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February 4, 2019 Issue



Q&A with Robert Wise, Owner and CEO of ITinspired providing Security, Data, Cloud and Voice Services to Non-Profits, Associations, Education, Insurance, State and Local Governments and Engineering Firms in the Gulf South Region from Texas to South Carolina



Robert Wise

Owner and Chief Executive Officer





Robert Wise



Interview conducted by:

Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – February 4, 2019


CEOCFO: Mr. Wise, the first thing I see on the ITinspired site is “A different kind of IT company.” How so?

Mr. Wise: The main reason why we are different is that many IT companies or technology firms focus solely on the technology. We focus on people first and problems second, knowing that the profit will come mentality. Technology is something that we use as a tool to empower and positively impact businesses in growing or operating more efficiently. Through our unique corporate culture and innovative solutions, we are bridging the gap between people and technology. The combination of our technical knowledge and big personality promises to deliver our clients an unforgettable IT experience!


CEOCFO: Do you see customer’s expectations changing or are they surprised when they find ITinspired that does have a different way?

Mr. Wise: Absolutely! To your point, expectations are always changing. Because we are different, not only do they prefer our type of service and the way that we handle business, but they are excited and energized by what we have to offer. Our people are knowledgeable, we are approachable and we make it a fun experience. Of course, people want good prices; they want a bundle of services and something that they can budget on, something that they can expect. However, what they do not expect, that they get and then they love, is our depth of technical knowledge and personal approach to customer service. To summarize it best, people do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.


CEOCFO: Would you give us a couple of examples of how that translates day to day in your interaction, in the beginning when you are first talking with a customer and then over time?

Mr. Wise: We start it off right when we first meet with the client and sit down in their office to get their pain points and business needs hammered out. We are friendly, genuine, approachable, fun and we bring that to the table every time. So that first interaction that sets the stage of what they can expect when they do business with ITinspired. How that trickles down through our support experiences or providing service to clients is that everyone is really energetic, responsive to communicating, hungry to help out and solve issues, and we earn their trust and repeat business. We are personal in our approach and over time you will see that we are reliable and deliver a Raving Fan experience!


CEOCFO: How do you help a company understand what they need? 

Mr. Wise: That is the most critical part of our consulting business! Honestly, we have to exercise active listening and constructive thinking throughout every interaction that we have with a client. That is because many times they do not know what they need or have a good idea of what they are trying to say, but it is really asking question after question and diving deeper each time to understand what they are trying to communicate. We have the benefit of knowing the technology side, but not everyone can speak that language. Unearthing what they really want is like hearing to the song and listening the lyrics at the same time. That can be a difficult task to achieve but after both sides have common ground all that is left is explaining how our solution can achieve their goals, which is the easy part.


CEOCFO: Would you tell us about the range of services you provide at ITinspired?

Mr. Wise: We provided many services to start out with when we were an emerging company. However, we have recently focused them into data, cloud and voice. Data would consist of your analytics, security, networking and storage. Cloud seems to be an easier one for people to grasp nowadays, because we are talking about managed services, cloud servers, hosted email, and backup. Voice solutions consist of unified communications, on premise or hosted phone systems, enterprise messaging, and provide telecom solutions and consulting. Additionally, we have some one-off services where we provide cabling and wire installation, video surveillance, and provide staff augmentation to larger clients.


CEOCFO: What goes in to deciding what is right for a given company, for example in the level of security?

Mr. Wise: A lot of discussion and planning! The three owners at ITinspired are all engaged and we all take time to get to understand each client and their technology needs. For security, we plan out and customize the security solution to build off a stable, reliable and secure infrastructure. Desktops, servers, mobile devices, networking equipment, and security practices must operate at their highest and best use of available resources. We use a security in layers approach where multiple controls are in place to protect the business on multiple levels. No matter how many devices or defenses against threats you may have, there will always be a constant emphasis against protecting yourself from new security vulnerabilities. The absolute best defense is enhancing your user education and security awareness throughout your company.


CEOCFO: Do you find as you engage so well with your customers right from the start if you recommend something they do not look at it as a pushy sales pitch?

Mr. Wise: Yes! I think that it starts with showing that you are genuine and that you are a source of information that can be relied upon; because we set the stage at the initial meeting and the follow up meetings by gaining their trust. They know we are not the pushy sales people just trying to make a profit. That is actually something that we try not to be. We actively try not to be a pushy used car salesman trying to meet quota. We want our technical knowledge to come through first. We are not trying to push any certain vendor or product or service. We do have our recommendations and we will customize a solution just for their business, but it is what is best for the customer and their environment that gets sold. Your typical sales person would not last here or do well in our company just pushing sales quotas. We want our technical experience and our knowledge to shine through organically and just do business the right way, the old fashioned way. 


CEOCFO: Did you recognize that day one or did you realize over time that this was the best approach, from your side as well as from the customer’s side?  

Mr. Wise: Yes, from day one! We are customers, too! We rely on our vendors and our partners to give us the right solution that fits our company and solves our problems. We do not want to be pushed in one direction or another, we want what works for us. We like to do business the old fashioned way by being truthful, open and honest, and with integrity; after that the problem usually solves itself and we are happy with our decision. It was easy for us to recognize that from the beginning because that is how we prefer to do business and that is the way we like to be treated. Most people have heard of the Golden Rule, treat others the way you want to be treated. We operate under the Platinum Rule, where you treat others the way they would want to be treated, so that is how we engage with our customers.  


