A Message From Our CEO
Merger Update, COVID Challenges, Looking to the Future
I often get questions from clients about how Iconic IT is doing since the mergers and acquisitions in 2019 and with the challenges of COVID. I thought this was a good time to give an update. As for COVID, we did see sales drop and new business development slow last summer. However, the last 5 months have been going very well with clients growing their businesses again, backburner projects getting started, and new customers looking to switch to Iconic IT. So from a financial perspective, we feel the hardest part is behind us, we are in great shape, and we have set some aggressive growth goals for 2021 and 2022.
As some of you know, our industry is going through a consolidation largely fueled by private equity firms. Many are simply buying as many IT companies as they can across the country with little to no integration between the acquired companies. The founders of Iconic IT chose not to sell to a PE firm, but instead merge and integrate the communities into a single operation with a standardized service delivery process. We felt this created the opportunity for a better client experience and professional growth opportunities for our staff.
This process has been challenging, especially as it relates to our efforts to integrate into a single accounting system and service delivery system. 20 months later the major changes are nearly complete. I am convinced our decision to integrate the companies has allowed us to be better together, rather than just a group of companies. And now we have a platform on which to build and improve to the benefit of all of our customers. We’ve also promoted over 20 employees in the process. (Sorry if your favorite engineer is now in a new role.)
Looking back, one of the hardest changes has been backfilling the owners who took on new roles leading key departments. Each left the day-to-day functions they previously ran for 20 years. New general managers and service managers stepped in, most via promotion, and some were new hires. While our intent was not to change the culture, it has changed. New leaders lead differently. While many employees have excelled, some miss the old days and some have left Iconic IT. Of course this stresses service delivery and requires us to work harder to rebuild relationships internally and with our customers.
Building these new relationships is harder with most employees not coming into the office on a regular basis. I recently had a conversation with Paul Dippel, an IT industry guru, and asked if he had collected any data related to the impact of work from home on employee engagement. He noted that while he does not have hard data, he is being told by many IT company owners that they are having issues related to culture and engagement. And of course, integrating new employees being the biggest challenge. He said people have 5 senses and zoom provides for 2. It should be expected that things feel different. And as I was saying, throw in a new boss and the challenge is even bigger.
This is where I get to take down our “Pardon our Progress” construction road sign and look to the future. The good news is that we have hired some great people over the past year and our team is stronger than ever. This includes technical service delivery people, managers, and executives. Our marketing team has developed web content to help you navigate and utilize new technology and to understand ways to improve security. We’ve reimagined our strategic services and increased the number vCIOs in the company. We are now collecting data to better track, benchmark, and compare service metrics to ensure each community is functioning at optimum level. We’ve built a Central Operations department that is staffed with our best and brightest and develops advanced artificial intelligence tools to protect and maintain your computer systems, research and development of new tools and processes, issue escalation, security incident management, and represents Iconic on advisory committees for over a dozen industry vendors including ConnectWise, Pax8 and now Microsoft.
Looking forward we are in the process of consolidating onto a single phone system to further improve customer service and talent sharing and we also have a few more internal processes to standardize. For our team we are half way through our customer experience training and we are rolling out new management training. We will continue to add great talent, consolidate operations and refine our procedures to align with our brand promise to provide an efficient and personable service.
I want to thank you for your support, patience and encouraging words. Better together!