In its mission statement, Business Communications Inc. makes it very clear what it does.
The Madison County company is all about technology and delivering solutions in a way that will give its customers the freedom to focus on what is important to them.
When other IT firms were focusing on Y2K problems in the late 1990s, BCI founder Tom Bailey made the decision early on to refer those concerns to other businesses instead.
“Frankly, we didn’t want the headaches,” he said, adding that “getting involved with Y2K would take us away from our primary focus and our mission statement.”
Soon after the dot.com bubble burst in 2000, while other firms were reeling financially and others never recovered, BCI reported robust growth. For example, Bailey partnered with Alcatel, a world leader in the high-speed access and optical transport market, established a business applications group and opened an office in New Orleans. Then, BCI acquired IKON’s Mississippi tech services division and expanded further into the Southeast U.S.
“I make it a point to surround myself only with ‘A’ and ‘B’ employees,” said Bailey, who founded the company on a shoestring budget in 1993.
At BCI, each engineer holds at least one certification, some as many as five. One of his first hires for the company was Joel Bomgar, now CEO of Bomgar Corporation, which is a member of the 2009 Fast 40 and a BCI spin-off business.
BCI employs a staff of 150 and has established offices in Little Rock and Birmingham in the past year. Some of the company’s clients include major universities, medical centers, government entities, financial institutions and large and small retailers.
Bailey has invested heavily in capital improvements to stay ahead of the curve, taking note of the trend toward the convergence of voice and data with video well before many others did. He moved into e-business solutions when the Internet had much more untapped potential.
Today, BCI is the largest structured cabling company in the Magnolia State. It provides software, hardware, network products and services, IP and traditional phone systems, security and wireless and storage services.
The company continues to become more integrated, and has been named a Gold Partner with Cisco Systems. In the past three years, BCI has grown approximately 30 percent each year, though the recent slump in the economy has presented some challenges.
“We’ve seen a decrease in the amount of new business sales,” said Bailey. “But we’ve been fortunate enough to not only keep our long standing clients but assist in the growth of many of them.”
Bailey attributes much of the company’s recent growth to the expansion of its offices in Arkansas and Alabama, and its diversity.
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