Older fans of the National Hockey League will acknowledge, almost to a person, that Wayne Gretzky was the greatest player to ever lace up skates.
The Great One, as he was called, wasn’t the fastest player on the ice, though he did have good speed. Gretzky had a pretty good shot, but it wasn’t the hardest, nor the deadliest. But what his supporters and detractors would readily admit is that he had the keenest ice sense, by far, of any player before or since. The puck always seemed to find his stick, and his wizard-like puck handling skills were those of legend. He could anticipate like no other.
Glenn Mathis is more suited to the soccer pitch and boasts playmaking skills that enable him to either put the ball in the net himself or set up a teammate to find the back of the twine. But the vice president, global client services and solutions for All Covered—the IT services division of Konica Minolta—paints a parallel picture between business and the direction of technology with the game of hockey. Chase after a puck and you will be red-faced, winded and frustrated. But anticipate where the puck is going, and you will be better positioned to help your team succeed.
Business and technology are moving at a speed that will leave the chasers in similar dire straits. To lean on the sports analogy a bit more, what happens when the puck turns into a soccer ball? A silly thought, sure, but Mathis splits his thinking in half. Part of it is focused on what needs to be done in the here and now to help clients be successful. The other half has a strategic eye peered toward the future.
“One of the things my mentors taught me over the years is there are no sacred cows. You have to look at your business as a blank sheet of paper,” said Mathis, a 2019 ENX Magazine Difference Maker. “You have to be willing to adjust, change and adapt to the evolving market. At the same time, you should make sure that you’re doing the things you need to do in order to maintain the environment that you have. You should always have one foot in doing the best job that you can with what you have and with where the industry is today. But your other foot should always be in that strategic space, thinking about how you will need to support customers in the future.”
Mathis has worn many hats during his nearly 20-year venture with All Covered, from the director of consulting services and regional vice president to group vice president of strategic solutions and group vice president of mergers and acquisitions. Currently, he has technology oversight for many aspects of the business—services and solutions, cloud, advanced technology services, automation, AI, machine learning, technical training, client experience, SOC security, application development and numerous other disciplines. He’s been tasked with creating a global IT organization for Konica Minolta.
“For me, it’s about being able to help SMB customers as well as enterprise organizations,” he noted. “I find it rewarding knowing that we’re able to provide enterprise-level thinking, processes, methodologies, services and solutions for all customers, especially those on the smaller side, and really help them to achieve their goals and business objectives. To help them utilize technology.
“I think it’s great that we’re able to be most things to all people. We’re able to provide commodity-type infrastructure services, helpdesk services, more advanced technology services and solutions, and projects for everyone. We’re helping them grow. We have customers who have been with us as long as I’ve been here, and that’s very gratifying.”
Mathis is proud that All Covered has been able to blossom into a $300 million dollar provider, virtually starting from scratch. Even given its size and working under a major manufacturer in Konica Minolta, he notes that All Covered still maintains that entrepreneurial approach. The more All Covered grows, it seems the more progressive and entrepreneurial the business becomes.
He has been blessed with influential mentors along the way. Tim Mott, a former regional CEO for All Covered, always preached the importance of focusing on the end game, using the blank paper approach toward business and, perhaps most importantly, being curious. Those were the kind of people to surround yourself with, Mott advised, as they’re good at problem-solving and troubleshooting. They can understand problems and break them down to their simplest form, which paves a clearer and easier path toward resolution.
Current CEO Todd Croteau has the “same DNA” as Mott, according to Mathis. Croteau takes a measured, analytical approach to breaking down and troubleshooting issues. Mathis followed that blueprint in building a quality team around him, and it has paid dividends.
Mathis is thrilled with some of the enhancements All Covered completed during 2019. The company made changes in its network operations center that have allowed the company to be more efficient with its resources and provide significantly enhanced services to customers.
“We’re increasing the scope of what we’re monitoring for them,” Mathis noted. “We’ve made a huge leap forward in our ability to deliver world-class services in our NOC environment. It was a monumental change for us and it’s already produced significant results.”
As 2020 unfurls, Mathis expects to see the company drive more competency around its security offering through organic growth, learning and perhaps strategic acquisition. He also anticipates the company evolving its cloud strategy with a hybrid of public and private environments to meet the needs of all customers. From a macro perspective, All Covered has designs on becoming a global IT service provider.
Mathis and his wife, Amy, have four children—the youngest is in kindergarten, the oldest in college. “I don’t know if we did it the right way or the wrong way, but we certainly won’t be lonely as we grow older,” he noted. Aside from soccer, he enjoys playing golf and loves the variety of winter sports that chilly Minnesota has to offer, from ice fishing to snowboarding.