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ALAN TURNER — The Solutions Team: heads in ‘the cloud’



Mississippi Solutions Team CEO Todd Gooden came to Mississippi in 1994, working for AT&T.  By 1995, he had been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug and started a technology business serving the needs of schools and colleges.

He looks back to a time when most people were skeptical about the Internet, and “some people didn’t want anything to do with email,” he said.

Well, that has certainly changed, and Gooden’s business has gone through significant change as well, including the purchase and sale of ancillary businesses during the years since 1995.

Today, the company has 15 employees and works with clients in 35 states.  The firm now serves clients from a variety of industries, including finance, law, and health care.

“We’ve gone from 700 to over 1,600 clients in just over a year,” he said.  “And we hope to double that number in the next couple of years.”

Among other specialties, the company delivers IT services to doctor’s offices, and focuses on security, support, customer management, disaster recovery, and other essential services.

“We work hard to earn and keep the business,” he said, pointing to the fact that the company can claim a 96 percent customer retention rate.

“We try to help our clients be as efficient as possible,” he said.  “And that’s certainly important these days, especially with all the regulations that are burdensome to health care professionals.”

As he sees it, one of the great challenges to health care providers today is the rapidly escalating cost of doing business.

“I really think we’re going to see some major changes in how health care is delivered in the coming years,” he suggested.  “Certainly, there will be a lot more telehealth services and probably less in-person care.  We’re also going to see the growth of so-called ‘concierge’ health care, in which you pay an annual fee to a doctor in order to be a patient.”

Overall, he thinks that most businesses are “over-regulated” at this point, and said that he sees “some business owners making decisions based on fear of those regulations.  That’s clearly not a good thing for business,.”

“You know, many doctors don’t make as much money as a lot of people think they do.  They do have staggering costs just to be in practice,” he said.

In the technology arena, he sees the cloud as a resource of major importance, not only to health-care providers, but to just about any other type of business.

“This enables a lot higher level of efficiency and protection,” he said.  “When we talk about ‘cloud solutions’, we mean it.”

Asked how he has managed to ramp his sales and client base up so rapidly, Gooden pointed at a “really great sales team that gets us in front of potential clients.”  He also says that the company gets many referrals from existing satisfied clients.

“But you can never rest on your laurels,” he said.  “We all have major competition, whatever our field, so we have to be continually working to earn and keep the respect of our clients.”

What does he suggest for young entrepreneurial-minded people?

“When you start a business, you need to be looking ahead at an exit strategy,” he said.  “Know where you want to get to, and then work hard at getting there.  Always focus on doing what you do well, and above all, surround yourself with people who are good at things you aren’t.”

That last sentence would seem to define exactly what he aims to do for his clients.

A short video featuring Gooden can be seen on our website, msbusiness.com, or on our YouTube channel, mbjournal.

» Contact Mississippi Business Journal publisher Alan Turner at alan.turner@msbusiness.com or (601) 364-1021.


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