IT Services - Vice President Commerce Practice

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About the Company

According to eMarketer, eCommerce is the only trillion-dollar industry experiencing double-digit year-over-year growth. In 2012, global eCommerce sales topped a trillion dollars for the first time ($1.1 trillion). If estimates are accurate by 2018 eCommerce will grow to $2.49 trillion. These figures alone are compelling, however coupled with the US Census Bureau’s estimate that only 7% of retail sales are currently done online leads us to believe that the eCommerce industry will be a dynamic, lucrative market for many years to come.

Our client is a privately-held, managed hosting company founded in 1998. The company specializes in hosting comprehensive enterprise-class eCommerce, software-as-a-service, and other enterprise Web applications.  The Company’s key differentiators include its expertise and focus around managed services supporting leading eCommerce software platforms such as Hybris, Oracle Commerce and Magento.

The firm is capitalizing on two major market trends that are starting to intersect which is the growth in enterprise eCommerce/merchant applications and the growth in public cloud platform consumption.  In the past 18 months Our client has been winning extensively with US merchants and 2015 represented a pivotal year smashing previous “new contract sales” records in the company with the majority of them on strategy.


Position Summary

Reporting to the President, the Vice President of Commerce, Practice Leader is a transformational role in Our client providing business and technical leadership in developing. The company’s practice based approach to service delivery.  This role will deliver the business leadership in the firm’s most strategic and fastest growing business segments.  The Practice Leader will build senior relationships with key clients and primary vendors like SAP hybris, Oracle Commerce and the next generation of supported applications.  This individual will build out specialized practice teams that will deliver innovative managed services, application support and consulting capabilities centered on our client’s core commerce applications, starting with SAP’s hybris solution.  Practice leadership will influence and motivate key internal service providers to deliver world class service for leading retailers, merchants and manufacturers that are pursuing IT transformation through modern eCommerce applications and infrastructure consumption.

The VP Commerce, Practice Leader will have a strong combination of product/service vision, sound technical judgement and an effective commercialization ability to drive significant, profitable revenue growth within their practices.  The company Practice Leaders will be recognized for their ability to build strong relationships with target clients, developing industry leading domain expertise within their high performance team and driving that expertise through the organization as a whole.  Practice Leaders will be forward-thinking visionaries with a deep understanding of the technology transformation occurring in the retail market place and will be sought out by clients, prospects and the industry for their insights. 

This individual will be passionate about building high performance teams and initially will take a hands on approach to building the hybris practice, to deliver exceptional standards-based services to clients with complex digital commerce and managed infrastructure environments.  The Practice Leader will develop and oversee the product and services road map and drive critical decisions around technology choices, major investments and key vendor relationships specific to their practices.  A significant component of value creation will be driven by the creation of proprietary IP, Dev Ops and cloud utilization through collaboration with the VP Technology.  This individual will work closely with the President and CEO in articulating the long term vision and mission for the Practice. The role will involve critical buy, build or partner decisions around technology investments with M&A activity expected to accelerate in FY 2017.


Role & Responsibilities

  • Key member of the senior management team responsible for developing and managing the go-to-market plan that will substantially increase revenue, build market share and establish a differentiated brand in the market place.
  • Drive profitable revenue growth delivering managed services and managed-application-as-a-service to core clients consuming SAP/hybris and Oracle Commerce as a critical part of their supply chain drive.
    • Our client’s penetration/market share of retailers/merchants/manufacturers/ distributors on the hybris platform
    • Accelerate the Oracle Commerce platform by reshaping the go-to-market strategy focusing more on the “after market”
    • Work closely with the Client Success team to increase wallet share with hybris and Oracle Commerce customers by delivering standard managed services across more of their infrastructure needs.
  • Build meaningful relationships with key clients, prospects and SAP/hybris as well as OC to inform the product roadmap and effectively advocate on their behalf.
  • Identify, establish and grow effective channel partners
  • As a thought leader build effective sales and marketing communication tools to empower the company team pursuing qualified leads and prospects.
    • Author or drive white papers, present at industry conferences and represent our client with major vendors on their Product Advisory councils
  • Engage directly with key clients and prospects on consulting engagements related to IT Transformation, effective Hybris integration and cloud consumption in the supply chain.
  • Help to recruit and train high performance professionals while building a strong sense of team identity and client advocacy within the Hybris Practice.
  • Identify next generation commerce applications for the firm to pursue with early opportunities opening up in the information management segment like Heiler, Stibo, Informatica.

