Posted: October 01, 2010
Tech startup: NIMBLBy Eric Peterson
INITIAL LIGHT BULB: Last spring, four top senior-level SAP consultants - Yosh Eisbart, Michael Pytell, Josh Baillon and Charles Singleton - teamed up to launch NIMBL, a small, agile shop designed to react more quickly and without the business model constraints of the Big Four consulting firms.
"We have all been doing SAP since the mid-'90s," Eisbart says. "We'd been pretty successful in building SAP practices from scratch for other organizations. We felt it was time to put up our own shingle."
And that shingle has attracted quite a bit of attention in year one. Now 30 employees and contractors strong (all with a decade or more of SAP experience), NIMBL has landed numerous top clients and won CSIA's "Rookie of the Year" award earlier in 2010.
IN A NUTSHELL: While SAP, the most widely used business software package on the planet, is dominated by the Big Four, NIMBL is small enough to not be subject to the fiscal constraints of the business model of a big consulting firm, Eisbart says. "There's a trend in the SAP marketplace that organizations are looking for more agile, nimble and flexible consulting firms that are able to react quickly and moving away from the institutional behemoth."
Eisbart says NIMBL isn't shackled by "the traditional handcuffs of profit margins," noting, "We are able to bring incredible experience, and we're not constrained by the traditional revenue model. Clients appreciate that."
The approach quickly grabbed a foothold in the market. Revenues are on track to hit $4 million in 2010. "Our growth has been over 400 percent," he says. "It's been a constant clip. We've been really lucky to have some great clients who have asked us to drive SAP programs from a management perspective as well as provide technical expertise."
Stockholm, Sweden-based Gambro Group, a medical device national with facilities in Lakewood, has enlisted NIMBL along with lead partner IBM and other companies to help it transition to SAP. The project involves retiring legacy systems and migrating 100 users all over the world to SAP, with "a go-live" in November, Eisbart says.
"We're separating from a sister company," says Gambro VP of Information Technology Chris Doerr. "We needed to stand up our own ERP (enterprise resource planning) system, because we look to grow." Doerr says NIMBL brings "a certain amount of flexibility you can only get with a smaller partner," adding, "I like their rate structure better." However, he still appreciates the power of scale that "bigger players" bring to the table.
NIMBL is very active on the SAP convention and publishing circuits, with its principals landing high-profile speaking and writing engagements on a regular basis. "Our consultants are constantly presenting at SAP conferences literally all over the world," says Eisbart, who just published a book titled "Outsourcing SAP Operations" (SAP Press).
"We're really building some name recognition and some branding pretty effectively, and pretty quickly. We're very reference-driven; we have customers who refer us to other customers. That's been our growth model up to now, which we need to step out of soon."
THE MARKET: NIMBL is targeting big fish: companies with $300 million or more in annual revenue. Current clients include Nestle and Pepsi.
FINANCING: NIMBL's four principals self-funded the company's startup.
where: denver | FOUNDED: march 2009 | www.benimbl.com
"We really feel we're breaking the mold in the SAP consulting world. We're able to provide high-value, high-impact SAP resources more efficiently than the competition."
- Yosh Eisbart, NIMBL principal and co-founder
Denver-based writer Eric Peterson is the author of Frommer's Colorado, Frommer's Montana & Wyoming, Frommer's Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks and the Ramble series of guidebooks, featuring first-person travelogues covering everything from atomic landmarks in New Mexico to celebrity gone wrong in Hollywood. Peterson has also recently written about backpacking in Yosemite, cross-country skiing in Yellowstone and downhill skiing in Colorado for such publications as Denver's Westword and The New York Daily News. He can be reached at Eptcb126@msn.com