6D Global Technologies Inc. (Holding Company)
Six Dimensions (Subsidiary)
November 10, 2014 Issue
The Most Powerful Name In Corporate News and Information
Digital Marketing and Technology Consulting Services for Enterprises
About 6D Global Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: SIXD):
6D Global Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: SIXD) is a premier digital business solutions company serving the digital marketing and technology needs of enterprise-class organizations worldwide. 6D Global Technologies’ companies offer a full suite of services and solutions to help large organizations optimize digital business channels and create better experiences for their customers, resulting in increased revenue growth and market share. Services include web content management, web analytics, marketing automation, mobile applications, business intelligence, marketing cloud, and IT infrastructure staffing solutions. Six Dimensions, a 6D Global Technologies, Inc. company, provides digital marketing and digital technology consulting services to leading enterprises during periods of critical change and growth. Combining top performing teams, relevant and deep experience, and comprehensive capabilities, Six Dimensions collaborates with clients to help them achieve successful outcomes, mitigate risk, and become high performing digital organizations. For more information, visit www.6DGlobal.com.
Six Dimensions, a 6D Global Technologies, Inc. company, provides digital marketing and digital technology consulting services to leading enterprises. Combining top performing digital marketing, IT, and business strategy teams, relevant and deep experience, and comprehensive capabilities, Six Dimensions collaborates with clients to help them achieve successful outcomes, mitigate risk, and become high performing digital organizations.
Tejune Kang is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for 6D Global Technologies, Inc. Mr. Kang is an American technology executive with more than 16 years of experience leading global enterprise technology application implementations. Mr. Kang has been Chief Executive Officer for Six Dimensions’, a 6D Global Technologies, Inc. company, since founding the company in 2004.
An innovative technology entrepreneur born in Silicon Valley, California, he is instrumental to the continued growth of Six Dimensions. Before launching Six Dimensions, Mr. Kang was a principal of Kang Management Group, a commercial real estate developer in Nevada. Prior to Kang Management Group, Mr. Kang was an engineer for 5 years with PeopleSoft (now Oracle Corporation), a multinational and multibillion dollar technology company. While at PeopleSoft, Mr. Kang managed some of the most complex human resources, financial, supply chain and enterprise performance management software implementations for Fortune 500 companies including Boeing, Apple, AT&T, HP and many others.
Mr. Kang’s multi-faceted entrepreneurial background and thought leadership has led to frequent interviews regarding the future of technology, business growth and hiring insight with many publications. Mr. Kang is an active member of Inc. Business Owners Council (IBOC), Vistage, Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), Alliance of CEOs, National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Key Executive Program and UBS Elevating Entrepreneur’s Small Business Mentoring Program. Mr. Kang graduated from The University of California, Davis with a Bachelor of Science degree in Managerial Economics.
Interview conducted by:
CEOCFO: Mr. Kang, what is Six Dimensions?
Mr. Kang: Six Dimensions is a company I founded in 2004 in California. We are a technology, services-based company that provides marketing and IT solutions for our customers.
CEOCFO: What do you understand fundamentally that perhaps other companies do not get quite as well?
Mr. Kang: I think our biggest competitive advantage is that we grew from a delivery side. What that means is that I was a former technician myself. I studied business and computer science in school, and one of the first jobs I had out of college was PeopleSoft before they were acquired by Oracle, so my background has really been on the delivery side.
As a company, we are deeply experienced and are passionate about, rolling up our sleeves and working very close with customers to identify what technology challenges they are having. We take the time to learn about their business and their needs. We know what questions to ask IT, marketing and sales teams in order to uncover the most optimum digital technology solution. It is very rewarding to come up with a solution that meets and exceeds the client’s goals.
I have always been a strong believer of “do what you say and say what you do” and committing to the highest level of service. This is also what our company believes in – making sure our customers are taken care of and satisfied.
The projects I was working on in the beginning were very different from what we do today. My specialty was really around data warehousing. PeopleSoft was known for their HR software and implementing software around benefits, payroll and things of that nature. I started doing a little bit of that, but I knew I could not compete with the firms who have been doing that for a lot more years than I had, so I got into CRM, customer relationship management, pretty quickly. I started doing some finance, and because I had such a wide background of finance, HR and CRM, I started deploying data warehouses. This is what is known as big data today, business intelligence, using data points to make better decisions and things of that nature.
In 2004 when we were hiring people early on, we took a lot of pride in execution and just doing the right thing from a customer delivery perspective, instead of a sales-driven approach. Delivering high-quality service is what I believe in and it is what sets us apart from organizations that are very sales driven. When it comes to the actual delivery portion, our customers know us for our commitment to service, honesty and value. We have a very solid reputation. Additionally, we are open to sharing our expertise with customers through our thought-leadership, technology blog, webinars and working solutions.
