IBIS - Taking Chances


“If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got,” says IBIS founder and president Andy Vabulas. “Leaders are not afraid to take chances on new initiatives, especially when they offer good value to our clients.”


Norcross, Ga.
Founded: 1989
Sales: $7.2 million
Employees: 36
Main Product: Microsoft
Great Plains Edition

Putting that philosophy into action helped gain Vabulas the Microsoft Business Solutions Eagle Award for 2002, recognizing his willingness to pioneer in the adoption and integration of new Microsoft technologies. A case in point: Microsoft Customer Relationship Management.

“CRM truly is driving our business right now. This is the greatest door opener we have ever had to work with,” enthuses Vabulas. Not only that, CRM is generating interest in other MBS products.

Partner Insights

In keeping with its designation as a Microsoft Gold Certified ISV Partner, IBIS has already produced numerous enhancements for CRM including Solution Selling, Nurture Marketing, GoodContacts, and Industry SolutionSets. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, given the reseller’s earlier development of Great Plains Field Service Suite, acquired by the vendor in 1999.

“Those partners who do not have development capability are definitely at a huge competitive disadvantage,” contends Vabulas. “Vertical solutions are much more compelling to the marketplace.”

Here’s another example of IBIS’ eagerness to embrace innovation. It was among the first VARs to take advantage of Microsoft Capital’s brand new Total Solution Financing program, and has already closed several deals as a result. Vabulas reports, “The largest was a $1.8 million deal for a service company that was interested in taking their company to the next level. The financing option made the deal affordable and ultimately was the difference.”

Also an MBS Inner Circle Partner and Gold Certified reseller, IBIS doesn’t shy away from promoting itself as a “total enterprise” solution provider despite suggestions of long, expensive installs that the term Enterprise Resource Planning might conjure. And why should it? “Our track record of low cost of ownership speaks for itself,” states Vabulas. He says the company has replaced systems such as Oracle, PeopleSoft, and SAP at clients for less than the ongoing yearly fees those tier-one vendors would have charged.

There’s a lot to be said for being a Microsoft house, according to Vabulas. “Having the ability to be a single-source technology provider to our clients is quite compelling. We can do everything from the network to the business applications. One team-no hassle.”

It helps, of course, that IBIS has its own methodology in place-structured to the point of ensuring consistent quality when doing an implementation, yet flexible in recognition that each company has its own specific business needs and objectives. The Accurate Implementation Methodology spans five stages: project planning and organization, conference room pilot, business pilot, system start-up, and post-implementation review.

“AIM gives us a road map to success,” observes Vabulas. Starting with defining goals and objectives at the start, along with checkpoints and milestones along the way, it is easy to measure the progress and ultimately success of our projects.”

Always prepared to seize new opportunities, IBIS earlier this year acquired more than 260 Great Plains customers of Charlottesville, Va.-based Soltech Group amid plans to expand into the mid-Atlantic region. It also recently joined forces with Marlborough, Mass.-based LiveVault to provide the IBIS customer base with online data backup and recovery services. Moreover, there are plans to add the MBS Axtapa line for high-end manufacturing clients.

“In order to stay ahead, we need to continue to execute on the plan we have in place and have been following for the last five years,” says Vabulas.

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