As a business owner, do you have problems understanding your IT guy?
David Litt says you're not alone.
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It was an issue that Litt sought to address when he began his IT services company, Blue Star Technology in Bloomingdale, in 2010.
"One thing I really wanted to figure out was technology," said Litt, who calls himself a serial entrepreneur. "I didn't grow up during the age where everyone had a computer and a cellphone."
He found when forming the company that potential clients had the same issue: IT professionals did not communicate in a way that business owners and executives could understand. So, with the help of a tech-savvy partner and a telemarketing staff of three, he launched Blue Star as an IT company that would focus on customer service as heavily as managing a client's technology.
The concept took off, as Blue Star has now become a 42-person company managing the IT needs of a number of Chicago-area companies and organizations, including the Field Museum and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. It provides numerous custom services that include IT management, disaster recovery/data backup and storage, cloud/virtualization services, advanced security, server/network installation and configuration, full-time infrastructure monitoring and remote desktop services.
"We become our customer's IT department. That is who we are and what we do," Litt said.
The key difference between Blue Star and other IT support firms is the approach Litt says he takes when taking on business, looking to be more of a partner investing in the success of that client. That approach, he said, has resulted in minimal turnover of clients.
"I am passionate about it," he said. "We never lose the customers we get."
Part of that investment comes through Blue Star's RUN program, which supplies clients with new desktop computers for its employees. The program is a win-win for both the company and its clients, Litt explains, because a majority of IT issues they encounter is the result of old or outdated hardware. By supplying new desktops, Litt said they can resolve those issues quickly while boost the client's employees expectations with new equipment.
"Not only am I getting rid of lots of challenges in their infrastructure, but also we're getting the staff excited because they weren't getting a new PC until they were working with us," he said.
But hardware and software aside, what makes Blue Star's approach unique is having a staff that understands the technical side of the business, and can translate the "geek speak" into something the average business owner can understand and relate to.
"We make an effort in finding technical people who have great communication skills," said George J. "Lek" Loechl, Blue Star's director of marketing. "We want to empower our customers.
"There are way too many tech companies that are making the customer feel dumb," Loechl added. "You want to make the customer feel smart."
To Litt, that concept is not a complex one.
"I don't know any other IT company that is doing what we do," he said. "It's not rocket science necessarily, but just makes really good business sense."