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Wrapping up 2016 and our plans moving into 2017

2016 was another year of double-digit growth at SpireTech!  I’d like to thank our employees and clients for making it possible.

Here are some highlights of our major accomplishments in 2016:

  • Our “VIP support” and Managed services business grew 48% last year, mostly by word of mouth and your referrals! We do very little advertising, so your referrals are much appreciated – thank you!
  • We formalized business processes around our vCIO (Virtual Chief Information Officer) services to manage growth in this area.
  • We grew our cloud services, such as CTERA servers and Virtual private server hosting, 50% last year.
  • Our Office 365 CSP services grew more than everything else in terms of percentages.  (I’m still kicking myself for not buying MSFT stock last year).  It’s still a low-margin business though, so we’re offering this in conjunction with other services.
  • We added some key staff on the business side, as well as additional skilled technicians.
  • We exited the DSL internet business, ceding the win to the big telcos and cable co’s.  We can’t compete without lines in the street.
  • We acquired the web hosting clients of another local company.
  • We continued to invest into our people, processes, and technology in order to provide our clients with the highest levels of service and competitiveness possible.

Regarding Office 365:  Last year, I wrote a similar article and made some predictions regarding growth in Office 365 use.  Use of O365 has been growing wildly among our clients, but it should be noted that not everyone chooses to go with the subscription model for licensing software.  We’ve still seen a few clients make some large investments in traditional license models, both with on-premises exchange servers and Office software.  In the end, it generally boils down to a simple ROI calculation:  upfront purchase price divided by Office 365 cost per month, usually ignoring other factors like server or management costs.  For basic office alone, this ROI calculation is currently around 30 months. We present both options, and the client chooses depending on how frequently they like to upgrade.

Our plans for 2017

We’re in a building phase, building the foundations to support continued business growth while making sure we continue to provide the best IT support and cloud services available in the Portland area at a competitive price.  Here’s what’s on our list for 2017:

  • We’ll be announcing a new website soon, featuring the latest full-screen responsive behavior across desktop and mobile.  It’ll feature new messaging and branding related to our increased focus on managed services, hosting, and cloud.
  • We’re continuing to look for ways to maintain our competitive edge.  That means reinvesting into the company, our people, and refining our processes.
  • We’re always on the lookout for new technology, and evaluating software that seems promising.  Very little makes the cut, but when it does – it usually makes a large impact.
  • We’re attending the Microsoft partner conference in Washington DC this year, to make sure we’re up to speed on new developments that may impact you, and help make informed decisions around the direction of Microsoft technologies, including cloud.
  • We’ll be having a lot more vCIO meetings, which means we’ll be seeing a lot more of you in person regularly and helping you make strategic choices around the use of technology in your businesses.
  • We will continue working to become more agnostic about where servers we manage are located, embracing Azure and Amazon services in addition to our own Portland-based colocation facility.
  • We’ll be upgrading our billing system.
  • We’re continuing to add storage and compute capacity to our cloud.

We look forward to the challenges you’ll bring us this year, and providing the best IT services available in the Portland metro area!  Thank you for your continued support!