VAR500: 20 Titans Of Transformation

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Business Communications Inc.

Early in the fourth quarter of 2010, managers from Business Communications Inc. got together for a day of strategic thinking. BCI, Ridgefield, Miss., had already seen several quarters of strong growth and was firing on all cylinders to hit its annual growth target of 30 percent.

Many ideas came up, but according to Blake

Webber, BCI's director of sales, recent attendance at industry conferences and discussions with vendor partners and customers had pointed to a golden opportunity: branded cloud services. Almost immediately, BCI was breaking ground on a new data center, which after many millions in investment, is set to go live on July 1, 2011.

"We looked at our business plan and had gotten a lot of positive feedback from our partner community along the lines of us being cutting edge with what we're doing," Webber said. "People today do managed services, do co-location, and we're going to offer that, too, but that's ultimately not what we're about. We're about extending compute, and being able to offer compute in a way where customers don't have to make a sizable investment."

Consider the data center and the branded services to come out of it as BCI looking at cloud computing and pushing its chips, so to speak, to the center of the poker table. "We're all in," Webber said. "This is where the industry is going. It's a gut check moment. We chose to put the hammer down and go with our gut on this."

BCI grew its business in bundled infrastructure sales, with virtualization leading the way, Webber said. That's meant a lot of growth in traditional VMware-led server virtualization sales with particular emphasis on networking, storage, disaster recovery and services. Cloud computing and services, Webber contends, are the next evolution of that.

BCI's growth strategies and technology bets are key to keeping its 30 percent target firmly in sight. "We believe data center services make that a lot easier to obtain," Webber said.

By Chad Berndtson


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