Five minutes with… President and CEO, Adam Alfi

  • As we know, words are easy, but how do we deliver on the promises we make to our clients? Here’s five minutes with our President and CEO, Adam Alfi.

 

Adam, how would you describe a typical day for you and EffVision across locations?

Having international locations means that my days are long ones. When I’m not traveling, I usually wake up around 05.00hrs so that I can make calls and receive all the relevant updates from the overseas leadership teams and gauge whether or not, anything requires my immediate attention. From there, I get ready for my day in the New York office, and by 09.00hrs our morning meetings have been conducted and a plan is in place for the day. The plan is important because if any client challenges have arisen over the course of the evening, across the world, they’ve been recognised early and we can act. Fortunately, the collaboration between our global teams is tremendous, and we have a quick leadership chat at the close of play to briefly reflect and to try and predict what might happen during the next 24 hours and beyond. I’m extremely lucky to have amazing teams both in New York and overseas.   

 

For anyone that isn’t familiar with EffVision, what can you tell them about the company and the work you guys do?

On a high level, we are an IT services company. Yes, I know, quite a broad statement. But, if you really get down to the details of what we do, it all revolves around our passion for helping people. Companies, regardless of their size, face IT challenges each and every day, and IT is now seen as a pillar of business rather than a business cost. I always say that no matter what the industry is, if you are not technology savvy first, you will have a tough time succeeding.  At EffVision, we use our years of experience to help clients understand the current challenges they face, and work with them to not only resolve them, but to put them in a position where they are prepared for further challenges on the road ahead. We get great satisfaction seeing our clients succeed and as you can see, we use this as a great motivation go to work every day.   

 

How has the industry changed since you firstly started?

Wow! Tremendously! We, as a company, began as a small web design and development shop and once we started hearing our client stories and how they were challenged, we knew that we could offer more, and so, we did. But we changed primarily because the industry changed, and we wanted to keep up. For example, websites are a commodity now. Everyone has to have one and every business knows that, or should know that. What became obvious was the huge migration in business to the digital world. If you look at the commerce industry as an example, you will see that brick and mortar stores are closing down, and they’re not coming back, a trend that will only continue. Even the big department stores are closing physical locations because of this digital transformation I’ve mentioned. The product didn’t change, but because of technology, the customer did. Do I like going to a store now and then? Yes, of course. But like so many others, I buy most of my goods online, from my phone! And that’s where we are heading now. We could have an entire evening discussion on how mobile technology is the lead business driver in any industry and how mobile applications have disrupted entire markets. It’s really an exciting time to be alive. I’m in my mid-late thirties, but my kids will never know the mind blowing change technology has gone through in the last 30 years.   

 

What are some of the challenges you face?

Sometimes you find that clients and/or business partners are resistant or hesitant to change and the old saying of “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” is one that often springs to mind. It’s a statement that really saddens me because if you don’t change and adapt as an organization you will fall behind your competition. Our clients and partners clients habits change, so why can’t they!? The moment you think you have it all figured out is the moment you stop progressing and you fall behind.

 

We spoke earlier about how the IT industry changed in the last 30 years or so. How about the other industries?  

How many Fortune 1000 companies from 10 years ago no longer exists? So many industries do not see that technology is the main business driver now. So definitely, a resistance to change is our biggest challenge that we face as a business.   

 

What would you say, sets you apart from the competition?

We care. We really care about the success of our clients and business partners and we have a passion for wanting to celebrate their success as if it’s our own. We are big enough to help major clients but small enough to provide each of them close individual care and priority at all times. Our clients know that with us they’re not just another cog in a Client Management System, they are part of us and develop into important business partners.  

 

Looking ahead, do you have an industry prediction for the next two to five years?

Five years is quite tough. I don’t think anyone can make an accurate prediction because in any industry it changes. Daily. What I do think, is that cross functional collaboration and system integration is going to take full and center stage over the course of the next two years. There are so many systems out there that can help businesses, and the successful groups are going to be the ones that are able to build the bridges between those systems in order for business leadership to be equipped with the necessary data to make proactive business decisions. All industries are heavily data driven now but being able to get the right and beneficial data is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.   

 

Finally, if I’m looking to start a business in the IT sector, what would your advice be?

It’s about being passionate, helping people and really believing in what you do. Be prepared to put the long days in and if you fail, which you will from time-to-time, get back up and keep going. Businesses don’t grow by getting it right all the time, but it’s how you react. Your response to a set-back will define you and your company.