- Tech Insights
The Security Guardian
From his time as an athlete and as a member of the US Military, Robert Hessel learned the most valuable lessons of life which he would go on to incorporate in his entrepreneurial journey. Robert went on to build Source 1 Solutions an industry-leading global IT service provider and has been hailed as a guardian-angel for companies worldwide.“Athletics taught me about the values of sacrifice, drive, and competitive spirit which are needed in business. Whereas,the US Military is arguably one of the most wel oiled machines on the planet,” says the steadfast leader. “The code of conduct, chain of command, and teamwork that is dedicated in relentless pursuit of the team mission are the same values and beliefs that need to be implemented to grow and lead a successful organization.”
Today, as the President & CEO of Source 1 Solutions, he has implemented these principals and taken the organization to new levels of success in both profitability and job creation. Source 1 Solutions is an industry-leading global IT service provider with a technical network spanning across 110+ countries. Part of Source 1 Solutions core offering is designed around expanding their customer’s technical capabilities and geographic reach. The team at Source 1 Solutions is expected to take ownership of tasks, follow the decision making process of the organization, and regularly encouraged to make decisions. “Making the wrong decision and understanding why it was wrong and learning from it to avoid the same mistake in the future is much better than not making a decision. This ideology is a big part of Source 1 Solutions culture and why we have continued to grow and be successful,” says Robert.
" Athletics taught me about the values of sacrifice, drive, and competitive spirit which are needed in business. Whereas,the US Military is arguably one of the most wel oiled machines on the planet."
By partnering with truly great companies and taking the lead, Source 1 Solutions shows their customers what the right solutions are, even if it means having hard conversations. Source 1 Solutions specializes in supplychain management, unified communications, data networking, WiFi + data centers, electronic security and network security solutions. Their skilled pool of field service engineers are from local regions, speak native languages and truly understand the cultures of thei rspecific regions. While collaborating with their high-level, Tier 3 engineers in Source 1 Solutions’ 24x7 network operation center, their specialist providers deliver complex implementation solutions, third-party maintenance offerings and a fully managed services offering with a focus on security.
In order to enhance organizational capabilities Robert makes it a point to every day get out of the office and create distance between him and the company. The reason being he wants his team to come up with solutions and answers to problems on their ownrather than relying on him to provide answers to questions that they probably already know. According to Robert, one of the biggest challenges that CEO’s face especially in rapidly growing companies is their team constantly coming to them to ask questions that they probably already know the answer to. “I think there are probably two reasons this happens, the first being they want to be engaged with the boss and running things buy me is a good way to do that. Secondly it can tend to be easier to just ask the question than to have to have the accountability of making the ‘call’ on something,” explains Robert. “I think trust should be given not earned and pulled back only if the person you have entrusted is not using good decision making processes. As Steve Jobs is famous for saying - I don’t hire really smart people to work here so I can tell them what to do. I hire really smart people to come here and tell me what we should do.”
Creating a Differene
Rather than beginning with a keen focus on what services Source 1 Solutionshave to solve the clients problems, the company concentrates on whattheir clients problems truly are knowing that they may not be able to solve them all internally. “What this allows us to do is determine what resources we have in our global network that we can acquire to become more agile and provide better service for our customers,” adds Robert. “This also creates a unique side effect where we can scale and grow much more rapidly than a business that just assumes naturally that they are the ones that need to provide the service.”
There are two distinct differentiators in Source 1 Solutions’ strategy that are solving the clients growing challenges in the market space. First and foremost, the decommoditized 24x7x365 Global Technical Support Center; all calls are answered by level 1 engineers based in the United States, rather than outsourcing IT issues to a third party. Secondly, Source 1 Solutions only provides services; they are not driven by selling “more equipment” which tends to make their competitors more focused on meeting OEM’s volume commitments for hardware sales, rather than the clients desire to extend the life of their current technology assets.
According to the steadfast leader, Source 1 Solutions is different from the rest because they are one of the few companies that refer potential customers to their competition when they are not in their target. “All too often, companies desperate to make a sale accept any client even if the solution is not their specialty. We learned long ago that to be the best possible service provider we could be, we needed to understand who our customers are and, even more importantly, who they are not,” explains Robert. “If a potential customer does not fall into our area of expertise, we can still help them by referring them to a more suitable service provider that can provide them the actual support they need.” Robert says another reason to do this is it is one of the ways to face market competition. Source 1 Solutions is always looking for Merger and Acquisition opportunities to gain more marketshare and eliminate the competition.
Source 1 Solutions’ comprehensive approach allows the company to protect, secure and monitor customers business to safeguard what is important. Source 1 Solutions’ understands complex technology networks, how they work across multi-location platforms and pay careful attention to ensure the right person is assigned to the right job, everytime.
In an instance, one of Source 1 Solutions’ large System Integration clients was faced with a Wireless Networking project that was spread across 22 countries with just short of two months to start and complete the project. The challenge they were faced with was having resources with the necessary skill set in all of those countries to deliver the service. The other challenge they were faced with was getting complex reports done and back to them in a consistent format to minimize the amount of time it would take their team to analyze and build out their solution. Source 1 was able to use their local teams in the 22 countries with the required software to perform the necessary on-site data collection. Those on-site activities and report collections were overseen by Source 1 Solutions’ regional project management teams to ensure all required on-site activities were taking place and upon completion collect the raw data from the on-site engineers. That raw data was then submitted into Source 1 Solutions’ Mobility Engineers for analysis to create consistent reports across all 22 to countries so the client could easily review and create the solution and presentation back to their client. “We were able to complete the project in just over 6 weeks,” adds Robert.
Building the Perfect Company
For Robert, any organization that wants to grow should know what or who is important for the firm. He thinks one thing that limits CEOs is hiring key people by their budget ability. “During our growth, all key members of the management team or senior team were outside of our budget. But, we found that hiring the best person for a position, based on their merit and ability to do the job rather than based upon our budget, will benefit our company in the long run,” explains Robert.
The committed and staunch leader also thinks that the best things he has learned through having great mentorship was the importance of working on vital functions of the business and not functional tasks of the business. “I consciously fire myself from functional tasks, and encourage our management to do the same on tasks that are functional and not vital to their particular role. The only way to grow and meet the demands of the business are to continually evaluate yourself and make sure you stay focused only on doing the tasks that you are uniquely qualified to perform,” says Robert. “All other tasks must be delegated to the team to allow time for working on the business and not in the business.”
Robert has built a culture among the team at Source 1 Solutions where they are expected to take ownership of tasks, follow the decision making process of the organization, and encourage everyone to make decisions. “Making the wrong decision and understanding why it was wrong and learning from it to avoid the same mistake in the future is much better than not making a decision. This ideology is a big part of Source 1 Solution’s culture and why we have continued to grow and be successful,” adds Robert.
Source 1 Solutions is an industry-leading global IT service provider with a technical network spanning across 90+ countries that specializes in supply chain management, unified communications, data networking, WiFi + data centers, electronic security, and network security solutions.