Jim Barnish: Racemi

Racemi helps organizations rapidly migrate workloads to the cloud, providing a tech-forward approach to discovery, migration and optimization.

The Challenge

Brought in by the Lead Investor Paladin Capital Group, the company was underperforming due to a dysfunctional go-to-market (GTM ) strategy that handicapped the team’s efforts to drive growth and profitability. The company lacked product-market-fit (PMF), a necessary market-driven growth strategy that supports success in a competitive market. Operational deficiencies included long sales cycles, low close rates and a misaligned team.

My Role

Chief of Staff (COO) 

I was accountable for the analysis, systematization and integration of all business solutions, partner relationships, IP technology, and potential acquisitions.

The Work

I was hired to perform a Value Creation Assessment (VCA) and present the findings and recommendations from the VCA to the executive team and board.

  • Translating data into insights: After analyzing all existing company data and current market conditions, I interviewed the team, customers, partners, competitors, and analysts to identify key insights and value optimization opportunities.
  • Transforming insights into actionable recommendations: My insights were compiled into a series of recommendations on establishing an accurate product-market-fit, optimizing capital, increasing operational efficiency and most importantly, maximizing exit value.

Growth Strategy and Execution: 

Based on the results of the VCA, the accompanying growth strategy and value creation roadmap, the Racemi board of directors decided to fund the company, requesting  partner Steven Horwitz and I take the roles of a CEO/COO (operating pair) to lead the turnaround. Together, we: 

  • Designed  a unique vision, growth strategy and value creation roadmap, validating product-market-fit and repositioning the company in the marketplace (getting customers/partners to pull us in).
  • Redefined business, offerings and go-to-market, leveraging the existing team and other company investments.
  • Enhanced and diversified revenue streams through a joint direct/channel growth strategy.
  • Developed and implemented a partner program to optimize costs and increase operational efficiency.
  • Recruited additional team members to fill skill gaps and aligned both existing and new team to refreshed vision and strategy, enhancing the employee, customer and partner experience.
  • Identified, optimized and executed on a plan to maximize valuation (get bought, not sold).
The Outcome

The VCA revealed fundamental value creation opportunities (i.e., product-market-fit, revenue enhancement, cost improvement, capital optimization, exit optionality), leading to the creation and execution of a new growth strategy that reduced the customer acquisition cost by 35 percent and grew revenue by 125 percent in less than a year. Their limited runway led us to recommend a strategic sale. In 2017, Racemi was acquired by DXC Technologies.

Journey To The Cloud

Nothing about this engagement was easy. Being brought in to save a sinking ship can often be a fruitless effort. However, in this instance, we knew there was a high probability of success if we reset the growth strategy and aligned all efforts. We were able to do just that;  correcting the product-market-fit, enhancing revenue, optimizing capital, improving costs, and maximizing valuation along the way.

––Jim Barnish, Chief of Staff