With almost three decades of experience in the SAP industry, Christopher Carter started Approyo with the goal of making it easy for customers to embrace SAP HANA and other SAP solutions. When Chris started Approyo, he was looking for an identity, something a little different from the average technology company. Chris saw Alice in Wonderland sitting on his bookshelf and a light bulb went off in his head. “The leap you have to take from being an entrepreneur and the leap it takes to get customers to the new world of Big Data and SAP, it just fell into that world of Alice in Wonderland for me.” he says. This is his story!
An unexpected beginning
One of the things that Chris loved while growing up was playing with and working on computers in high school. He later went off to college at The Georgia Institute of Technology with an apple 2E and a Commodore vic-20 in his pocket, leading him into computer programming. This resulted in his love for computer technology, which has continued today, playing with new tools as soon as they drop. Chris played many sports throughout high school, but ultimately had the dream of becoming a professional baseball player. Unfortunately, he had to have a knee surgery one season and he had lot of time before he could get back on his feet. The silver lining of this moment was that this gave him time to learn how to create codes, his first being making birds fly across his screen. A foundational stone – to what would later result in him running a successful technology company – was laid right then in that exact moment.
A true calling driving him home
Long before Approyo, Chris started off working for a California-based startup, where he had the responsibility of running the sales and marketing out of their New York office. He then went on to hold multiple executive positions throughout the SAP ecosystem and eventually opened his own business, which he eventually sold. Chris had been in retirement for a couple of years after selling his old company, when one day he and a friend had a conversation over a bottle of scotch about SAP HANA and the opportunities that were there. After that day, he was convinced to dive back in, and flew out to Germany to begin working and learning SAP HANA. Later, his next phase came to light, when he founded Approyo to provide full SAP technology services. Today, Approyo specializes in extensive capabilities in consulting, solutions architecture, hosting and managed services, in order to develop the right solution for customers around the globe.
The best of the best, when it comes to SAP
Today, Approyo manages over 300 SAP cloud landscapes and has evolved into a leading global SAP cloud-centric solution provider. The company headquarters are located in Wisconsin, and it maintains data centers in Columbus, OH, Atlanta, GA, Palo-Alto, CA, as well as a Latin American HQ in Sao Palo, Brazil and a European base in Brussels, Belgium. The company provides its capabilities to companies, managing clients’ software and hardware for them in what is called a Platform as a Service (PaaS). “We will support, manage, implement, host, providing guidance and suggestions and taking on those responsibilities for any customer. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 20 billion revenue company such as we have with a global hotel chain, or down to a five million dollar revenue company that provides software solutions to two companies. I feel we’re the best in the ecosystem and our team is the best qualified to support organizations. I also feel that we can learn from our competition as I’m sure they’re learning from us of who we are, what we do, and why we do things bigger and better for our customers,” Chris affirms.
Limitless strengths & extraordinary capabilities
Chris believes the growth of Approyo has come from a number of facets. As SAP is going through an upgrade cycle right now, Approyo is showcasing its strengths & capabilities and provide those to organizations and individuals around the globe. “So, if you look at our statistics you will know that we started out at zero and that we have near 10 million in revenue per year worldwide. It really goes to focus on the fact that we can generate support and help with capabilities for customers,” Chris explains. His overall vision is for the company is to hire additional strong capable staff to help his customers and of course to grow the customer base even further. “Because we are global entity, we feel that with our expertise, education, training capabilities and with the word of mouth from our clients, we will be double in size over the next few years. Each year, more and more strengths and capabilities are being added to the point where we can acquire one of our competitors and bring them into the fold.” he further adds.
A home, the North Star, and his travels
Chris describes himself as relentless. The rapid growth of his company, watching his staff grow from interns to Jr. basis administrators to senior basis administrators and so on inspires him every day. Chris loves being the CEO and giving the vision and direction of the organization from both an employee standpoint as well as the customers’. He loves meeting the customers on a regular basis every quarter because he feels it’s important for him to talk about their shared vision. He wants them to see that the Approyo team is here for them, to help them and to support and reach their goals. However, it comes with a price – a lot of travelling. Chris travels quite a bit to meet with customers, to see his staff at the multiple data centers across the U.S. as well as internationally. “At times, I’m fortunate enough that I can bring family members with others. If I’m overseas, I do a lot of speaking events on technology and SAP and I can be gone for one to ten days at a time. But at the end of the day, I always know where my North Star is – my wife. She is my rock; she takes care of everything back here in our home headquarters in Wisconsin and gives us the support we need to be successful as a family,” he adds.
While concluding the interview with the future roadmap of the company, Chris says, “The future of Approyo is so bright I have to wear shades. But, honestly it is very bright. We have some incredible staff. We are continuously hiring some of the best and brightest individuals around the globe who help to make sure our customers are truly taken care of in a manner that they deserve. We are always looking to spread our wings a little bit wider and currently it may be more focused on expanding our database. We have started working with both Microsoft and AWS and we’ve begun conversations with Google Cloud platform on their cloud space solutions for SAP. So, we continuously look to see what is out there that we can help customers around the globe with their sap environments. We never want to be left behind and we never want our customers to be left behind. So, we will continue to support and grow this ecosystem to help our customers grow forward.”