SWC Featured In The Business Ledger – Cornering The Mid-Sized Virtual IT Marketplace
Oak Brook, IL | July 2, 2009 – Founded in 1980 by two computer programmers, SWC Technology Partners is growing despite the recession by having developed into a leading provider of IT solutions for mid-market companies.
The Oak Brook-based company, originally known as Subject, Willis and Co. prior to a 2006 buyout, grew 23 percent in 2008, has already grown 9 percent this year compared to last year and has recently hired 20 employees.
President Bob Knott believes the main reason for the success of SWC is its continued focus on small- and medium-sized business in the metropolitan region.
“Our analysis shows somewhere between 8,000 to 10,000 mid-market companies in the Chicago area that could fit the profile of being ideal customers for us,” he said. “So it’s a huge place to play and we’re really good at it.”
With smaller companies, SWC is able to work directly with senior management and stakeholders to assure that services provided meet the specific requirements of the client.
“You don’t see people starting projects that get canceled after six months and millions of dollars are wasted,” Knott said. “When the mid-market wants to do something, they want to do it and get a definite impact. With large companies, you get into a lot of politics.”
SWC does not typically have to go toe-to-toe with the larger IT companies like Accenture and IBM because they are not accustomed to working with mid-sized customers, said Knott.
“The big guys don’t play well in our space because they are not pragmatic enough,” he said. “They come in and oversize things and I think we’re pretty good at right-sizing things.”
One of the key new company tactics that has helped SWC expand over the past three years is the use of senior consultants in place of account managers to manage relationships with customers.
“I learned early in my career that the business managers and stakeholders don’t want to meet with a salesperson,” said Knott. “They want to talk to the people who can actually design and deliver a solution.”
In this way, SWC keeps a strong continuity between what it says it’s going to deliver and what it actually accomplishes.
SWC focuses on six primary IT solutions:
- Managed services – Monitoring and managing a company’s network infrastructure.
- Performance management – Designing business intelligence solutions to improve operational and financial performance at all levels of an organization with a single, integrated Microsoft-based solution.
- Business applications – A custom development process of software applications, database applications, web applications and workflow solutions.
- Messaging and Collaboration – Collaboration and communication solutions that enable a client’s workforce, partners and customers to work together, streamline communications and improve efficiencies.
- Infrastructure – Implementing, managing, maintaining, upgrading and optimizing an increasingly complex spectrum of network elements.
- Security – Assess exposure, guard information, prevent breeches and improve information security compliance.
In addition, SWC conducts online webinars to help communicate the ever-changing world of information technology to its customers and prospects.
“The webinars are a way we can get in front of a lot of people with our top talent in an effective manner,” Knott said. “It’s geared toward educating our customers on the technology and how to best apply it to their business problem.”
SWC is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, which provides it significant insight into the Microsoft product strategy and resources related to Microsoft’s go-to-market positioning.
“It’s hard to find a company who has a better stack of technology to integrate to solve problems than Microsoft,” said Knott. “If you choose to go that way, you’ll save a lot of money because it all integrates very well, versus going with five different vendors.”
In essence, SWC is a one-stop IT shop for mid-market companies.
“Success is when a customer looks at SWC as their virtual IT organization or virtual CIO,” Knott said. “That’s when I think we’re fulfilling our mission the best.”