50 Innovators of the Year 2021
Strained organizations are still working towards adopting the new normal of work-from-home and the increased security risks associated with that. It has led to a rise in demand for sophisticated managed service providers. More mid-market companies are turning to an MSP model because of in-house constraints in employee bandwidth or subject matter expertise. Security is a great example where relatively sophisticated organizations are outsourcing. Building an in-house security practice is a huge undertaking, let alone having the resources to afford it.
Founded in 1986, Vista IT Group offers a flexible approach to IT outsourcing versus an all-in or packaged offering to Managed Services. Vista’s customers really like this approach, especially those in a tech-heavy industry where in-house subject matter expertise is not uncommon. No matter what size organization you are, today’s world of IT is very complex, and it is practically impossible to have resident expertise in everything. Vista IT Group brings together Data Center, Supply Chain, and Technology Services to deliver efficient and flexible IT.
By embracing an IT outsourcing model, businesses can focus on what they are good at. Part of the firm’s services includes virtual CIO conversations, so the business leaders are given the opportunity to discover how to use technology more effectively in their areas or departments.
Move Beyond IT
Since there are many reputed IT service providers to choose from, what makes Vista the best IT and professional services partner? Well, there are not too many companies out there today where you can find a technology partner like Vista IT Group, which delivers ISO-certified quality, maintains a fully stocked warehouse and integration facilities that is also a distributor, a finance business, and an ITAD company as well as a provider of professional and managed services - all under one roof.
“We only recommend technologies we would use ourselves. We’re also very consistent in terms of the technologies and tools we deploy in our customer’s environments which not only minimizes issues, but also accelerates remediation,” said Jeff Stevens, President of Vista IT Group. “We also share the same ticketing and support system our customers are on. That kind of tribal knowledge makes our relationships more intimate with our customers and their overall experiences better.”
Vista IT Group has been around for over thirty years now. The company got started in the data center space and has developed expertise around multiple technology disciplines since then. Vista has created a Managed Services practice around that range of experiences which it can deliver to small-to-medium businesses.
Adopting the Best Tech and Hiring the Best Talent
Technology is moving very fast in today’s digital world, but being an early adopter is often not the right approach for a business because the amount of time it takes for a new technology or application to be thoroughly vetted. Being early adopters often means you experience problems before anyone else does. “Our strategy is to evaluate emerging technologies and trends on behalf of our customers to determine fit and benefit. This has been invaluable to our clients. It allows organizations of all sizes to take a long-term approach in their technology decisions” explained Jeff Stevens.
Having a depth and breadth of technology expertise is not the only thing that sets Vista apart. The company also believes in attracting top talent. Vista has more than doubled employee count over the past three years. The company attributes that growth to the investment it has put into building an exceptional culture. “We believe in being transparent with employees, rewarding a job well done, and having fun at work. There are employee-led committees that plan events and brainstorm strategies to develop and strengthen Vista’s culture. We openly share company performance with employees and offer bonuses based on those results,” added the company President.
Vista IT Group also has an area in the office dedicated to celebrating the longevity of its employees. The company has a Tenure Wall, which represents more than 300 years of technology experience working for one company. There are not too many examples like that left anymore. “Employee tenure is one of the things we’re most proud of,” commented Stevens.
A Bright Future
Looking ahead, Vista IT is working on increasing its private cloud environment. The company continues to grow out its rack space for Managed Service customers. Some of whom depend on huge CAD files or medical images and just cannot move to the cloud. They prefer the off-premises convenience that Vista IT Group offers while still getting the on-premises experience.
Backup strategies can be complicated and difficult to manage, but they serve as today’s last line of defense in the event of a security breach or an outage. Vista IT is also expanding its Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS) offering. “Our Recovery Time Objective is far greater than what AWS or Azure can offer because of our proximity to customers and our network. We can get a business back up and running in a day or two, rather than weeks,” said the President. The relaxed RTOs offered by other BaaS providers are no longer acceptable for most businesses. With such innovations and many already-satisfied customers, Vista is preparing for a lot of growth in the coming years.
The Leader Upfront
Jeff Stevens, President
Jeff started as an Account Manager with Vista at the age of 26. He advanced through the organization and held numerous positions within the company. Stevens purchased the company in 2017, when the former owner retired. Today, at 52, he is the CEO of the largest locally owned technology provider in West Michigan.