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50 Best Companies to Watch 2017

Helping customers to attain business goals by specializing in social business and online communities: 7Summits

thesiliconreview-paul-stillmark-ceo-7summits-17For every developing company there is a single basic goal, ‘to make fundamental changes in how business is conducted in order to cope with a new, more challenging market environment.’ A few of these corporate change efforts have been very successful. A few have been utter failures. Most fall somewhere in between, with a distinct tilt toward the lower end of the scale. Single goal; many differences, but what is the reason behind both success and failure? Good coordination between customers, partners, and employees results in cumulative growth of the business, and the same will create chaos if not maintained. To help the companies transform accordingly and maintain business health, 7Summits, founded by CEO Paul Stillmank has created proven online community solutions that help companies transform and improve their results by bringing people, systems and data together with a single promise: “to enable companies to engage their customers, partners, and employees to grow their business for them.”  

Knocking on the company’s door

Founded in the year 2009, 7Summits has been incorporating its solutions to deliver leading edge community experiences from its pre-built templates to custom communities prudently designed to achieve digital transformation for its’ clients businesses. They help craft the right blend of digital strategy, community technology solutions, targeted user experiences, and enterprise harmony that helps to drive maximum results. 

At the very onset of the company itself, Stillmank realized that social media would turn out to be a powerful medium that would sweep through popular culture and eventually set the frame for collaboration throughout the enterprise. This incited the company’s brand promise and purpose: 7Summits brand promise: to enable your customers, partners and employees to grow your business, and 7Summits purpose: to unleash people’s potential to create, compete and innovate in completely new ways.

The community solutions are in line with its brand promise:

  • Customer communities focus on connecting advocates with prospects to improve conversion rates; enabling customer-to-customer support to deflect calls; creating exclusivity and personalization to improve customer retention; collaborating directly with the enterprise through always-on customer feedback to inform product/service innovation; and enabling pro-active customer support models that improve overall customer satisfaction.
  • Partner networks focus on streamlining education to speed partner on-boarding; finding experts and resources to improve win rates; enabling better lead matching to improve channel performance; and improving partner identity in the market to help expand market share.
  • Employee centric communities focus on providing an accessible and served knowledge base to increase productivity; enabling open communications to improve workforce alignment and engagement; better empowering sales teams resulting in improved win rates; and crowd-sourcing ideas to drive actionable innovation.

Above all these, it has been emphasizing vertical experiences for higher education (e.g. alumni networks), software and high tech (e.g. customer support networks and developer networks), as well as banking and insurance (e.g. private wealth management, loan origination, and agency enablement).

Driving Community solutions

The company has been recognized as a leader in delivering business value through online community solutions. Its cross disciplinary approach (strategy, user experience, technology) has positioned it in addressing community experiences designed from a clear understanding of the stakeholder journey where “social thinking” is applied to remove friction points, serve up relevant information and guide a more value-added journey and results. These integrated, personalized experiences allow companies to communicate with, support and service their stakeholders in uniquely compelling ways, separating them from their competitors. “The next evolution in driving business value into your company is through creating energized experiences built on social communities,” said Paul Stillmank, CEO of 7Summits.

The company has a strong national foot print extending beyond its Milwaukee headquarters to major markets like Chicago, New York, Boston, DC, Atlanta, San Francisco, Dallas, and Denver - using its own solutions to collaborate across its geographically dispersed teams and customers with many North American customers bringing 7Summits to their EU based operations as well. 7Summits has delivered over 230+ communities to Fortune 1000 and Global Companies while winning many awards along the way.

Speed-to-solve

7Summits has created a close partnership with Salesforce, creating specific community solutions on that proven platform. “Once a company recognizes the value of a 7summits’ community solution, they want to move quickly. Speed-to-solve has to be part of our formula. Salesforce provides a trusted, multi-tenant platform that we can combine with 7Summits pre-built accelerators and components to get a solution in the market fast,” said Stillmank. “We have a proven process and assets to help guaranty success; and once on the Salesforce platform, companies are pulled forward, having access to the latest capabilities so that we can continue to help them stay on the forefront of innovation and evolve quickly.”

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Honoring the leader

Paul Stillmank, Founder and CEO – Paul founded 7Summits in 2009 and continues to serve as the company’s primary executive leader, guiding the company’s vision and overall operation. He is responsible for growing the company’s market presence and driving strong, organic growth through continued focus on customer value realization. He has more than 25 years of product, consulting and agency experience all of which shaped the DNA of 7Summits. Paul’s product development experience was fueled by roles at Rockwell Automation and Rockwell Software before he moved on to leading Consulting Agency Whittman-Hart where he worked with some of the most recognizable brands in the U.S. and was responsible for the firm’s largest offices. His role as Global Solutions Vice President at Manpower Group shaped his thinking around global organizations and shifting demographics that are now fueling workforce disruptions that communities are poised to address. Paul completed his Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Marquette University. He is a Wisconsin native.

“At 7Summits, experience design isn’t simply about making things look great, it’s about making the experience more relevant, effective and engaging for your users, thereby driving business value  for your organization.”

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