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Managed Services: Profitable and Predictable

An economic downturn, larger business trends, gluts in supply and contractions in investment can affect any and all business from the smallest to the largest – sometimes adversely.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in Michigan -- home to America's largest automakers, two of which recently emerged from bankruptcy -- where even the smallest hiccup can reverberate in segments that seemingly have nothing to do with cars, such as IT services.

"Fifteen percent unemployment is nothing to take lightly," explains Mike Ritsema, owner and managing partner of Western Michigan-based tech solutions provider i3 Business Solutions. "It's a good thing for the auto bailout and the quick turnaround in Chrysler and bankruptcy proceedings that things aren't worse and also a good thing that Grand Rapids is in the western part of the state and better off than most areas."

Yet and still, cost -- especially in leaner times -- is always a factor, says Ritsema, who along with partner Kathy Labozzetta run the 18-year-old IT service, consultancy and support business as a tight ship.

In an uncertain economy it's important to create a dependable revenue stream than can act as an ace in the hole when a company is in the hole.

Ritsema believes managed services are the way for IT service concerns to weather economic storms.

"What happened really when we first went into managed services was that I was attending peer groups and was looking at how to shore up profits through managed services," said Ritsema. "Once we got on board with Zenith and they got on board with us and things sort of gel, we started to grow and I can say now that our managed services segment is the most profitable and predictable part of our business and you know what, I like profitable and predictable."

Posted by Jabulani Leffall on August 06, 2010 at 11:57 AM


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