Thursday, December 3

QeH2 Interviews Ian Holt, One of the Founding Partners

I first met Ian Holt, partner and one of the H's in QeH2, the day I interviewed for a job to join the sales team here at QeH2; I instantly felt comfortable talking with him and the rest of the sales staff.
Nearly three months later I was able to squeeze in a few minutes to get Ian alone and talk about some of his past experiences and how that has helped him turn many of his ideas into a reality here at QeH2...

Finally, after a long, busy day, I got Ian into my office in between cell phone calls and email replies. Propping his feet up on the desk with a huge smile on his face, Ian and I decided to dig in.

Q: How long have you been with QeH2?
Since the beginning; three years now

Q: You have a background in a lot of different areas within IT, what have you experienced?
I started out in technical support like most IT guys usually do. I spent the last 20 years supporting servers, network design, and the infrastructure side of IT.

Q: What was the transition like for you from the tech support side of thing to infrastructure support and design?
I actually spent three weeks working in a call center dealing with help desk support issues then got a job offer doing on-site tech support and hands-on stuff right after that. I moved from Calgary, Canada to Omaha, Nebraska, I didn’t even know where Omaha was at the time. I was really excited; this was my first real tech job out of college.

Q: Where was an area that you felt you learned the most within your past experiences?
Right after doing tech support for US West, I went in and did internal IT support for a consulting company. That’s where the idea of stabilization was really born and have been using the idea here at QeH2. It was learning how to stabilize and make machines work well.

Q: Obviously as an owner you have a lot of responsibilities here, at this point in time, what are you trying to focus on to move QeH2 forward?
Right now my focus is on District Management (DM), basically managing the different teams of guys. As of now my district is just me and one other guy. The way its split up is based on the customers I am currently working with but it also has to do with customer need and how that relates to each one of the DMs background within IT.

On moving stuff forward I work on a lot of the documentation tasks, which is funny because I didn’t start off being the documentation guy. I’m also working with Lori Eisele to get our internal systems working better. Tapping into the functionalities of the systems we already have.

Q: With some of the things you bring to the table within QeH2 from an experience level and time spent within the industry, how has all of that influenced your vision of this company?
I can’t really say that I came up with the idea of stabilization, it’s been more of a group effort but my concepts of stabilization came from my previous world but that is a big part of what has influenced QeH2. When we first sat down and put the company together, Darrin and Quentin came from the Mountain View Marketing side and Jim and I came from the consulting side and we looked at what was wrong with IT. My pasts experiences have really influenced the infrastructure stabilization side. Once we get somebody stabilized, it doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. Now that things aren't breaking, we can concentrate on moving forward with other things. It’s great for us because we’re not fixing the same problems over and over again. It’s great for the customer because their down time is reduced drastically.

Q: QeH2 is growing, rapidly. It has expanded quite a bit since I came on just a few months ago. What different transformations have you seen take place since starting the company?
When we closed our first customer I was still working my day job and supporting the company part-time. Right before Christmas 2006 I quit my job and started working to build QeH2 as my full-time job. The cool part was that my day job became supporting a customer and within about four months, Jim, Quentin, and I had all quit our day jobs and we had hired our first resource. We went from the planning stage to up and functioning in just a matter of months, then full steam ahead a few months after that. QeH2 was learning how to balance the hard times and planning for the growth that was ahead of us.

Q: What do you like to focus on when meeting with a perspective client for the first time?
I typically focus on their pain. Everyone that wants to talk to us have some sort of issue. Either they are not happy with their current IT guy or they have an issue that hasn’t been resolved, something of that nature. This generally leads me to the pains within their organization

Q: Do you think that helps to set us apart from our competitors, focusing more on the customer’s pain points instead of trying to just sell a product or service?
We don’t really have any true competition. There is nobody out there focusing on the businesses pains and moving their company out of that pain zone and into more productive state, increasing their bottom line. No IT company looks at it that way. We are bridging the gap between the IT side and the business side. Most management problems have an IT solution; it’s a matter of finding out what that issue is or what they are trying to do. We’ve come up with a solution that’s more efficient, faster, and saves them money.

Q: What is that one technology that you personally think all business owners should invest in?
Its all about disaster recovery; if you don’t back it up you’re going to lose it. Everybody has a crash in their future. It’s a matter of preparing for when that happens. Disaster recovery technology is the thing everyone has to have no matter on what system you have. To the guy working on his laptop in the garage to a 50 station, 100 station shop, you’re only as good as your back-up.

Q: Where do you see the company in two years or even five years?
We're planning for some aggressive growth. In the last three years, we’ve artificially slowed our growth several times to make sure we’re taking care of the customer, making sure we’re perfecting our model. We’re set in the next tow years to grow exponentially; I see us five years from now outside of the state with multiple locations.

Q: What do you spend your time doing when you’re not on your computer or meeting with clients?
Honestly, I enjoy spending time with my family (Jason 15, Morgan 13, Daniel 11, Jared 9, and wife Bonita). My kids are all computer guys they love computer games; it’s really funny. We all like to travel. I really immerse with loved ones but there always seems to be a computer side to things. I recreate within technology, it’s something I love. I go home most days thinking, they pay me to do this.

The interview confirmed the fact that Ian loves technology and his passion to want to help business owners with their struggling IT needs is ingrained in everything he does. The success and growth within QeH2 is in large part due to the experiences, knowledge, and focus of partners like Ian Holt.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.