In working with customers, they may initially explain that their issue is something like “we are not getting enough users on their website”. That’s when we ask why? They might say, “it is because the navigation is not very friendly”. As you peel back the various layers, it ends up becoming a challenge around profitability, market share, revenue, maybe their competitors, maybe they are trying to keep up with their competitors or even staying ahead of the competition.
When you ask more probing questions to understand what the real issues are, that is when you start getting to more of the strategic components of what they are trying to accomplish. Rather than fixing the immediate issue at hand, we are able to identify and resolve the bigger issues.
To us, that is what we look at as a “value chain”. If you look at our value, we are our customer’s partner and they look to us for smart consulting and to help them out. That would be the first value. The second part of the value chain is how we help our customers compete in their space. We are a B2B company, but our customer may be a B2C company. And we understand that and our customers like McDonald’s, AT&T, Autodesk and LinkedIn have an end goal in helping their customers. So our highest value is identifying and figuring out how we can help them with their customers. That is value two. If we are able to accomplish more than just value one, which is our interest in helping them, but also helping our customer’s interest in helping their customers, then all of a sudden there is a much bigger value proposition all together. That is really what we do well.
Mr. Kang: Yes. To me it just really seems like common sense. It is really being able to see the forest from the trees and trying to understand what the vision is behind why organizations do certain things. A lot of the time it is just awareness and visibility.
What is interesting around the business intelligence and data warehousing space, and having the right data points, is that we can provide as many data points as needed. But if you are not asking the right questions or making the right decisions and understanding that, I think that is the biggest confusion other companies have in solving customers’ needs.
When we work with our customers, a lot of the time it is just trying to figure out what the right questions to ask are, and why we are asking those questions. UNC of Chapel Hill was one of our other past customers. We did a lot of studies and were able to identify what their matriculation, admission rate and ethnicities were based on their student population, such as what percent of them are black, white, Hispanic or Asian—and even what part of the country they come from.
By uncovering the right data, they became more strategic about how many offers they made to students. It is almost like a plane. You look at the airline industry, and they always anticipate cancellations depending on the season, the cycles, the weather and all these different data points. They always over-sell, so they try to manage the supply and demand in a right and strategic fashion.
In the same way, at a university not every candidate that they recruit is going to accept their offer. They have to figure out strategically based on demographics which students would have a higher acceptance rate which ones would have a higher graduation rate, and even after that, when they become alumni, what percent of them actually donate back.
We are trying to understand the whole life cycle and what specific data holds the highest value, from the university’s perspective and goals. We even analyze how we can help them achieve their desired institutional metrics, such as the ones reported in U.S. News.
Again, that is having a deeper understanding of what our customers are looking to achieve. It really does not surprise me that other companies do not do that and I think that is the difference between being very strategic versus being very tactical.
CEOCFO: How have you attracted and been able to work with so many well-known, outstanding companies?
Mr. Kang: I would say that it is because we understand the space we are in.
One example is Dolby Laboratories. Ray Dolby started Dolby back in the early ‘70s. There is Dolby noise reduction and C and B cassette tapes, and then there is Dolby surround sound and all these different technologies. The majority of their revenue is actually driven by IP, patents and basically the sophisticated research and development that they have been doing. When Ray Dolby got a bit older in his late 70s during the early to mid-2000s, they went public. This is 30 to 40 years later when he went public, but he wanted to create the right legacy vehicle. When you go public, you have to grow up in a hurry in terms of making sure the financial compliance of the HR systems are in place.
During that period of time, we were one of their partners to help them. We worked closely with their CIO to advise them on the implementation around their HR software, how they do budgeting, how they do position budgeting and how they allocate square space per employee to top-down forecasting. I think that when I was doing a lot of those implementations, and they were one of our early customers as Six Dimensions, I was really working with key executives and understanding what their needs were.
London Drugs was another big retail operation I worked with more than 800 locations in Canada. They wanted to see their inventory terms within the retail store. All of these things are KPIs (key performance indicators) that large organizations need to watch and measure and set up.
Understanding what those KPIs are and understanding how to address the needs of large organizations and give them the right data points, from a work perspective, meant our quality of work had to be higher, our delivery had to be higher, and it meant we needed to be able to scale as well. I think reputations, understanding what the business needs are, and staying relevant is important.
We have obviously transformed as well. In 2010, I restarted the company and Shutterfly was one of our early customers. At the time, Shutterfly was trying to change how they offered their photo book product. This was offering a service where you could upload a bunch of pictures and then create theme-based photo books and hardcover albums to be shipped out.
We helped them develop that product and became a lot more focused on digital in our offerings. Today, we are focused on digital transformation solutions for our customers.
CEOCFO: What do you look for in your people over and above technical skills?
Mr. Kang: It is not any one thing. I think the biggest things are pride in work and caring. If people actually really care and take a lot of pride in the work that they do, they want to go above and beyond a do great job almost to the sense of where they have a perfectionist attitude because they want to do a superior job.
