Making technology work
Webber plays key role in company’s success
It seems new technology to help businesses succeed hit the market every day. And, BCI Inc. has found success in helping its clients integrate all those bells and whistles. Blake Webber is director of sales at BCI, and recently sat down with the Mississippi Business Journal’s Nash Nunnery to explain what BCI is all about, the keys to its growth as well as trends and issues.
Q — What exactly is a network systems integrator and what role does it play in our daily lives?
A — A network systems integrator is a firm that specializes in using technology to solve business problems. We integrate technology into each customer unique business to automate, enhance or repair business processes. Our goal is use technology to help our customers grow their business while lowering their cost of IT.
Q — BCI was recognized nationally by Fortune 5000 and VAR500 as a top technology integrator. What makes BCI stand out?
A — It’s our commitment to relationships and growth. Relationships and belief in “win/win/win” proposition is core to BCI. In every relationship we enter or maintain, we want to make sure it is a win for everyone involved. For customers, we want to make sure the solutions we provided are solving a problem and bringing value to their business. With partners, it is critical that BCI sell, service and support their equipment and solutions to ensure customer satisfaction. Corporately, BCI is committed to investing in employees with training and personal development so they are valuable not only to BCI but their communities. Also, BCI collaborates with partners from around the country exchanging ideas about best practices with the goal of growing employees and the processes with which they work to ultimately improve the customer experience. Investing in relationships is the key, national recognition is the fruit of hard work, dedication, innovation, and determination of everyone who works for BCI.
Q — How has the information technology industry changed in the last 5-10 years?
A — We are in an industry that totally reinvents itself every 6-8 months. The speed at which technology presents itself has increased exponentially and has no signs of slowing down. The last five years of technology has changed the way people work and communicate. From web-based technologies, to social networking and web 2.0 applications, to hand held communications devices like the I-Phone, technology is truly transforming how business is communicated.
Q — What effects have the financial crisis of the past few months had on BCI and the information technology industry in general?
A — The past few months have been tough on the technology industry as a whole. But with challenges come opportunity. New green initiatives and virtualization technologies are leading the way for designing and building the next generation of Data Centers to support companies moving forward. BCI is well positioned and focused on growth and market share gain in 2010. In the down economy, we have made investments in talent, both sales and technical, facilities, and industry certifications.
Q — Does the current economic environment force change in the way you market the company and its services? If so, how?
A — Due to the economic pressures in the market today, customers were pressed for time more than ever. Their training and travel budgets were slashed. This is where BCI went on the offensive. In 2009, BCI more than doubled our marketing budget from 2008. A large percentage of this investment was in customer facing events. In these events, we decided to bring the training and industry experts to our customers. BCI’s commitment to the customer has never wavered. Also, BCI has invested in brand recognition thru traditional marketing, facilities and people throughout our 5 state footprint.
Q — BCI was named as one of the Journal’s “Best Places to Work” in 2009. What about the company makes that designation true?
A — It’s the employees. We share life together. We’re a big family. To watch the BCI team rally around each other during the loss of a family member or celebrate after completing a project, makes me proud to work at BCI. We receive several industry recognitions each year, but Tony Bailey, CEO, says “Best Places to Work” is his favorite. Why? Because it’s voted on by the employees.
Q — What do you think will be the most significant technology/product of 2010?
A — Products surrounding virtualization and collaboration will have a huge impact in 2010. Companies are looking at projects that can help them optimize business operations, cut costs, and get a quick return on investment. The bi-products of these investments are agility and flexibility. Virtualization is allowing IT professionals to deliver systems in days instead of weeks and Executives adapt their business to meet customer demand in weeks instead of months. Collaboration platforms are allowing companies to create an environment to communicate with internal and external customers that equals a face to face meeting. The result is quicker response to the customer at a lower overall cost. Companies deploying these technologies are realizing 25 percent to 75 percent reduction in travel costs without impacting customer experience. These are business impacting technologies that allow companies to do more with less and directly impact the bottom line.
Q — In regards to your business/job, what is your New Year’s resolution?
A — Continue invest my time and energy in the areas of our business where I can have maximum impact. There will be opportunities for companies that work hard and smart in 2010. Focusing on those areas for our business is my primary focus.
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