Fireside Chat with Mike Graziano

Graz HeadshotMike Graziano - DMI Inc.DMI is excited to announce that Mike Graziano recently joined our team as SVP Global Sales & Alliances, Digital Commerce. Graziano or “Graz,” as he’s known industrywide, brings his extensive experience in commerce, alliances, and sales to drive growth for the company. We virtually sat down with Graz for a fireside chat to learn more about him and what he brings to DMI.  

1. Tell me a little bit about yourself and your background. 

It’s been a crazy ride. I went from tanks (USMC Tank Platoon Commander) to technology. After I got out of the Marines, I was a stockbroker for Merrill Lynch in NYC for two years, where I received the best sales training…let’s just say cold calling all over Manhattan helps you develop really thick skin (laughs). 

 

2. How did you get involved with ecommerce?

One of my Merrill Lynch clients was the head of a division at FCB, a global ad agency, and he recruited me to work for him in sales – and promised he’d teach me some marketing along the way. In 1995, while I was at FCB, I was selected to be part of a small group that was tasked with staying on top of this relatively new thing called the Internet. It was fun having companies like AOL, Compuserve, Prodigy, and Netscape come in to present to us about advertising with them. We actually placed some of the very first ads ever on the Web. I moved to digital fulltime in 1997, with a focus on ecommerce. Through the years, I’ve worked for a number of digital agencies and SIs, and led sales efforts that resulted in wins/projects with clients such as lululemon, Restoration Hardware, TOMS Shoes, Cort Furniture, Tillys, Mason Companies, Vitamin Shoppe, Giant Bicycles…and the list goes on. I have been fortunate to have great clients and team members to work with.

 

3. What drives you to do what you do? 

For me, it starts with integrity. I’ve spent my whole career ensuring that I approach everything I do in business with complete integrity, both with my clients and my co-workers. I’m all about identifying pain points that a prospect or client is having and then working with their team and our internal team to create solutions that exactly meet their needs. It is very important to me to grow my clients’ businesses, and as a result, lead their employees and my co-workers to opportunities for advancement. That is big part of why I always hold myself accountable to my clients and co-workers. One of the best things about my job is the phenomenal people I get to meet on the client side and the team members that I get to work with.

 

4. Why did you choose DMI instead of seeking out other opportunities?

Though I know it sounds a bit cliché, if there’s been one constant in ecommerce over the over the past 23 years, it’s change and the pace of change is only accelerating. I believe DMI is uniquely positioned for success when it comes to companies that need to evolve from monolithic ecommerce platforms to a headless API-first approach. I appreciate DMI’s reputation for high-quality delivery and expertise in architecture. Different business units with capabilities around UI/UX Design, online marketing, DevOps, and cloud migrations are also big pluses. Based on DMI’s recent acquisition of DevGurus, to the best of my knowledge, they have worked on more commercetools implementations than any other company in the last four years. Being a commercetools leading partner in the U.S. speaks volumes to DMI’s quality of work. 

 

5. What are some of your goals for success at DMI?

I plan to implement solutions for clients that drive modernization and growth while delivering a fantastic brand experience. Being able to deliver on the technology side is one thing but being able to leverage technology to enhance brand experiences will be critical to growing our clients’ businesses. I look forward to continuously supporting the DMI reputation that we are the premier partner to implement and service commercetools and other MACH Alliance partner technologies in the United States, Latin America, and Europe. I also look forward to having a lot of fun while achieving those goals.

 

6. When considering working with other people or businesses, what factors are deal-breakers for you?

That’s really easy – people who lack integrity, and people who have a “what’s in it for me?” mindset rather than what’s best for a client, our business, or our internal team. I have no problem calling that out when I see it.

 

7. What is the best book you’ve read this year?

The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, by Rick Atkinson. I love books about history. Having grown up in New Jersey and having spent a lot of time in New England, I’ve visited many of the locations in the book. It’s a great reminder of the sacrifices that were made and the hardships endured to create an independent nation where we can enjoy the freedom we have. The detail that Atkinson goes into is incredible.

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