JMARK Business Solutions


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December 8, 2014 Issue

The Most Powerful Name In Corporate News and Information


IT Outsourcing Solutions


Tom Douglas


JMARK Business Solutions


Interview conducted by:

Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – December 8, 2014


CEOCFO: Mr. Douglas, we spoke a little over a year ago and you told us the reason to use JMARK; it is about changing lives and not about supporting technology. How has that played out over the years?

Mr. Douglas: It continues to be a major priority for the whole organization. We focus as a company in terms of the lives of our clients and improving their lives. We make sure our employees have a great career ahead of them with a great set of benefits and an enjoyable place to work where they are empowered to be more and more successful. Last year we added many new clients and employees. We have a stronger team than ever and that culture continues to grow.


CEOCFO: What is an example of how you work with a client and how do you guide them in the right direction?

Mr. Douglas: Oftentimes, the challenges that we handle for clients or prospective clients are to navigate through the technology solutions which are available to them. We bring to the table an expert knowledge of technology, which helps them navigate through what can seem like endless possibilities. These solutions can be through mobility, communication packages and overall management of their technology. It is about establishing a great dialogue and objectives, and then backing it with the best technology. The focus and the business outcome that you are trying to achieve is first and foremost. Technology should be one of the tools to achieve that ultimate goal.


CEOCFO: Do you have to talk someone out of doing something very often?

Mr. Douglas: Yes, the cloud technology has been around for many years in a hosted environment, but it requires certain things to be in place, one of which is enough bandwidth for the client to be able to communicate with servers which are not on their local network. We have had many clients that have wanted to go to the “cloud” and we have had to let them know while trying to move to the cloud they are going to have to make another investment in bandwidth or infrastructure in order to properly support it. Another example is wanting an inexpensive solution for their backups. A company hopes to never have to use backup, but when you need it, you want to make sure it works perfectly. When people try to do it inexpensively or use short cuts, it has an ability to create pain down the road.


CEOCFO: How do you provide the security?

Mr. Douglas: The biggest challenge of security is how quickly it changes. The biggest risk with security is oftentimes inside the organization. It can be as simple as properly educating your employees on what not to click. JMARK deploys solutions that are going to help protect the innocent user. We want to make sure that if they click on a link that leads to a site that could infect their computer that the user is stopped from accessing that site. We will block that from happening to make sure that when they click on a corrupted site, the infection will stop and not affect them or the rest of the company. It pops up on their screen or on their web browser, warning them that they are not supposed to be there. Companies need to be aware of the people in the organization and the habits that they have, as well as what they need to do from a business perspective. Only then can you deploy a solution that helps to protect them from making mistakes or clicking on something they are not supposed to. Furthermore, it is vital you make sure there is a next generation firewall in place which alerts you if there is an attempted breach. The solutions we deploy are to constantly communicate with that firewall and make sure that if there is an issue, we are notified and will take care of it. Our job is to take care of you and your company.


CEOCFO: How do you meet the challenge of keeping track of new technologies?

Mr. Douglas: There have been several studies which show technology continuing education happens at a faster and higher requirement than any other profession in the world. Is has been said, “the human body does not change, but technology does”. When it comes to how we manage it, it is a lot of reading and a lot of studying. We also get information from our vendor partners and our distribution partners. We attend different events of varying topics throughout the year that provide training and insight. And we make sure all of our employees have the latest and best certifications in their respected vertical. For example, we just certified our entire medical team in HIPAA IT certifications. This allows them to be properly educated in the latest issues in order to best serve our medical clients. The JMARK team truly is comprised of the best minds in the technology industry!


CEOCFO: You talked about benefits for your employees and the value of employees; it is getting more challenging for companies to provide the full range of benefits. How are you addressing that at JMARK?

Mr. Douglas: All companies are faced with the challenges of higher insurance costs and having to adapt to higher deductibles. We have implemented a wellness program at our office that has helped us to maintain a healthy environment for our team. We have done a lot of education within our team to ensure that they know the ramifications of going to the doctor unnecessarily, going to the emergency room when it could be urgent care, going to urgent care when it could be a normal doctor visit, etc. By making sure that our team understands the cost of healthcare and the insurance associated, it is a positive thing for us. We also encourage our team to participate in healthy eating, wellness seminars, activates and overall healthy lifestyle habits. Because of this, our renewals have been reasonable thus far and less financially impactful to our staff. It is a primary focus for us to maintain a healthy and happy workforce. After we take care of salaries and the overall budget, we take care of health insurance for all of our employees.


CEOCFO: Did you understand early on when you took the company over that it was important to focus on the employees or did you learn that along the way?

Mr. Douglas: It has always been a high priority for me, but I have learned the value of it more and more over the years and it continues to be something that we focus on. In looking at the future of technology and its growth within our organization, one of the pivotal items we identified was the need for in-house training. With that, we hired a fulltime technical trainer within our organization which keeps us up to date on the latest innovations and training. Investing in our people by hiring the technical trainer, developing leadership programs and allowing our team to focus on a Leader-leader mentality, has brought pride and ownership to all JMARK employees. And with the implementation of our profit sharing program, it creates even further ownership and excitement of the future of JMARK. The future of the company and where we are headed is something that we spend a great deal of time, energy and money on.


CEOCFO: How are you reaching out?

Mr. Douglas: With the recent hiring of a Director of Marketing, we are focusing on strategic marketing. We identify our market, region and area of growth, which allows us to build a detailed plan around that objective. That can include cold-calls, online marketing campaigns, direct mail, special events/trade show, CIO forums, membership to associations, print advertisement as well as SEO/Google Adwords. Just recently, we have created a referral campaign which rewards our current clients when they refer our services. We find our clients are very satisfied with JMARK and all the quality we provide, so they are very willing to refer our services. Because of that, we wanted to build a simple, but rewarding structure for our clients making that referral. Marketing and Business Development is a multifaceted and strategic approach. Obviously business development in our organization is a top focus. We want to make sure we are growing anywhere between 15% and 25% per year. In order to achieve that growth, we dedicate significant time and money to Marketing and Business Development.


CEOCFO: What is ahead for 2015?

Mr. Douglas: We are going to continue to expand our operations into some different areas. I do not want to go into all the details but we hope to bring some new products to the table for our clients. We are going to help facilitate our client’s success and focus on empowering their businesses in some new, amazing ways. We already provide quarterly business reports to our clients which keeps them up to date on their technology. We also provide 3-5 year strategic plans for the overall growth and success of the company. We will continue to increase the content and impact of these reports. We want to grow geographically which means we are strategically looking at new growth within services across the country. We are going to continue to develop our team and focus on our people. We have developed a leadership program within our company and it has had great participation and responses from people. It is a lot of fun to see people who have come into the organization without much experience and develop them to be successful business professionals. The long term goal would allow them to move into a leadership role as their careers advance. It is about steady growth and investing in the absolute best of everything and everyone. We have been fortunate enough to be on the Inc. 5000 for the last five years and I expect that we will do that again. We have some great opportunities coming, some of which will be targeted to specific verticals. To achieve that, we intend to bring on some specialists to help us to be more strategic in how we deploy technology into those verticals. This will also allow us to create and design specific marketing plans to achieve that growth.


“Successful IT Operations have become the epicenter for all organizations. The JMARK team understands the burden of this responsibility and the trust that our clients have in our team to provide solutions, stability and an environment that ‘Just Works’. The trust our clients place in our team is one that we treasure and focus on.” - Tom Douglas


JMARK Business Solutions







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