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Meet Doug Guilbeau of Levementum in Chandler

Today we’d like to introduce you to Doug Guilbeau.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Levementum was founded 12 years ago by myself and Geoff Mobisson. We were both successful IT leaders in the semiconductor industry here in Phx, and felt we could build a great company centered on implementing CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software. At the time, CRM as a software category had a poor reputation for adding value to a business. Yet, Geoff and I had just successfully implemented CRM for over 3000 users in 50 countries and the project had a great reputation. We felt that if we could apply our methodology to an up-and-coming CRM software, we would have a formula for building a fast growing CRM services company.

If you review the ‘about us’ section of the website – you’ll get further details.

Initially we focused on a disruptive technology known as Open Source – and partnered with a company called SugarCRM. By 2010 – we were the largest reseller and implementer of SugarCRM in the world. In 2011 we recognized that ‘The Cloud’ had overtaken Open Source as the major disruptor, so we shifted to a partnership with In 2016 – with an new investment group, we chose to focus on the B2C segments (Marketing Cloud, Commerce Cloud, etc.). That focus led to explosive growth and in 2017, we jumped from a ‘registered partner’ level to Platinum in less than a year and are one of the top 10 partners in Salesforce’s ecosystem, world-wide.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Nothing ever goes well. The decision to switch our focus from SugarCRM to Salesforce was heavily debated. We were the number 1 partner for SugarCRM for years and in 2011, Sugar was still growing strong. We bet that Salesforce would expand their focus beyond B2B companies and in doing so, would open up opportunities for new partners to rapidly differentiate themselves from the traditional partners in the ecosystem. We have always believed that if you are the ‘one-eyed king in the land of the blind’ and act fast, you can get first mover advantage and quickly pass your rivals for before they notice what’s happened.

The short term mentality of investment Capital is always a struggle – fast growing services companies need working capital to support the people growth that’s needed. Investors struggle to understand the trade-off and banks are always looking backwards at the last 12 months. People are everything – their talent is what we are offering to the marketplace. But you can’t capitalize and depreciate their ramp time over 3 years like traditional manufacturing assets. Thus, the faster you grow, the more a drag that growth is on short-term results and profits – which makes investors and banks nervous. I’m constantly selling the importance of taking the hits to profits now to support the growth we need next quarter and beyond.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Levementum – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
We are in the business of solving marketing and consumer engagement puzzles for our clients. Technology (e.g. social, ecommerce, IoT) has disrupted the way businesses engage with their customers. Businesses need help learning how to engage with consumers in this brave new world. They look to to find the software tools that can be used to respond to the disruption. They look to Levementum because we have the best people, methods, and approach for using Salesforce to solve those engagement puzzles.

We are hyper focused on working with B2C companies – companies that sell products or services to consumers. We specialize in Retail, Hospitality, Entertainment, Media and Consumer Products. We teach them how to use Salesforce to effectively market, sell, and service today’s consumer.

But that’s not WHY we do what we do. Consulting around is one of the fastest growing industries on the planet. By 2022 – estimates are that the Salesforce ecosystem will create over 3M new jobs. We believe that the best way to serve America is to teach as many people in our community Salesforce and create great high-paying jobs where we live – in Phoenix, Indianapolis, Detroit, El Paso – the communities we live in. It’s our way to give back. This craft is learned through apprenticeships. We want to teach new college grads, vets, and anyone looking to change their future. That’s why we do what we do.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
We are heavily investing in building out our newest Salesforce practice centered on their Commerce Cloud product, which was established this past year with their acquisition of DemandWare. We also have a eye open for how data science and IoT are disrupting the consumer experience. We expect all three of these to be great drivers for growth as we drive to 2020.

We will also keep our eyes open for acquisitions that give us more first mover advantage.

You’ll also see us pursue partnerships with civic leaders in our local communities to establish creative ways to teach more people how to use the awesome tools from Salesforce.

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