The Silicon Review
‘Bringing value to clients in both the cloud and data center.’
Epic Machines sells technology products and consulting services in the Western United States and is expanding across the country. The company is a sales-channel for Splunk, AppDynamics, Vormetric, HP, Dell, Cisco, EMC, HDS, F5, Juniper and many others. They have experienced phenomenal growth of 267% from 2013 to 2015, adding over 150 clients and over 200 product lines. Founded in 2012, Epic Machines has offices in San Francisco and Portland, OR.
The company’s emerging technology practices brings new innovation to every project. Instead of solely pushing the standard product lines, Epic Machines researches new disruptive technologies. This allows its clients to have a constant grasp on the latest relevant, production grade technology innovations. Epic Machines uniquely challenges the traditional technology market place ecosystem, bringing brilliant business ideas to life, assuring mission critical initiatives succeed, through end-to-end technology manipulation.
In Conversation with the Key Executive
Why was the company set up?
Epic Machines was started and self-funded as a Value-Added Reseller (VAR). Our initial and current offering is pretty standard. We provide technology solutions to business customers who build and monitor, mission critical infrastructure and highly secure environments. We build these solutions with our 200+ technology partners including Cisco, Palo Alto Networks, Juniper, EMC, Splunk, Tanium and PagerDuty.
The most exciting part of our business is The Epic Machines Business Enablement Platform, (now in limited Beta). By leveraging our proprietary platform and process, any technology professional or services organization can increase the value they deliver to their clients. With our Business Enablement Platform, they instantly, become an authorized reseller of the products they already recommend and deploy. But the best part about it is they add new revenue streams to their existing business. It’s a win-win and demand is growing by the day.
How did you select the vertical?
I have been in this space for over 25 years with the scars to show for it. It’s a really tough place for small organizations and consultants. I think we’ve found a way to use our rapid growth and developing momentum to level the playing field and bring new revenues and value to IT service organizations. I’m glad we are starting to bring some justice and the ability to compete and win to this hardworking part of the market.
What were the grounds on which you have expanded your company and its offerings over the years?
This is one of my favorite parts of our business. We go far beyond market research for technology products and implementation strategies. We get to actually deploy them and see them operate in production environments. This gives us the true knowledge and wisdom to know the difference between the marketing and reality. This translates into vertical frameworks that guide our teams when recommending infrastructure components, cloud, monitoring, security, and incident response solutions.
What challenges did you face in your initial years? What can your peers learn from it?
Beyond the battle as a small company against the larger organizations and the challenge to get the technology practice focused in the right areas, the hardest part about this business is building an airtight logistics platform. When the business begins to scale there are many ways for processes to breakdown. The scariest scenario in the beginning was when we had to pre-buy product for customers without an actual purchase order from them to meet a special pricing deadline. They would assure us the order was coming, but we would not get it for a week or two. Then the sales team would move onto other things. Thus, we took a lot of risk to source and pay for product as a favor to clients and manufacturers. Since those purchases we’re often over $100k, you can imagine how quickly it could drain cash and eventually send a company like ours to its demise. The other challenge in the beginning was credit lines. There were times when we would receive an order for $200k but only had $10K in credit lines with the distributor. So, we needed to come up with $190K in cash for 30 days to cover the transaction. If we didn’t, we couldn’t complete the transaction and risked losing the client forever. I’m sure you can understand how difficult it is to put in all that hard work to win the client only to come close to losing them in the end. Happily, we don’t have that problem anymore and we extend that capability to those who use our platform. Today we have enough credit to handle any scenario and more.
The last challenge was, authorizations to sell the various manufacturers technologies. Companies like Cisco, Juniper, F5 and EMC, to name a few, have rigorous certification testing and training programs. There are hundreds of vendors that all play an important part of the solutions we recommend. This means many hours of study, costly proctored exams and time away from customers to meet those authorization and training criteria. Especially in the beginning, my staff and I would spend nights and full weekends away from friends and family to get these completed. I am pleased to say, the hard work has paid off!
Meet the Leader
David Gottesman is the Founder and CEO of Epic Machines. Prior to founding Epic Machines, David created a similar company, Technology Deployment Research, that was acquired by FusionStorm in 2006. He was also an advisor for Triggit and founded Sessionex in 2009.
David graduated from Xavier University with a BSBA in marketing. He also holds an MBA from the same university.
"Our focus is fiercely customer centric and we enable that through our manufacturers and business partners. Our customers are speaking with their wallets and we are listening”