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HEARTLAND TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS
"I was a farmer and got the computer bug, and I was doing my own accounting on Apple Plus computers in 1982. So I just started helping area farmers buy computers and set up their accounting systems," Sorensen said. "I finally decided if I was going to spend my time doing it, I might as well get paid for it."
And that was what led to Heartland Technology Solutions (HTS), founded in 1985 on Sorensen's farm in Harlan, Iowa, where its headquarters still reside today. The company boasts a staff of 80 employees in five Midwestern states.
Another component of HTS' prosperity lies in its relationships with its vendor partners. Each year, HTS hosts a strategic planning event with its four vendor and one distributor partner—Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, SonicWall, 3Com and Ingram Micro—to lay out a joint marketing and sales strategy for the year. "I'm tired of trying to run campaigns for one vendor, so whenever we run an event, it's multivendor and solution-focused. We get all of them on the same page at the same time."
HTS serves several niche markets, has an aggressive marketing approach toward business and is primarily SMB focused—but it is pushing into the midmarket as it geographically expands, Sorensen said.