An Interview with Craig Pierce, Vice President of Enterprise, Indirect and Small Business Sales
Q: Craig, thank you for your time to speak to us today about how Integra and DocuSign are partnering. First, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your role with Integra?
A: You’re welcome. I’m pleased to talk with you. I’m the Vice President of Sales at Integra which includes Enterprise, Small Business and Indirect channels. I have responsibility for growing, managing and retaining customers in these channels and for aligning cross-functional resources to support our goals.
Q: Can you tell me how the Integra and DocuSign relationship began and how it has developed?
A: One of our sales executives responded to a request for a competitive quote for voice services from DocuSign’s Unified Communications Architect last October. In the initial conversation we recognized how critical voice services were to their business and the immediacy of their need. When calls are missed because voice services aren’t keeping up with demand, it results in lost business. We quickly quoted and delivered the new voice services. During the first conversation we also got a glimpse of the bigger picture; DocuSign’s cloud infrastructure and how their rapid growth was challenging their existing network.
DocuSign had a vision for a new reliable, future-proof network that would be more manageable, deliver ROI on their cost objectives and allow them to quickly scale to changing business requirements. They also wanted to design and implement the new network while staying completely connected to their very large global customer base. As we learned about their challenges and objectives for the new network, we understood their need for an agile partner. Our team engaged in the dialog from that first day and began collaborating on designing an MPLS network to provide the connectivity and high-capacity bandwidth DocuSign needed to connect offices in Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago and London. Together we made a winning combination; with DocuSign’s vision for their network architecture and Integra’s broad range of services and team approach.
Q: Why was collaboration such an important part of the relationship?
A: Collaboration, whether it’s between peers or companies, results in better outcomes for any project, when individuals work in unison, the power of the common goal unites the team to accomplish the goal in less time and with more thought put into the solution. In this particular case, we couldn’t have been successful without collaboration because of DocuSign’s necessary infrastructure to support the voice, data and cloud applications that are vital to their day-to-day operations. With an average of 885,000 transactions daily from a worldwide customer base and plans to add sites globally, we knew they were depending on us to go beyond the traditional service provider role. Our team worked as a conduit with DocuSign’s cloud service providers to ensure optimal performance of their cloud applications. We needed to be available to respond day or night because of the global nature of their business and we anticipated their requests to help in their decision making process. They were great collaborators with a clear vision of what they wanted in scaling out their infrastructure.
Networks are evolving with the influx of cloud applications and rapid adoption of new technologies. There’s a layer of complexity that is hard for traditional IT groups to have all the answers and do it all themselves without collaborating with partners they can trust. I think as more companies migrate to cloud services, this type of collaboration is going to be typical. With the cost effectiveness and efficiency of cloud services, networks will need to be more flexible to support connectivity to cloud services, applications and data centers.
Q: What are some of the factors that contributed to making the collaboration between Integra and DocuSign successful?
A: The foundation for our relationship with DocuSign is trust. As with all our customers, Integra recognizes that our success is measured by our customers’ satisfaction and building trust begins on day one in the initial meeting and continues throughout the relationship. DocuSign knows that they can count on the Integra team to follow through on our commitments and to keep them in the loop throughout the project. If an issue develops we immediately call it out and together we quickly resolve it.
Other critical factors include putting DocuSign’s needs first, asking the right questions and listening to understand their challenges and plans for future growth before offering a solution. With cloud-based applications, multiple vendors and multiple locations worldwide we needed to customize the architecture that could easily scale to meet dynamic changes. This type of architecture broke new ground and we learned together; when it came to this project there were no sides. We shared their vision for the network and their objective from cost to Quality of Service (QoS).
Q: What advice do you have for companies migrating to the cloud?
A: I think you have to remember to begin with a strategy for what you want to achieve by moving an application or a process to the cloud. This includes cost and productivity goals. Then you have to assess your infrastructure to make sure your network is ready for the cloud. The biggest factor for most cloud deployments is the network because your network needs to be able to handle the increased traffic and workloads. You may have to optimize your network to fully realize the benefits of the cloud. Having an optimized network will reduce costs, IT requirements and improve uptime as well as provide better Quality of Service (QoS). The other critical element is you need to make sure you have enough bandwidth to support cloud applications and your performance goals.
Once you have a strategy and an assessment of your network with the appropriate bandwidth identified, take your plan to your management to get alignment. Also, approach your project with a team that you can collaborate with for planning and depend on for the deployment. It is so important to take the time to evaluate potential partners.
As we have experienced, the most successful projects are based on the efforts of an engaged and collaborative team. With the scale and scope of the DocuSign project, successful collaboration was just as important as the nuts and bolts.
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Craig Pierce, Vice President of Enterprise, Indirect and Small Business, Sales
Craig Pierce is the leader of the Sales organization at Integra responsible for the Enterprise, Indirect, and Small Business channels. He joined the company in April 2013 as the leader of Enterprise Sales. Mr. Pierce has 19 years of experience in Sales in the telecommunications industry and has held several management and leadership positions. Prior to joining Integra, Craig was an Area Vice President at CenturyLink, where he oversaw Enterprise Sales for Colorado, Kansas, Missouri and Iowa markets. In his nine-year tenure at CenturyLink/Qwest he was promoted several times into roles to increase his span of control based on his demonstrated commitment to deliver results. Mr. Pierce started his career as a Sales Professional for Allnet Communications after graduating with a B.S. in Management from The State University of New York at Geneseo.