Kolbe Corporation: Less Time Putting Out Fires; More Time on Revenue Generation
Kolbe Corporation is a multi-channel business focused on empowering and enhancing people’s understanding of themselves. Working in both the B2B and B2C marketplaces, the company offers webinars, trainings and consultations that measure a person’s natural instincts, and applies that knowledge to improving relationships, parenting, co-worker collaboration, management, hiring and selection processes.
Prior to the summer of 2014, the team at Kolbe was handling its IT needs internally. The company’s small team was managing both development as well as technology maintenance and troubleshooting — covering everything from architecture to infrastructure to crisis management.
While the team was capable of handling those IT tasks, it was taking them away from the revenue-generating work that would move the company forward. With that in mind, the Kolbe team began exploring the idea of hiring a full-time employee who could be assigned to cover IT. That seemed like a viable solution, but it came with some drawbacks. For one, having a sole IT person on staff meant that when the person went on vacation or was sick, their responsibilities would fall back onto the rest of the team.
“When you look at the costs that it would take to bring on an FTE for that role, as well as the hidden cost of not being able to focus on revenue generation, we would be losing money,” said Kolbe’s VP of Technology and Development James Trujillo.
At that point, the team began exploring hiring a third-party IT team to cover their needs, and found ItSynergy.
How We Helped
From the start, it was our endeavor to fully understand all of the Kolbe team’s pain points, and to instill a sense of trust and confidence.
Because of the proprietary nature of Kolbe’s products, Trujillo was very concerned about safeguarding their intellectual property and maintaining the highest level of security with clients’ personal information. Because corporate espionage had been an issue at Kolbe in the past, that was also a concern. With our informed approach, we were able to allay all of Trujillo’s concerns.
Our work with Kolbe now includes keeping their systems up to date and maintaining a healthy network, in addition to maintaining a high level of security and being able to predict when issues may occur. That ongoing relationship has made the world of difference for Kolbe’s internal IT team.
Before working with ItSynergy, VP Trujillo estimates that he was spending approximately 40 to 60 percent of his time dealing with some aspect of IT — and that didn’t include “putting out the fires” that inevitably come with managing a secure network. Kolbe’s developer, meanwhile, was spending 60 to 70 percent of his time on similar concerns.
Today, Trujillo spends less than 15 percent of his time on IT — and that time is now spent on strategy and future thinking and not putting out IT fires. The developer, at the same time, now spends less than 10 percent of his time on IT.
Trujillo says that time savings is nearly equivalent to the FTE they almost hired; only now, there’s no gap when that FTE goes on vacation or gets sick. The overall result is more time spent on moving the company forward, and a company that’s been far more efficient than expected.
“Being able to delegate the overall day-to-day IT responsibilities has allowed me to spend my time on revenue-generating solutions for our business rather than operational maintenance,” says Trujillo.
What’s more, Trujillo says he’s been happy to see that ItSynergy is an IT managed services company that not only manages IT successfully, but also maintains quality relationships.
“They don’t just do technology…they do technology relationships — there is a huge difference between those two things,” Trujillo said. “And I just gave myself goosebumps saying that.”