Champion Solutions Group Aims to Make IT Simple
With $123 million in revenue in 2017 and notable projects like the architecture, design and implementation of HBO Go’s storage system, there’s no denying that Champion Solutions Group has come a long way since it started as a used equipment broker in 1979.
Today, the IT solutions provider works to help companies increase productivity, reduce costs and mitigate risks, mainly as a systems integrator.
“The best way to describe it is like Uber,” CEO Christopher Pyle said. “Uber didn’t change transportation; they made it simple and useable in a different way. That’s what we always strive to do with our products. We’re simplifying the engagement layer between businesses and the cloud.”
As one of the largest Microsoft partners worldwide, he said Champion Solutions Group works closely with other companies to help navigate Office 365 and “unleash the optimal business value of it.”
“We essentially do all the infrastructure work that nobody really sees, but helps make the thing run,” Pyle said.
Founded nearly 40 years ago by Michael Baker, Champion Solutions Group launched with the sole focus of buying used computer equipment to break down and sell for parts. It wasn’t until 1992, the same year the company became an IBM solutions provider, that its focus began to shift.
“It was the start of our evolution,” said Pyle, who was the company’s sixth employee. “We did very well and created some innovative products at the time. Between ’92 and ’97 were very big, transformative years for us, and led us to where we are now.”
Between 2016 and 2017, Champion Solutions saw a $15 million increase in revenue, which Pyle credits to the introduction of several new products, most of which focused on helping companies migrate to Microsoft’s cloud.
“As more companies were migrating from an on-premise data center to the cloud, we really led the way with some of our solutions in and around productivity suites,” he said.
One of the most striking of those new products is CSP Boss, which is currently used by more than 1,200 companies and more than 250,000 employees.
Despite all the positives the company has seen, one of the biggest challenges it faces is routinely finding appropriate talent.
“It’s a war for talent,” Pyle said. “Finding the right people who fit the company culture, but then who are also smart and know where the puck is going with tech and can help push us forward. We’ve been blessed, but it’s not easy to find these people. Especially when Florida hasn’t really been known as a tech hub until recently.”
Champion Solutions Group is currently building a new product called Inscape 365. It’s in beta testing at this time, and Pyle says clients are responding well to it. As they continue to try to make IT as simple as possible, Pyle credits his team with the continued success of the company.
“Our biggest asset we have is the team that works and makes up Champion Solutions Group,” he said. “There’s no one person making things run, it’s a combined effort.”