We just spent a weekend away at a retreat and had a great time talking about what makes us an IT services leader as both and IT and as a service company. It is an important question for any business to ask. Our industry is growing and changing quickly, and like any technology company we have to evolve just as fast. But as we left the retreat, I felt stronger than ever that the nine of us are a very special group, with a very special mission.
Our clients tell us we’re great, our team feels something about the energy in the room, and we increased business by 110% in 2015. But aside from what we feel, what is it about us that is objectively different and unique? What is it that should make any prospective customer compelled to work with us above any other? What are the reasons Upward is the emerging IT Services leader in Portland?
We are innovators.
It is in our DNA, our values, our conversations at the water cooler, we believe that creativity is a primary principle for our customers, our business and ourselves. There is a popular notion that IT is a very two dimensional occupation, written in 1’s and 0’s. In fact, most any IT problem has at least 3 or four ways it can be solved. Furthermore, managing the ebbs and flows of ticket workload, client projects, internal initiatives and emergencies is an enormously complex logistical undertaking.
An example of our ingenuity lies in this intractable problem. Most companies in our industry use one of three or four industry software programs (Connectwise, AutoTask and Solar Winds to be specific) to manage the operations and logistics of this business. After looking at those solutions, we decided that to be the business we really wanted to be, adhering to our values and high expectations for customer service, we needed to create our own system. Most of our peers think we are crazy for this, but the software we developed is elegant, effective and completely flexible to how Upward wants to run our business.
Why has Uber knocked the taxi cab industry on it’s rear end? Because the old guard all used the exact same model and similar toolsets. Upward is different.
We systematize better.
Take the easiest third of your job and systematize it. That was the advice from our management consultant and long-time customer, Jim Grew (http://www.grewco.biz/). In fact, we work furiously at systematizing just about everything. What this means to our customers is better information earlier, smoother project implementations, more dynamic feedback. When you aren’t reinventing the wheel every time you do a project or task, you create all sorts of space in your day to add more value. This is a fundamental principle of our business, and one that we talk about relentlessly.
Our culture is second to none.
Most people don’t hire their IT Services company so they can go have beers with them. But if you are planning on having a 4, 5, 6+ year relationship with anyone you ought to really agree with who they are philosophically and personally. Our customers, vendors and community love us because we hire good people with integrity and courage. We invest back in our community, donating our time and energy to non-profits and causes all over the city. We are investing in becoming the first B-Corp in our industry and constantly, constantly talk about how to make our customer experience better.
Our team likes coming to work and it shows. We take our passion and dedication for helping people and instill it into everything we do. There are more than 3 reasons why Upward Technology is the emerging IT Services leader in Portland, and we invite anyone who is interested to reach out to us to learn if we might be the right fit to help your business.