When you have that, the flip side is how do you get the job done well but in a timely fashion? The key is finding hard workers with the common sense to know when enough is enough.
Another dimension of a personal characteristics we look for is a sense of competitiveness, willingness and wanting to win. If you combine someone who has a lot of pride and wants to do a good job, someone who t works really hard and wants to execute to get things done along with a certain level of competitiveness, I think those components add up to a strong culture with amazing people who want to succeed.
I also think that the combination of both strong communication skills and technical capability is important. It also takes being honest and being able to look at yourself and say here is what I am really good at, here are the things I am not so good at, or here is where I need coaching.
Just having that level of introspection is also really important. I think that all those qualities have built our culture to what it is today.
CEOCFO: Why was this the time to go public?
Mr. Kang: I think our competitors are getting acquired, and it is an interesting landscape because we may be partnering with some of the companies to deliver solutions, and other days we might be competing for their business.
I believe it is important to look at what the next stage of growth is. For me, I like the journey making sure we grow and add value and become a global organization. I think about the various options. I could take private equity, I could continue to be privately funded, or I could take more bank loans. The capital market fits the right platform to scale. It also brings another form of currency because I can offer stock options to employees. I can offer an e-stock, and I can use the stock to acquire companies.
When I look at an acquisition like what Facebook did with WhatsApp, what the headline showed was that WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook for 19 billion dollars. When you actually look at the details, four billion was in cash and 15 billion was in stock. That form of currency of using the capital markets for acquisitions, growth, retaining existing staff and acquiring new talent all has become extremely relative to having a competitive advantage to survive in the market and grow.
CEOCFO: You have certainly grown tremendously, and you have been recognized by Inc 5000, CIO and many others. What is the key to managing the growth?
Mr. Kang: I think it is really about finding good people. It goes back to people who are hungry and are never complacent. I think that if people take pride in the work they do then they want to work more, work harder, do more and grow. It takes a certain individual to understand what your own capabilities are or wanting to stretch outside of those boundaries, to be given the freedom to grow and not be afraid of making mistakes.
I personally have never liked to be micromanaged, so I do not micromanage other people. I give them an objective or target and say I trust you and ask them to figure out the best way to get it done. It is okay to make mistakes, but just do not make big ones. I think based on the responsibility and level they are, that level of accountability and potential risk is obviously built in.
A good analogy of that is like a tree. If you have a tree, you have a bunch of branches, you have the roots and all the leaves in between. Maybe when you are new you have access to make decisions where some leaves can fall off, potentially the smaller branches, but as you get more senior, your responsibilities grow and making a bad decision could potentially affect bigger pieces of the tree. As long as the tree does not die, then we are okay. For me, I have full accountability and responsibility to make sure the whole tree is alive, and to no kill the roots. That is how I look at it, so when we hire people we empower them and we enable them to make critical decisions and to grow.
If an individual is just looking to be comfortable, fairly complacent and just doing the same thing day after day, then this is probably not the right place from a corporate culture and structure. In that way, we manage growth by having people who want to grow with the company and who are not afraid of taking risks and want to learn more and have a hunger and fire in the belly where they keep trying to push. I think part of the challenge then becomes infrastructure.
How do we build the right infrastructure? I think that is all about transparency and being honest. Define the areas where we have weakness, and where we are outgrowing even ourselves. It takes constant communication. Being in multiple locations brings about more challenges, so we leverage group chats, video conference calls and email. I think technology obviously plays a big role in our infrastructure and making sure that we communicate as much as possible.
CEOCFO: Why pay attention to Six Dimensions today?
Mr. Kang: The biggest value proposition we are offering is really that we are bridging the gap between the CIO and CMO.
The one space that has not been disrupted is the marketing side of things. You look at HR and there are various HR products out there, whether it is recruiting talent management, payroll benefits and so forth.
From a finance perspective, there are all kinds of software platforms out there as well such as Oracle, SAP, J.D. Edwards, and cloud products like Net Suite.
The one space that has not really been disrupted yet is marketing, so what we offer is the ability to bring together all the various components that tie into marketing. Everyone knows who Coca-Cola and Pepsi are, but how many times does anyone go to their website? There is really no need to go to their website because you know what it is. It is really about ROI and creating better customer experiences that drive revenue and brand awareness.
We provide web analytics, social/search campaign solutions, marketing automation, mobile apps, website design and development, and web content management solutions. We transform organizations into high performing digital enterprises. Our offering ties marketing, IT and sales together, which is also another reason why we are growing. We are extremely relevant, and that is what our customers need.
“I have always been a strong believer of “do what you say and say what you do” and committing to the highest level of service. This is also what our company believes in – making sure our customers are taken care of and satisfied.” - Tejune Kang
6D Global Technologies Inc. (Holding Company)
Six Dimensions (Subsidiary)
17 State Street, Suite 450
New York, NY 10004
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