Key Skills & Competencies

  • 5-10 years of experience building successful practices in software or technical service delivery
  • Previous experience managing a full P&L with revenue and cost management targets
  • Previous experience leading enterprise implementations of supply chain solutions in large, complex environments driving practices beyond $12 million in annual revenues.
  • Domain experience/expertise in eCommerce, SAP hybris, Oracle Commerce (or other Commerce apps) or enterprise retail segments (Fortune 1,000) would be highly valued.
  • Track record identifying and pursuing business development initiatives with clients, partners and vendors.
  • Deep understanding of mission critical, high availability systems (preferably in Commerce technologies or supply chain solutions) that enable strong problem solving skills to resolve complex issues.
  • Evidence running “operational” environments and not exclusively delivering project based implementations
  • Demonstrated ability to manage/influence cross functional teams in a service delivery model
  • Effective public speaker and comfortable in a technology/IT transformation evangelist role

Personal Attributes

The ideal candidate will be entrepreneurial, driven, collaborative and passionate about IT transformation in the retail industry.  They will demonstrate business acumen through a technology lens and strive for industry leadership.

Defining Success

  • First 3-6 months – develop go-to-market plan and prioritize key requirements 
    • You will have successfully completed interviews with existing clients and channel partners in your practice and have a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities in supporting them. You will have a preliminary perspective on priorities for accelerating our client’s hybris practice.  You will have started to prioritize technical and training requirements to provide to the supporting functions.
    • Evaluate current resources and recruit key team members to drive 2nd half objectives
  • 6-12 months – you will have developed scalability in the delivery teams to effectively on-board new customers and support existing ones higher up in the application stack. 
    • Your technical leads will be on a clear path to domain expertise
    • You will be a significant contributor in pre-sales engagements and will participate in all major large pursuits as an executive sponsor that can speak credibly to prospects’ VPs of eCommerce, IT or CMOs
    • Start building channels of communication with hybris executives in sales, channel and product
    • You will have developed a hybris and oracle practice leader to drive the businesses going forward
    • You will have identified the next practice area you want to explore and focus on
  • 12-24 months – you will have established a clear stream of thought leadership around implementing and managing core applications. 
    • You will have strong and productive relationships with 2-3 effective channel partners in each practice who are motivated to bring Our client into deals early.
    • You will have forged a productive relationship with key stakeholders at core application partners like hybris and Oracle in their product and sales teams as evidenced by lead flow, speaking engagements, product advisory board engagements and enthusiastic endorsements of Our client.
    • You will have established effective consumption of all forms of infrastructure delivery (dedicated, public cloud, client on-prem and SaaS) across your practices.
    • Your core customers will be referenceable with consistently high NPS scores
    • You will have a consistent and predictable sales funnel with an industry leading win rate.
    • You will be on a clear path to having 3 core practices each delivering a minimum of $1 million in MRR and at least one practice demonstrating near longer potential to achieving $5 million in MRR
  • Long term – you will be a principal value driver in the organization building your practices to be the largest in Our client. Your product road map will demonstrate effective market insight by accelerating MRR in the areas invested in.  Revenue per technical + operational employee will continue to climb without compromising client satisfaction or transactional NPS scores.  You will be on a number of partner advisory councils and be sought after by analysts, partners and clients for your market insight around digital commerce and the cloud.

Roles Reporting into this function as the team is built out over the next 6-12 months

  • Application Architect (shared resource initially) or potentially the Director of Application Engineering
    • Technical Leaders – senior application engineer that understands Hybris from an infrastructure consumption perspective
    • “Manages” a pool of shared application engineers
  • Longer term you will have a number of “practice leaders” each running specific practices
  • Mid to longer term channel manager/business development manager

KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS

Major KPIs

  • Total practice revenue – targeting $2 million in MRR within 24 months
    • Core application Managed services revenue - $300-$500k in MRR
    • General Managed services delivered to client base - $500-$750k
  • Practice profitability
  • Retention/growth rate within core clients
  • Our client proprietary IP used to deliver client solutions (efficiency/leadership metric)
  • # of public speaking engagements presenting to target audience
  • Active/engaged/producing channel partners

Supporting KPIs

  • Additions to sales funnel quarterly
  • Win rate new deals
  • Net organic growth rate with customer base (organic growth less churn)
  • Age of tickets in practice queue