CEOCFO: Do you think that being from Louisiana makes the difference?

Mr. Wise:  That is a good question and yes, I do think so. I think if you have good core values, you know how to deal with people, and you’re positive in nature then that sort of comes naturally. I do think we put the southern spice on it, we kick it up a notch, as Emeril would say. Being in the south gives us an advantage to bring some Lagniappe (a little something extra) along with the experience. They call it southern hospitality for a reason y’all!


CEOCFO: What types of companies do you typically work with? What is the geographic range?

Mr. Wise: We have customers that range from Texas to South Carolina. We do have a focus in the Gulf South Region but we can service customers nationwide with no boundaries or limitations. Our customers are primarily in Louisiana and Mississippi. The types of customers that we work for range from non-profits, associations, education, insurance, state and local governments and engineering firms. We have seen a rise in engineering firms needing our technical assistance due to their industry adopting more and more technology over the years.


CEOCFO: What are some of the more intense challenges because you are in an area that has a lot of weather events? How do you address that and maybe do things different than you would you were somewhere else?

Mr. Wise: I think that every region has its weather issues and problems. In Louisiana we can experience all four seasons in a matter of a week! We have definitely had some recent exposure and experience to natural disasters in flooding, hurricanes and even some tornadoes that can just do an immense amount of damage. We had a lot of customers and employees impacted by the 2016 Louisiana floods. People lost their lives, houses, businesses and belongings in the catastrophic rainfall and subsequent flooding. The aftermath lasted many months for most and some are still affected by the tragedy by being displaced from returning to their homes and businesses. That experience had us change things about our business and some of the services we provide today. We focus more on backup, redundancy, and cloud solutions now, than we ever have. One of our jobs is to build a more robust business infrastructure and provide disaster recovery and business continuity services and solutions. Not everyone wants to pay for that up front, but the people that have been through some of these challenging experiences do not really think twice, because they know in the long run their business and livelihood will be protected and preserved with little to no interruption.


CEOCFO: How do you help with security, particularly the basics, such as not to click on something unknown? That is so tempting all the time!

Mr. Wise: By far, what we get asked about the most is security. It is the forefront of everyone’s thought process nowadays and you should definitely be concerned about it. Your users are typically the most vulnerable part of your business and they can do the most damage if not careful. Antivirus, email spam filters, and next-generation firewalls are pretty effective at removing most threats but they are not foolproof and require constant maintenance and monitoring.  It all comes back to user education with an emphasis on security and awareness training to strengthen your internal best practices and behaviors. Question the legitimacy of every website, link, or attachment that you come into contact with. Don’t be too quick to click! Take your time, find out the source of the information or destination of the URL to make sure you don’t fall for phishing or virus attacks. Guard your personal and professional information and data by vetting the people or programs asking for your credentials. Foster a culture where people feel comfortable and open to reporting suspicious emails, attachments, programs or web links without feeling dumb or incompetent with technology. Take the pressure off by utilizing the buddy system to put another pair of eyes on things that seem fishy. Secure your passwords with a password management tool or app, keep current backups of your data, and always reach out to your IT team if something appears to be a threat.  


CEOCFO: We know that business is good as ITinspired was recognized on the Inc 5000 List. What is ahead? How do you keep the trajectory?

Mr. Wise: We have had a great year in 2018! The years of hard work have paid off quite well and we’re blessed to have been recognized for a few local and national awards. Our success in business comes from the support and trust from our raving fans, family, friends, and most importantly the amazing team at ITinspired. We have been named a finalist for the Louisiana Growth Leaders Award at the Louisiana Spotlight event in March of 2019. We are looking to repeat our success in securing spots on the Inc. Magazine Best Workplaces and Inc 5000 lists and landing a few new accolades and awards next year as well. Our trajectory for next year is looking great, with business growth, recruiting top notch talent, and some operational changes ahead to make ITinspired even better than it is now. We’re going to pivot hard from the success and exposure that our company has gained these last few years and make 2019 an incredible year.


CEOCFO: What are you surprised that we can do with technology today? What are you surprised that we cannot do yet?

Mr. Wise: I am not surprised that we have self-driving cars at this point, but I am surprised that we haven’t advanced that technology further than it is today and implemented them fully by now. I’m ready to give up driving in traffic completely and use that time to be more productive with something else. There are still a few kinks to work out and it needs a wider acceptance from society, but in the coming years I look forward for that experience to get better and become a reality. Artificial Intelligence is taking off and I am really excited to see where that goes and what advancements that brings business and industry. The stuff that we cannot do; I am still very upset that we do not have the real hover boards from “Back to the Future II”. I do not know why that has not been done yet, it is like I’ve been teased for twenty years with this false hope of owning my own flying skateboard. With all the technology we do have, I’m surprised we don’t have more smart roads and synchronized traffic light systems to aid in auto travel and traffic congestion. I think would be great if it was more widespread and it would ease my instant gratification of having self-driving cars and hover boards.



“Through our unique corporate culture and innovative solutions, we are bridging the gap between people and technology. The combination of our technical knowledge and big personality promises to deliver our clients an unforgettable IT experience!”- Robert Wise





Robert Wise







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