As part of The Startup Magazine Founder Interview Series, we talked to Mr. Tony Lakier. Tony is the Founder and CEO of RedMane Technology. He has some insights on technology and how to use it to impact the world. Here is more of his story:
Describe your product/service in 10 words or less:
Problem solving. Technology is just one of our tools.
Give us a little more detail into what RedMane does?
RedMane is a software solutions and systems integration firm with a culture of client success, people focus, and unwavering integrity. We help clients with their most complex business challenges.
Our work spans everything from technology strategy and needs analysis to systems development and ongoing maintenance. Clients rely on us for all types of solutions, including in the areas of analytics, mobile, case management, and overall business process transformation.
We hire the right people and provide an environment where they can flourish. Coupled with our straight talk approach and willingness to take responsibility for project results, it leads to awesome results for our clients, rewarding careers for our people, and great growth for our business.
What inspired you to start RedMane?
I was working for a firm that had just gotten acquired by a mega technology company. The acquirer wanted us to focus exclusively on one industry with one type of solution. They were all about selling to clients. I was all about delivering for clients. So, I started RedMane. It was an easy decision.
How is your company impacting the world/your clients?
RedMane people make a difference every day. Here are some examples.
We’re working with a healthcare accreditation organization to modernize and speed how they perform critical inspections. We’re helping a large university system use analytics to target students for early intervention to maximize retention. And we’re assisting a wholesale distributor optimize their sales and marketing strategy via data based insights so they can scale their business.
In the public sector, we helped the US Virgin Islands implement a cloud-based Disaster Food Stamps system to bring aid in a matter of weeks right after two devastating hurricanes hit the islands.
In Virginia, we’re implementing a mobile solution that even works offline so child services professionals can spend more time protecting children and counseling parents in the field and less time on manual record keeping and administrative tasks.
What are the disruptive factors in your industry that make it so promising?
The biggest disruptor is the cloud. It gives rise to rapid, flexible, and modular implementations. Add in mobile and analytics and you change the game for how businesses and public sector organizations operate.
Describe RedMane’s pivot point, and its impact on the company?
The State of Louisiana was our first major win. In 2000, Louisiana gave our five-person company (at that time) a multimillion-dollar contract to implement a mission-critical system. We used that project as a springboard to grow the company. Louisiana is still a client and great reference for RedMane today!
As RedMane grew, what were the primary challenges? Hiring? Quality control? Capital?
Maintaining our culture. As we have grown and continue to grow – we’ll double or triple in size in the next year or two—we need to make sure we stay grounded and true to our secret to success.
Going back to your early career decisions, tell us what factors influenced your decision to be an entrepreneur?
I didn’t like the way companies behaved. They were too short-term focused. There was no respect for people. I didn’t want to be constrained by their rules and how they operated.
And what characteristics do you have that particularly contributed to your ability to jump from a startup success to a scale up success?
We’ve been able to find highly talented people that can be trusted to build out parts of the business and deliver for our clients. Our talent provides leverage.
As you have a history of building early stage companies, what is the most important thing you tell startup founders?
Trust the good people. There is an infinite difference between good and average people in how they can impact your business.
What is one interesting fact about you that people may not know?
Growing up in South Africa, I had a pet giraffe named George that followed me around.
My family owned the Johannesburg Lion Park for many years. We had lions, giraffes, antelope, and many other species. In fact, one of my earliest jobs was rounding up all types of animals to stock the park.
That’s awesome. Thank you Tony. Good luck with continued success.
More information about RedMane Technology can be found here.