I love Tim Hortons. IT Weapons was born in a Tim Hortons on Dixie Road in the Spring of 2000. That coffee shop was our base of operations and the source of our inspiration for the first few months. To this day, my time at Timmies, however fleeting, is always filled with nostalgia. This weekend, Tim Hortons felt like my office again. Here’s my story. Read more…
Years ago, when Jay and I began dreaming up a managed services practice (MSP), we set some goals: we would take on the accountability of our clients for the IT portion of their long and short-term business strategy. It seemed a natural extension from our growing consulting practice; which has always been rooted in delivering the best TCO and ROI-based solutions. We took seriously the idea that our projects had to enable our clients to make bolder and more confident business decisions; growing their own businesses becoming more profitable. Selfishly, this made great sense for the long term success of ITW too. As or clients grow, they would need more services from us! Win-win, right?
As co-founder and CEO, it’s largely my job to develop our business strategy and ensure that our long-term course remains in concert with our vision and our core values. To my mind, a crucial part of a CEO’s job is to look out and look forward. This means that we need to constantly examine how we are perceived in the marketplace. I know we have always been seen as a highly technical group … but I think we’ve had—at least some—challenge ensuring we are also perceived as a team who is equally business-focused when it comes to IT decision making. Good (read: simple) business-minded messaging takes a lot of work … and it goes a long way.
The DC Manager just told me we hit another milestone; 700 Managed Servers. I told him, “thats great – tell me when we hit 1000; thats my goal for 2010”. When he left the room, I sat back and thought about the days when Jay and I used to meet @ Timmy’s planning our monthly schedules. We owned 2 used servers hosted in a closet behind DSL and a SOHO firewall. 9 years later and we have 7 figures in investment at our Data Centres and 20 people maintaining them. Back then, the vision ‘napkin’ (which is currently in our vault) showed the design of an infrastructure that could host 1000 production servers across multiple data centres, with failover capabilities that would ensure minimal downtime. All allowing SMB, and Enterprise clients to leverage our skills and infrastructure on-demand. They could focus on growing their business and then we could grow ours. It was the only way we could do it – truly integrated relationship. Well, from the napkin to raised floor – it’s all there and it’s all working. We have learned a few serious lessons – technical and business – but it is a very impressive, low TCO environment. So…..that napkin – turns out we designed the ITW Cloud. Its very cool – to have followed through on a vision and in the end getting the bonus of a fancy new label which happens to be a Top 3 trend in IT. We just finished a new revision of our website and The Cloud is a key component. Check it out www.itweapons.com or even www.ITWCloud.com