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Consulting Big Names in Tech: An Interview with Todd Orwig, Sr. Director of Ops at The Spur Group

Building an effective, thoughtful, and successful strategy can be tricky… even for leaders at the Fortune 100 level. Sometimes it takes an outsider’s perspective to find momentum in the right direction, which is why consulting groups are popular. The Spur Group has been a leader in consulting for Fortune 100 technology companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Dell. Since 2013, they’ve been assisting clients with their go-to-market efforts from their headquarters in Redmond, Washington.

Recently, we had the opportunity to speak with Todd Orwig, The Spur Group’s Senior Director of Operations. In our interview, we discussed his role, the future of The Spur Group, and advice for those starting their career.

// Hi Todd. Thanks for taking the time for an interview. Can you tell us a little bit about The Spur Group and your role there?  

The Spur Group is a business consulting firm that supports senior leaders at Fortune 100 companies primarily in the technology space. We provide operations, channel management, connected communications and sales transformation consulting for companies such as Microsoft, Cisco, VMWare, Intel and NetApp among others. My role is Senior Director of Operations which principally means I run all of our internal operations along with my internal services teams supporting a team of 100+ consultants in the area of HR, Operations, and Finance.

// Wow! It must be exciting to have so many consultants working with huge tech companies. So, we heard you started with a background in Education before moving onto The Spur Group. Are there any similarities in what you do now with what you did before?

Prior to joining Spur in 2007, I worked for 10 years in college admissions working for 3 different colleges in Spokane, Boston and Tacoma.  My last role before starting at The Spur Group was Director of Admission Communications at University of Puget Sound where I was responsible for managing our all up communication strategy and operations with prospective students and recruiting partners along with managing my own recruiting territory.

The similarities were actually quite evident in that a lot of what I do at Spur was building and managing our recruiting of candidates to work at our firm which leaned on a lot of the same experience I had previously, but just in a slightly different context.  Additionally, I was responsible for developing processes and advising on the right tools to improve our operations and execution with prospective students. I am still accountable to develop logical processes and effective tools to meet the needs of our consulting team.

// We’re sure that the overlap was helpful when first starting with The Spur Group! Now, it’s no secret that we’re seeing an explosion in businesses expanding and starting up in our region. Have you seen a change in the types of challenges businesses come to you with? If so, what are they?

Seattle is certainly experiencing significant growth and we have enjoyed a bump in business in the last few years. It definitely appears like we’ve recovered from the economic downturn from 2008 and 2009. Our clients are looking for help in 3 distinct areas – Managed services contracts where we are asked to help support a large team managed their daily initiatives, data analytics or business intelligence where we build reporting tools and do analytics to drive strategic insights into the business and building out marketing bill of materials to enable sales teams to effectively sell products.

// That makes sense. As Seattle continues to grow, we imagine The Spur Group will, too! Where do you see The Spur Group five years from now?

We expect to be a firm of more than 200 people and will likely have offices in multiple geographies including Seattle, San Jose and possibly Denver. We are currently at 100+ employees and have one office in Seattle. The Spur Group is on target to reach $20M in revenue in 2017. In five years, we expect to reach close to $35M in revenue.

// That’s so exciting! No doubt you’ll be successful. With the experience under your belt, do you have advice for someone just starting their career? What are some tips for success?

My biggest advice for anyone just starting their career is to be willing to do anything to gain experience, insight and small successes. Don’t be motivated by titles. Look for a position that will challenge you and give you an opportunity to demonstrate your value. Sometimes the best position to have in a company is the office manager role where you interact with all parts of the company from payroll, admin, executive support, customer service, etc which are all invaluable experiences to have at the beginning of your career.

// That is fantastic advice. We hope those reading will take it to heart! Finally – last question before we let you go – how do you choose what companies you partner with?

We are definitely opportunistic, but primarily focus on technology companies and specifically working with senior leaders who have big problems and budget to commit to solving those problems.

Special thanks to Todd Orwig for taking the time to chat with us. If you’re interested in learning more about The Spur Group, and how they transform sales, marketing, and channel management for Fortune 100 companies, you can visit their website

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