Kevin Houchin Joins Agility as Sr. Director of Business Development
In 2018, Agility announced some significant changes which included the sale of their professional services division to IMC Business Architecture, IMCBA.com allowing them to focus one hundred percent on their cloud platform. In addition to this sale, they have also introduced a few new programs including a revamped partner program and educational series with the focus on building more enhanced partner relationships.
With these modifications, Agility has gone full bore to aggressively lead a growth strategy that includes new offices, an increased sales force, and new leadership to make their Customer Experience Cloud CMS platform available to more people. In keeping with their expansion further across North America, Kevin Houchin joined Agility as Senior Director of Business Development in early April to help to lead their outbound sales division out of Colorado, U.S.A. I was able to connect with Kevin to discuss what he brings to the Agility team, what he believes are the challenges faced by clients when implementing a CMS, and his thoughts on the future of the CMS industry.
You have quite an extensive background in the B2B and B2C marketing realm. Could you start by telling us a little about yourself, and what inspired you to join the Agility team?
“I have a somewhat eclectic background ranging from a B.F.A. in Graphic Design, to a J.D. with a practice in creative business and arts law to work in national education and workforce policy. The thread that sews these experiences into a theme has been a constant emphasis on leadership in marketing communications, including the use of leading tools and technology. That’s what led me to Agility. Every business has a critical need to communicate effectively to within their market, and today that includes multi-channel communications managed by lean teams. Agility is positioned beautifully to help those teams manage their digital content safely and efficiently so they can focus on both their day-to-day tasks and hit their special campaigns & projects out of the park.”
What are some of the challenges faced by SMBs and Enterprise clients when adopting a CMS to drive ROI?
“First, stepping away from their projects just far enough to get a fresh perspective in rethinking how to best manage digital content. We all get so close to how things have been handled in legacy systems and processes that we sometimes miss opportunities to fundamentally improve the way we work. Second, not applying the fresh perspective to the critical use-cases that are motivating the move to CMS. Third, not thinking big enough in regard to what we really want to be doing as thought leaders using the new tools. If we can engage all three of these challenges effectively, then the shift to CMS will be far more effective and enjoyable as a project.”
Agility was recently vaulted on the G2 Crowd Leader Quadrant. What has contributed to Agility’s success in “moving up the leaderboard quickly”?
“The easy answer to that question is that Agility has very satisfied clients! Underlying that satisfaction are several points of distinction in the CMS market. First, Agility’s technical architecture that allows for automatic updates without clients needing to do installations. Second, Agility’s pricing model that allows clients to only pay for features that they will actually use rather than requiring clients to invest in expensive product bundles to get access to a specific feature they need. Third, the ability to implement Agility in a headless model, or to take advantage of Agility’s page management tools.”
As a business leader, where do you see the CMS industry in the next five years?
“In the next three years, all sophisticated business and organizations implementing multi-channel communications will consider their CMS a mission-critical element of their value proposition. In five years, the tools should be so user-friendly that even micro businesses will be conducting multi-channel campaigns leveraging the power of a CMS like Agility. The challenge for business leaders, as discussed above, is to use the transitional opportunities over the next few years to think beyond doing the same things in a new way and seize the opportunity to be thought leaders and think of all the new things they should be doing with the power and flexibility of content management systems like Agility.”
New CTO and Director of Partner Succes
While Agility has been shifting their focus on bringing their cloud platform to more users, they have also made some internal changes. Company veteran James Vidler has been named Director of Partner Success. In his new role, he will lead a whole new learning platform as well as the advocacy and engagement with Agility’s growing partner channel, driving for faster partner adoption and onboarding.
"I've used Agility to help build websites for some of North America's top brands. Its flexible architecture is unmatched in the industry, and I'm incredibly proud and excited to share our platform with the world." — James Vidler, Director of Partner Success.
Agility has also appointed Joel Varty to Chief Technology Officer. Joel will be responsible for overseeing their product division and providing guidance to partners, customers, and developers while expanding and evolving Agility relationships.
“I’m delighted to work within all areas of our organization to help connect more deeply with our customers and partners,” said Joel Varty. “Agility is headed toward rapid growth, and I’m excited to help steer the ship.”
Partner Program & Education Series
In relation to Agility’s renewed focus on partners, they have also launched an expanded education series of events and workshops that will be held throughout 2019. Agility has also introduced a new partner program that offers partners a commission-based approach to sharing the revenue to those who achieve the silver, gold, or platinum levels. Agility’s goal is to help position partners to close more deals, build faster and more reliable websites, and ultimately be more profitable.
Agility’s new focus has already landed them as Quadrant leaders in G2 Crowd for two categories—Headless CMS, Web Content Management—which is a very impressive rise up the leaderboard in such a short timeframe. 2019 will definitely be an exciting year for Agility as they augment and increase their foothold in the CMS Marketplace. Stay tuned as we keep up with what Agility is doing throughout the year.