While many companies are still trying to recover from the Great Recession, Juvo Technologies of Hattiesburg is enjoying its best year in its history. In addition to a name change, the telecommunications company has just opened its first office outside of Mississippi and has relocated to a larger corporate headquarters in a historic building in downtown Hattiesburg.
According to John Schroder, Juvo’s president and CEO and brother of company founder Bryan Schroder, all of the recent growth has been client-led.
“It’s just been paying attention to what our customers are asking us to do,” John Schroder said. “We have just leveraged relations we have built and fostered over the years.
The roots of the company begin with Bryan. Like his brother, Bryan grew up in Hattiesburg and was an award-winning financial planner before coming to TalkSouth Inc., which offered carrier sales and services.
In response to customer needs, TalkSouth evolved over time into a telecommunications management firm, developing a proprietary software system and offering consolidated billing, inventory management, custom reporting and online support.
“We had customers coming to us asking, ‘Can you help us with this bill,’” said John, who is a former Marine Corps infantry officer and held a variety of positions with various industries before joining his brother at Juvo about five years ago. “Many of our customers have multiple locations, and they wanted to find help to manage their telecommunication needs without having to look up a 1-800 number.”
After a former partner left TalkSouth, the name was changed to Cynergy Services, LLC, and the firm continued to grow steadily from its office on U.S. Highway 98 in Hattiesburg. (Late last year, company leaders struck on the name Juvo, a Latin word meaning “help” or “support.”)
The company’s services line-up includes wireline and wireless management, IT consulting, site surveys and structured cabling as well as rural health care broadband programs.
Most of Juvo’s recent growth has come via its rural health care broadband program. Available through the FCC’s Universal Service Fund, Juvo utilizes tier 1 providers from AT&T and Verizon to Cybera and RealLinx, Juvo helps clients optimize Universal Service Administrative Company funding.
With all of that growth came new employees, and Juvo came to realize last year that they had to find more room for its approximately 30 employees.
“Some of our folks were practically sharing a desk,” John said with a laugh.
The company looked at various locales, including a site in mid-city Hattiesburg, but decided on downtown. John said the company wanted to be a part of the recent resurgence of downtown Hattiesburg, and that the new site, in addition to providing nearly double the space of its former headquarters, offered a facility that would aid in recruiting young talent and give current workers a better working environment.
Juvo’s COO Chris Morse said the new building has generated some genuine buzz amongst current employees. “We have a young workforce, many just a few years out of college, and the idea of living, working, and playing downtown is pretty attractive to them.”
The company’s emphasis on its people paid off during the move. The “new” facility at 518 Main Street is a little over 100 years old and required extensive adaptation — mainly in the form of cabling, which was executed by Juvo workers. Working at a fevered pace, the Juvo team managed to shut down the servers at the old locale on Highway 98 on a Friday evening and have everything up and running the following Monday.
While Juvo was working on the move downtown, it also opened a satellite office in Covington, La. Though Juvo has agents and consultants working remotely across the country, the Covington location represented its first physical site outside of Mississippi.
Both the main and satellite offices stay busy. Today, Juvo counts customers that have operations in all 50 states as well as Mexico, Canada and Europe.
While all of this growth has been impressive, Juvo leaders are not resting on laurels, nor are they satisfied.
“We’re just getting started,” John said.
For more on Juvo Technologies, visit www.juvotec.com.