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Mike Pippin, the CEO of NetsWork, Midland, Texas, did just that, deciding to get out of the traditional break/fix IT business several years ago and bet big on the cloud computing services revolution. Pippin decided he was too young to retire and saw the break/fix business as a "dead deal." So he spent $400,000 building out a data center as part of a move to provide cloud computing services and has never looked back.
With more businesses looking to offload IT operations, NetsWork's sales doubled to $2 million in 2011, says Pippin. And he's betting he can do $3 million in 2012 with a plan to hire an additional five people. The company recently added Cisco IP based phones to its cloud computing services portfolio.
"We're growing like crazy," said Pippin discussing his good fortune in a crowded ballroom. "I have been in IT since 1993 and I haven't seen anything like this. I invested the capital and I'm ecstatic that I did."
Simer Mayo, president and chairman of of ValorIT, a seven-year-old Scottsdale, Ariz. company, also has shifted from the break/fix business to a cloud computing services model. The company is now adding about five new customers a month, said Mayo. He said the rapid growth is causing him "stress and more white hair." But it's paying off in big sales and earnings growth. He said sales growth is now about 40 percent a year with earnings up about 10 percent last year.
Vendors at the conference, including cloud computing pioneer NetSuite, which is celebrating a decade of channel cloud partnerships with its cloud ERP financial software suite, are seeing a new wave of startups embracing the off premise, monthly subscription cloud computing services model. "We are seeing a lot of pioneering entrepreneurial cloud start ups," said Craig West, vice president of channel sales for NetSuite, a cloud ERP financial software suite.
Rob Gottschalk, the CEO of SaaS (Software as a Service) Consulting Group, headquartered in Austin, Texas, left an IT software management company last May to devote full time to his cloud computing services business and has already closed seven deals in only 10 months for NetSuite. "I just hired my fourth full-time person," he said. "NetSuite adoption is skyrocketing. It is easy to sell because it is such good software. There are accounting functions that take customers weeks to do that are handled in NetSuite in a matter of minutes. Customers love it!"