Last week Brandon Price had the pleasure of speaking with me on his podcast, Beyond the Box. Brandon and I discussed how I came to work for integrateIT, the thought process I had behind joining the company, as well as the steps that Geoff and I took to turn our fledgling company into a real business. You can listen to the podcast at the following link: https://apple.co/2ZvhU0u
Category Archives: Geoff Keller
The Evolution of integrateIT
Three short months into 2018, I have already failed in my 2018 resolution of blogging with any sort of regularity. Based on the current climate of the nation, pretty much anything you put into print will draw the irrational ire of at least 50 percent of the public. Since 100 percent of my material is based on humor, sarcasm, and irony, it’s been tough for me to delve into most of my potential blogging topics. For this blog, I thought it would be interesting to introduce Doug DeWan, a new member of integrateIT’s corporate hierarchy, in the form of a running email conversation.
Doug came to integrateIT in 2016, having worked previously at Oracle for approximately 9 years. While integrateIT’s niche is in project and portfolio management, Doug brings a breath of experience in technical solutions, specializing in systems engineering, cloud computing, and database administration. Doug is charged with building up the technical side of our businesses, expanding the company into a full IT solutions company. He is also responsible for writing a corporate blog on a quarterly basis, for no other reason than it keeps Geoff and I from having to write so many.
In the words of a certain 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, and my new best friend since we met February (and I can’t get through a blog without at least one reference), I won’t bore us, I’ll get to the chorus.
David: Doug, coming from a huge technical firm, what interested you in taking the leap of faith to join integrateIT?
Doug: Thanks for the introduction. Since you asked, you’ll get my normal no bullshit this is how it is answer. First off, I’ve never really intended to be part of a massive IT conglomerate that routinely draws the ire of all of the free world’s business and technical community. I’ve also worked at Raytheon for a number of years as well. So how did I come to work for these large corporations? Largely this has been through acquisitions. Almost every job I’ve had as a professional has started with a small company. I’ve been fortunate enough to find companies that have innovative products and services that make them attractive acquisition targets. Unfortunately, I never find them early enough to cash in and retire once the purchase goes through (much to my wife’s chagrin).
So what is it about small companies that I like. I can give you the cliched answers of big fish in a little pond, and to some extent there is a lot to that comparison, but it’s so much more than that. The biggest thing about smaller companies is the many hats you can wear, if you are so inclined. For example, in a services company such as integrateIT I have responsibility for client delivery. I also get tapped on a regular basis for proposal activities. Then there is my normal passion of technology and infrastructure and helping out there as much as possible with ever increasing responsibilities. Basically, no matter what you’re hired to do, at IntegrateIT your job is what you want it to be, all you have to do is work for it.
While all of the above is certainly true at integrateIT, the thing that often get glossed over in the day to day activities, is the dedication of the core integrateIT team to meeting customer expectations, delivering the best possible service and customer experience, and the ability to quickly do what’s right to help the customer. It’s something that often gets lost in the large corporations never ending push for quarterly revenue. The value of, and to, the customer is almost always THE core value of any small business, and is certainly true at integrateIT.
Finally, what I didn’t appreciate at the time but have come to admire and really be proud of, is the dedication to community and charitable endeavors that our owner and founders, David and Geoff, display every day. From forming relationships with charitable organizations (Yellow Ribbons United, CureNFwithJack, Jason Beach Foundation, etc), to their generosity in the Employee Charitable Contribution program, and a number of other employee charity opportunities that don’t get the promotion they should, integrateIT is a responsible and valuable member of the community.
So in short, it wasn’t so much a leap of faith, as a confident step into a responsible corporate organization, that has the same values I believe in, and provides the professional challenges I was, and am still, looking for. I look forward to being with IntegrateIT for a long time.
David: Thank you Douglas, the check is in the mail. I’ll overlook the fact that you didn’t mention that I personally inspire you daily to be a better human being.
What you didn’t answer though, is why someone with your technical background chose to work for a company with a niche that is different from your own expertise. Cards on the table, integrateIT has always had difficulty recruiting software developers, engineers, etc. Maybe that is because my own technical expertise lies within opening the Reddit app or calling my wife to figure out how to turn off the four wheel drive in my car. Do tell.
Doug: Perhaps if you want the answer to specific questions, you should learn to ask the correct questions. Just like a typical customer, be REALLY vague on the requirements, then bitch at the person tasked to perform the impossible, reading your mind. Since we have some clarity into what you really are hoping to get an answer to, let me give it a shot. IntegrateIT now has the breadth of projects and experience to capture technically interesting projects. Additionally, the customers stated and actual embrace of 21st century technology (Commercial Cloud Services (C2S) and GovCloud) provide the languishing government integrator technical enthusiast an opportunity to branch out into the almost parity commercial world of technology. We have a stable group of technology oriented projects, as well as the experience to aggressively capture new projects. Our customers are no longer satisfied with maintaining existing programs, but they want innovative cost effective solutions to hard business and technical problems. With the experience integrateIT has in C2S, as well as various development contracts, we can offer technically interesting opportunities using almost any technology available. IntegrateIT is now focused on rounding out our capabilities, recognizing that we can be much better customer advocates if we can understand not only the process, but the technical solutions to their problems. IntegrateIT is driving down the stack to make sure that processes and technology are joined together to provide a single point of responsibility toward delivery and achievement of customer goals.
David: I can absolutely say, without a shadow of a doubt, I understood about 43 percent of what you just said. And I am good with that. In all seriousness, I think this does show the evolution of our company, and perhaps most importantly, our desire to offer opportunity and possibilities to someone that wants to grab it. You are the perfect test case for this. I would love to revisit this conversation next year, to see where were where are at 12 months from now. I enjoyed this. Until next time.
Doug: You are my hero. I am blessed to be surrounded by your greatness on a daily basis.
(David might have edited the previous comment from its original form due to space limitations).