How 3 Next-Gen VARs Mastered Mobility


Trigon: Creating True-Blue Customers Among SMBs

Loyal customers are the backbone of a successful IT solution provider. After all, finding new customers is pricey. Frederick F. Reichheld famously wrote in “The Loyalty Effect: The Hidden Force Behind Growth, Profits and Lasting Value,” that the cost of acquiring new customers is five times the cost of servicing established ones. But for Trigon, that’s just the way business is done. Said co-founder Michael DeThomas: “We have 100 percent client retention.”

That’s impressive, especially during such uncertain economic times. But it’s that very climate in which Trigon thrives. “Solid technical management can cut key asset costs and provide return on investment,” said DeThomas.

Although the company started off servicing very large enterprise customers, within a few years DeThomas and co-founder Salvatore DeRose realized they could trade in their frequent flyer miles for some time at home by offering small to midsize customers the same services they’d been providing to enterprises. In January 2003, Trigon was founded by DeRose and DeThomas in partnership with Goldenberg Rosenthal, LLC. In June 2003, Trigon became incorporated; DeRose and DeThomas acquired Trigon in a 2007 management buyout.

Trigon was started to help bring the business and technology requirements being used in Fortune 50 companies to SMB companies, affordably.

“Our client base of the global Fortune 50 had the same needs as the midsize market. Traditional providers were not meeting those needs,” DeThomas said. Today, the company has clients in all 50 states, and they range in size from 200 to 500 employees, from $400 million to $1 billion. Although those customers may have varied core competencies, such as finance or manufacturing, DeThomas noted that each has an ever-increasing need for security, and often find that outsourcing IT is cost-effective and efficient.“Our customers need consistency and cost-efficiency more than in-house staff,” he said. “We can look and see the nature and history of the problem and assess a company’s liability quickly. … We can tell within days, not weeks, what the liability is.”

Today’s mobility trend has not only brought ease of use and on-the-go accessibility, but also IT management headaches, including security challenges.

“iPads are a hard device to secure because they don’t natively support security. We’ve had to come up with some creative solutions so that the whole planet isn’t privy to customers’ sales information,” DeThomas said.

Sometimes what’s old is new again, he added, pointing to the resurgence of the centralized computing model. Remember grid computing? “It’s old stuff, but behind all the cloud computing is a mainframe,” he said. “And thinner apps will drive the trend to thinner clients.”