Michael George is not one to bask in adulation. The CEO of managed IT services platform provider Continuum may have guided his company’s foray into the office technology sector, but he credits the firm’s executive and leadership teams—as well as its 1,400 global employees—with positioning the firm into an industry leadership role. Not that George is just along for the ride, but the ride has been a fun and prosperous one for Continuum.
“Our employees wake up every day with the mission of making our office equipment/IT service partners successful,” said George, a 2018 ENX Magazine Difference Maker. “Continuum’s technology platform and approach to the transformation of the industry are what makes us the disruptor of the entire market. The only thing I’ve done is to have directed our efforts into the office equipment segment and help educate the segment about the opportunity before them.”
George has sat at the helm of Continuum since its inception in 2011. He boasts a rich background of executive leadership roles that include OATSystems, Bowstreet and Interlynx, all of which he guided as CEO, as well as TALX Corporation and DEKA Corporation. With Continuum, George saw a golden opportunity to be a dominant provider in the office technology space. He felt dealers had all of the attributes to lead the market—a large, existing customer base, professional sales organizations and major business objectives that were “a matter of life or death” because their traditional business was on a linear and terminal decline.
Sensing a true need for dealers to augment their offerings, George believed managed IT was the perfect fit for them and configured Continuum to be a platform provider that could usher dealers into this new era of managed services. Seven years later, George has proven to be quite prophetic.
“We are more than just a technology partner, we are a business partner to the channel, and the most rewarding part is seeing when it works really, really well,” George remarked. “Our more than 250 dealers are leading the IT services market in their respective geographies and are accelerating their revenue growth and achieving levels of profitability never thought imaginable. They are also dramatically increasing the retention rates of their multifunction printer business and taking new customers from competitors they were never able to penetrate with their undifferentiated MFP business.”
George has benefitted from the wisdom of a wide range of leaders within the industry. Specifically, he credits Ed McLaughlin, a member of Continuum’s board of advisors, and former MindSHIFT CEO Paul Chisholm as two critical influences who have made a difference in the firm’s engagement in the office technology universe.
It’s one thing to have a personal belief in the value of one’s business proposition, but Continuum enjoyed third-party validation from a 2017 independent study conducted by Service Leadership Inc. The study noted that of all the tools, technology and service delivery options available, Continuum’s partners reaped more profit and faster revenue growth than those clients of other platforms.
“To have an organization of that independent stature and respect in this industry so clearly illustrate, through factually and numerically calculated research, the benefits we bring to the Office Equipment market was our greatest achievement to date,” George remarked.
Moving forward, George sees a tremendous opportunity to help dealer partners address cybersecurity. Continuum is tasked with empowering its partners to win more deals, expand their profit share and dominate their geographic markets. He hopes to take the platform to another level by listening to the needs of Continuum’s partners and building upon its foundation of success.
George and his wife, Cynthia, are the parents of three boys—all in high school—which makes for a busy household. He’s an ardent outdoors adventurer, with mountain climbing sitting atop the list. George and his son, Michael, plan to celebrate the latter’s high school graduation by scaling Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania next summer, followed by Tiger Leaping Gorge in southwestern China. Sailboat racing, aviation and traveling to destinations that expand their view of the world are among his favorite pastimes.
“We’ve gone to several undeveloped countries where the kids teach English and help tutor in other subjects in remote schools, while my wife and I cook for orphanages and community centers,” George added.
George’s penchant for helping others extends to business, where he founded the Continuum Veterans Foundation, a non-profit organization that financially supports charities that help veterans transition into careers in IT.