Solutions to the maxx

From houses to hardware, selling has always been in Ida Pereira’s blood.

Since she joined Global-maxx Technologies LLP in April as its president and chief operating officer, Pereira has increased the firm’s sales staff from one to six and plans to hire an additional four in the coming months.

She expects to increase its revenue by 40 per cent by year end. Under her leadership, Globalmaxx has added hardware and services to its existing product offerings and is planning to add Web procurement in 2005. The company recently changed its name from Applimax to Globalmaxx to reflect its these additions.

Clean sweep

While this might sound like a lot for someone who has only been with the organization for under six months, she has experienced this type of growth in the past.

And, Pereira believes her reorganizational skills will be an asset for the solutoin provider. “”My strength is to take processes, clean them up and grow them.”” In her previous role at Infinity Technologies Inc., a Mississauga, Ont.-based VAR, Pereira grew its IBM business from $1.7 million to $6.4 million in two years.

Pereira, who was interviewed from her sickbed suffering from a cold, wants to mix things up at Globalmaxx.

“”We’re approaching the market from a different perspective. Traditional VARs deal with selling hardware and they provide a lot of break-fix and basic server configuration. We’re taking it a step further.””

Globalmaxx, which was founded three years ago under the name Systemmaxx, focuses on delivering IBM-based hardware and management applications to enterprise and mid-market organizations.

The latter group includes PowerShift CRM for enterprise, PowerBiz CRM for mid-market, PowerTeam eTrack and Power 9000. CRM software accounts for 25 to 30 per cent of the company’s current revenues, she said.

Pereira is finding the job to be challenging from the start.

Hewlett-Packard Canada recently declined to authorize Globalmaxx. But, this has

not detered the 38-year old executive. “”Part of (HP’s) new strategy is to try to go direct. (HP) is not into moving accounts from one reseller to the next, which I completely appreciate.””

Pereira wants to drive hardware sales with Globalmaxx solutions.

Career moves

After a short stint in the real estate industry, Pereira’s first job in the technology sector was marketing director for Computer Systems Canada (CSC) in 1994. There, she worked with CSC chief executive officer Daniel Schneeweiss, who taught her something that formed the basis of her management philosophy today.

“”I’m very focused on empowering people by giving them autonomy,”” said Pereira. “”(Schneeweiss) believed in me and said, ‘Make it happen.'””

Pereira said she credits the people around her for company success. “”The people are what make the company.””

After seven years with CSC, Pereira moved to Micro-Warehouse Canada where she was director of its corporate division. At MicroWarehouse, now CDW Canada Inc., Pereira met Marcelo Fiaes, who has worked with her

ever since and is now Globalmaxx’s CFO.

“”(Fiaes) understands how to take what I do and translate it into numbers. It’s a tag team effort.””

The ‘tough gal’

“”I’m sort of branded in the industry as the tough gal — all five foot of me,”” laughed Pereira, talking about the challenges she faces as a female executive in a male-dominated industry.

“”At the business level, I’m very quick on the draw and I don’t take the time to talk about how your golf game is. “”

Pereira was recently asked by IBM Canada to speak via Web cast to a group of honour students on what it’s like to be a woman in the technology world. “”The consensus was the world is ready.””

Pereira has personal aspirations as well.

“”I said to my CEO by the time I’m 44, my goal is to be on the cover of Forbes.””

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