Over the course of the last year, cloud adoption has taken center stage in the mobile enterprise, giving companies who adjust to a more mobile focused business strategy a chance to get ahead of the curve, while those who don’t often fall behind.
The 50-year-old ETS, formerly known as Erb’s Technology Solutions, a Ceder Rapids, Iowa-based managed services provider and solutions provider, has begun the arduous transition to a more mobile and cloud focused business strategy.
"The transition has been challenging," said Brittani Von Roden, vice president of sales and marketing for ETS. "With our business being around for so long, we’ve got a lot of tenured executives here and where we’ve come from is around hardware sales. In order for us to get a better understanding of the way to go, we’ve collaborated with a lot of industry peer groups on their direction, and we also had some pretty granular conversations with some of our closest clients. We’ve explained the direction we want to go with our business model, and based on the reception, it let us know we are moving in the right direction, and this is what we need to do to grow."
ETS has been in business since 1961. A little over 10 years ago, however, ETS began focusing more on the recurring revenue and managed service business, before just recently transitioning to more cloud and mobility practices. Von Roden says the company is somewhat of a hybrid as it's a solution provider that offers managed services. ETS is made up of 35 employees with an average annual revenue of over $20 million. It focuses on the healthcare, education, financial, retail and real estate markets.
"We’ve definitely seen the benefits," Von Roden said of the company's new mobile business strategy. "We’ve got a lot of promising opportunity surrounding the implementation. We’re really excited and look forward to closing some of these bigger opportunities. We don’t want to give away our customers anymore. That was a struggle that we learned very quickly, and we want to get off of that bandwagon and offer hosted services without losing our customers. We’ve got a good plan in place and we’re seeing some results now. Cloud is making a big push for us as it allows us to very efficiently manage these clients."
The biggest challenge for ETS has been the conversation around cloud and mobile strategy with clients that expect the new business model to save money upfront. Von Roden says that is a common belief of many clients ETS has gone into business with.
"Redirecting the conversation of these two models [cloud and mobility] saving you money up front," she said. "I think that’s a misconception that a lot of organizations have that out of the gates you’re going to start saving all this money by removing all this hardware or allowing your employees to work remotely, for example. Well, a year or so down the road, especially when it comes to that refresh cycle, that’s when you’re going to save your money. That’s been a little bit difficult to get across to companies. It’s an early investment, but it is beneficial down the road."