Today’s Five Questions with Christian Gheorghe is with Manish Patel, Global Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Collaborative Solutions.

CG: What do you see as you company’s greatest opportunity in 2014?  

MP: Our biggest opportunity this year is to solidify our leadership in the Cloud enterprise deployment space. Our partnership with Tidemark increases our offering breadth and allows us to enable our customers to align business planning, execution and analysis in the Cloud. We are leveraging our long expertise as a go-to Workday consultant to play a pivotal role in Tidemark’s acclaimed integration with Workday solutions. With this partnership, we can be the one-stop, go-to Cloud deployment service for both Tidemark and Workday.

CG: What are Collaborative Solution’s biggest challenges when it comes to implementing new technologies?

MP: The newer offerings are not just a technology change but in some cases a paradigm type shift in the way companies and leaders think about managing their business. Often, we find that our potential customers are in opposition to change and want to continue with what’s comfortable. Our challenge is to present newer technologies in a way where customers understand that there are more efficient solutions to managing their problems, rather than continuing to lean on old, usually outdated, processes and platforms.

CG: How important are cloud-first technologies to Collaborative Solutions?

MP: They are critical importance to us. As a technology consulting firm, we continuously look to leverage the best tools in the industry. The Cloud enables us to increase communication and collaboration, and streamline processes, while keeping our infrastructure costs low. It also grants us enterprise-class technologies, which allow us to act faster than some of our bigger competitors. The flexibility that the Cloud offers enables us to remain adaptable and competitive in an ever-changing landscape.

CG: How has big data changed the way Collaborative Solutions makes decisions?

MP: Big data has forever changed how businesses make decisions. As Collaborative Solutions looks to develop new offerings and expand our business, big data will be critical in helping us define, measure and analyze existing key performance indicators as well as create future goals. Big data frees up time and resources, and helps us create forward looking measurements to forecast and run our business more effectively. Tidemark is just one example of how we’re doing this. Tidemark makes it very easy for us to input a revenue or profit forecast and know instantly whether that forecast is attainable. We can make intelligent business decisions on how to get attain our goals.

CG: What or who inspires you?

MP: I am inspired by knowledge, creativity and passion. I also admire folks who work hard and strive for excellence no matter what they do. Folks like Richard Branson, Warren Buffet and Peyton Manning instantly come to mind. Richard Branson and Warren Buffet are hard-working leaders who have amazing business sense, thirst for adventure and desire to give back to the world. Manning, also a great leader, has faced several challenges in his career but never seems to give up. These are people who we should all model our lives after.