumiti’s growth is within Canada – the company expects this percentage to shift significantly in favour of the U.S. market.
“The U.S. market for us is huge, and we are still far from fully capitalizing on its potential,” explains Nir Orbach, “We’ve been investing in our sales team and our consulting team in the U.S. to enable this to happen.”
Illumiti is also expecting to experience growth through its ability to offer new products that meet new customer needs. Over the years, SAP® has completed several acquisitions and has made significant investments in R&D, thus expanding its product offering. Illumiti’s product offering also expands – both as a result of it being a value-added reseller and through its own R&D investments, including, for example, five recently-developed mobile business applications which are currently in process of SAP® certification.
As cloud and on premise solutions grow more popular, Illumiti prepares for the transition. The firm expects an increased number of business management solutions will include cloud applications, and that the demand for this technology will continue to increase at a surmounting rate. Illumiti is currently preparing its sales and delivery teams for more cloud based solution implementation.
Illumiti is a company poised for long term success. Through its commitment to providing high quality SAP® software solutions, tailoring these solutions to customer needs, and building long-lasting relationships, Illumiti has solidified its place as a true Canadian success story.
“We focus on a combination of pragmatism, long-term relationships, and continuous improvement,” concludes Nir Orbach. “This is how we will continue to succeed.”