20 things you never knew about IT Resource :: Celebrating 20 yearsandrea
A 209’ yacht, a Falcon jet, and a close call involving a gunpoint arrest… it might sound like the latest action film but it’s really just a day in the life of an IT professional.
Looking back, it’s safe to say the last 20 years have flown by, while at the same time it seems like just yesterday we were laying the ground work to start our new IT firm. 20 years is a hefty milestone and not something we take lightly. We certainly wouldn’t be here without the support from our amazing customers, incredible team members, and our always supportive family members who have put up with our late nights and emergency outings when a customer had an unexpected need pop up.
To celebrate, we’re taking you behind the scenes to learn a little about where we came from and where we’re going. Here are 20 little known facts about IT Resource.
- When Leo was younger, he never imagined he’d have a career in IT. He always wanted to be a doctor, but he ultimately left that career to his son.
- Like Leo, Gary never imagined he’d have a career in IT either. His aspirations were to become a rock star.
- Challenge is what led Leo to want to start his own IT firm. He had seen many friends start companies and thought ‘It can’t be that hard, can it?’…. He had worked for others for over 15 years after college and thought it was time to try.
- For Gary, starting his own IT firm was a natural next step for him to go his own way after several years consulting and managing for other companies. He was ready to take on the challenge for himself.
- Gary & Leo first met at a prior consulting firm in Grandville, where Gary took a chance and hired Leo as he was transitioning to a new career choice. We think that ended up working out quite well.
- Early in 2005, IT Resource had a brief opportunity to purchase another IT firm that is now a competitor. That competitor might have since grown larger, but we stand by the excellent support we provide to our customers.
- Our team consumes approximately 40 cans of Diet Coke each week. In the early days, we could go through cases and cases of Diet Coke and little to no coffee, but these days we are a very healthy organization and consume a lot more water!
- The number of pots a coffee our team consumes each week – approximately 9.
- Our logo – puzzles pieces, or switches? We had always thought of us as putting technology solutions together for our customers sort of like a puzzle. And early on, we hired a marketing firm that took some pictures of our equipment including a network switch. When looking at the switch, the marketing team suggested turning the switch ports into puzzle pieces and coining the phrase “Putting IT All together.”
- General consensus says, the one character trait that is most highly represented at ITR is … integrity. Always do the right thing at the right time for the right reasons and customers will remember you forever. It is our first core value and a word that our customers have used to describe us.
- An unfortunate customer situation that we witnessed involved an employee at a hospital leaning on the shutoff to the backup power supply. They took down the majority of the electrical power to the data center.
- Another customer “oops” took place when the Director of IT at a county government was almost arrested at gunpoint for setting off the silent alarm at a county building while Leo was inside working on IT equipment.
- A highlight project for us was upgrading a satellite communication link on a 209’ Motor Yacht.
- Another really cool project involved installing a computer in a Falcon 900EX jet. No pressure there to get things right.
- We chose our location in Coopersville because of its convenient location between Grand Rapids and the lakeshore. Plus, the building was available and the perfect size for our firm in 2006 when we bought it. We also like the small town feel the city offers.
- What’s ahead for IT Resource? We plan to continue to expand our geographic footprint in our selected vertical markets and continue to hire the best, most well respected and skilled employees we can. We’ll continue to do what we do, just do it better each day.
- The average length of service for our current employees is 7 years with at least 6 employees over 15 years! Our first two employees (besides Leo and Gary) are still with us today.
- We’ve gotten some passport stamps working for customers. Our farthest projects have brought us to Hawaii, England, Denmark, France, the East Coast, West Coast and South Coast of the US, even a stint in Canada.
- We typically have anywhere from 10-12 customer projects at any one time.
- The most common type of project we work on these days is cloud migrations including Azure, Data Center, and Office 365 moves. Security solutions and cloud services are by far the trends of the day. They sure beat 56k and ISDN connectivity solutions from 20 years ago!
So there you have it. 20 years in the books and you can bet we’re ready to take on 20 more. We can’t thank each and every customer, friend, team member, community member, and family member enough for their trust, encouragement, and help along the way. Cheers to you!