It’s not often that you find a local IT services company that has a culture worth writing about. Usually, local IT companies are made up of a bunch of weirdo guys that have no idea how to communicate with people. Trust me, I know. I used to own one of these IT companies, or what is known in the industry as a “managed service provider.”
When I was in college, I started one of these IT companies and it grew quickly. I subsequently sold that company in order to focus on my true passion in business, namely Internet marketing. My real life experience and knowledge of the IT industry places me in a unique position to write about the culture of an IT company.
The culture of an IT company will tell you loads about the sort of work that you’re going to receive from that company. Most IT companies don’t invite you to take a look at their offices because they’re normally not proud of what you’ll find when you show up. You might find a dark and dingy office with one or two sloppy guys masquerading as 20 guys. You might find wires everywhere, spare computer parts stacked in the corners, and a stack of unanswered service tickets in their ticketing software.
So when centrexIT, a local Southern California Managed Service Provider, invited us to come and check out their office… I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.
We drove down to their headquarters in San Diego and was met by one of their account managers. We were thirty minutes late because of some traffic, but when we got there, we were greeted by only smiling faces. No socially awkward IT guys to be found.
We were taken into the building and brought to the front counter where to our amazement was a picture of our faces on a digital screen welcoming us to their office. It’s a small thing, but when you’re signing in, grabbing your security clearance, and you have a picture of you and your company on a screen at the front desk, you can’t help but be impressed by the attention to detail. You could tell that great care and thought was put into our visit. Throughout my life, I’ve always observed that it’s the little things that determine success or failure. It’s the day in and day out consistent and thoughtful people that I want to be around and trust my business with.
I was immediately taken to meet the two owners of the company, CEO Dylan Natter and President Eric Rockwell. You can immediately tell that these are two very intelligent, involved, and hands-on kind of executives. Each with different skill-sets. Each committed to their clients and their employees. Eric was with his service managers doing some training. Dylan was in a back ops room doing some training with some technicians. Dylan and Eric were both in suits displaying their commitment to excellence and cleanliness.
As we walked through the office we were able to meet almost every single one of the staff. Each of them nicely groomed, well-spoken, and articulate. I felt like I was walking through the “Chick-fil-a” of IT companies. Every hand I shook, every person I talked to, and every room I walked into impressed me. It was a testament to the leadership that is taking place within this business to have such a top-notch and consistent vibe. All of this is backed up by a whopping 92% employee retention rate and best in San Diego workplace awards. What does all of that mean? It means people love to work at centrex… and when employees love where they work, they end up doing their best for the clients they are working with.
As our time went on at centrexIT, we learned that they are working with some of the most successful companies in San Diego, Riverside, and Orange County. Interestingly enough, they were even working with a mutual client of ours in Riverside. A thirteen location medical group who was suffering from a lack of expertise and responsiveness from their existing IT support provider. I learned from this client themselves that centrexIT literally came in, fixed all of their expensive and stressful IT problems, and turned their IT infrastructure into a blessing instead of a curse.
We finished the visit at centrexIT off with a catered lunch as they invited us into their weekly company-wide training. This training took place in a state-of-the-art facility that… get this… they open up to any of their clients to use for parties, lunch and learn’s, training, sales meetings, and anything else their clients might want to use it for. From one thing to the next, I kept being impressed. It was the kind of experience that made me want to share it with others, write it down, and replicate it in my own company and culture. Fifteen years of business has truly shaped centrexIT into one of the best IT support companies and managed service providers in Southern California. I have no doubt of that. I’ve been around this industry for a long time. I have researched and competed against other managed service providers for many years and have never seen one that had their ducks in a row like centrexIT did.
Just ask them for a tour… and you’ll see what I mean.