An Interview By: Stephanie Memos, Marketing Coordinator
After nine months, CHIPS Technology Group is excited to introduce their new website featuring an updated brand and messaging. CHIPS has always positioned itself as an industry leader. In the early 2000’s we became one of the first technology companies to morph into an MSP. In the mid 2000’s we became one of the first MSP’s to embrace the cloud.
Our new tag line says it all, “Making Technology Your Strategic Advantage.” Our best client is one that embraces being a technology company to compete or needs assistance in navigating through their industry, industry compliance or state compliance. Our website mirrors our business strategy, which is to leverage our strengths and find more of our hero clients.
Stephanie Memos had the opportunity to sit down with both Evan and David to discuss the vision and concepts behind the updated website and brand in a one on one Q&A.
Question 1: What was the reasoning to update your brand and website?
E: Many IT providers try to have the appearance of an MSP and attempt to commoditize services. CHIPS has never been a company to come back to the back instead we leap forward. Our best clients are the ones that are engaged with us as you can see from the client testimonial on our home page. https://youtu.be/JWOIpKqFJRc
Question 2: Why the change from the Burgundy Logo to Blue?
D: We decided to change our color to its original one in 1993 (don’t laugh at our original logo).
Thinking back to 1993, technology was so much simpler. We want to give our clients that same experience so the color is a constant reminder to us.
Question 3: What does the updated website and brand mean for CHIPS moving forward?
E: “The update states to our clients and the technology world that CHIPS understands the modern day tipping point. Look at how businesses are being disrupted and how customers want a better ease of doing business. Whether it is how transportation has changed overnight or how customers want to use their smart phones for information, ordering, or commerce. Everyone needs to be ready to embrace technology, client and employee’s needs.
Question 4: What differentiates you in the Managed Services’ environment and how is that reflected through the new website and upgraded brand?
E: Currently at our core we are an MSP that has adapted to the changing business environment. At some point there will be a new acronym for companies like CHIPS but for now we think of ourselves as an MSSP (Managed Services and Strategic Partner). We realize not every company out there will be ready for CHIPS and that is ok. If a company is not looking for the business strategy then they will engage with your average break fix or MSP. We are looking for companies that want to be the leaders of their industry.
Question 5: What was the initial reaction from your employees when you unveiled the new website?
D: When we unveiled the website to our staff it was nothing but excitement. They felt the messaging was a great representation of their hard work. Also they were excited to be with a company even after 24 years wants to be a leader.
Question 6: I notice you use the term Digital Transformation prominently on the new website. Can you tell me a little about what Digital Transformation means to you and how it will impact your clients?
D: I think it’s helpful to think of digital transformation as the 3rd stage of embracing digital technologies. First came digital competence, or the acceptance and understanding of digital technologies. Next came digital usage where companies really started to embrace digital technology in all parts of their business. Now we have digital transformation which will enable new areas of innovation and creativity and fundamentally change the way business is done.
We started CHIPS in 1993. This was the year Microsoft released Windows NT, their first business-grade network operating system. One year later, 1994, Prodigy and CompuServe connected their users to the internet creating the first realistic path online for many small businesses and fostering in the explosive growth of the World Wide Web. These types of events caused fundamental shifts in the way business was done. Now, nearly 25 years later, businesses need to completely reinvent themselves, create new business models and business plans and accept that the digital economy will drive all decisions going forward.
Digital transformation will allow for greater levels of engagement with the customer. It will speed the time required for product design and deployment and significantly ramp up the requirements around customer service and support. Traditional businesses that don’t evolve will be left behind incredibly quickly.
Question 7: What would you recommend your clients do right now to get started preparing for the types of changes you predict are coming?
D: The first thing you need to do is understand your business. This sounds simple and fundamental, but it amazes me how many people don’t really understand all the inner-workings of their business. We do these engagements with customers calls Innovation Strategy Sessions where we sit down with business owners and their top managers or leaders and spend hours diving deep into the way the business runs. These sessions start with 4 or 5 simple questions, but the answers always open eyes and create fascinating areas for business discussions.
Diving into conversations around how the sales cycle or customer service are handled always prove to be a great start. Talking about pricing or competitive pressures or external factors that are limiting a business’ growth always opens the business owner’s eyes. Simple questions like exploring the 3 or 4 tasks your managers spend their most time on, or what repetitive tasks they feel can be automated is a great way to find opportunities for optimization and change.
We all spend so much time heads-down in the day-to-day rigor of running our businesses that sometimes it’s hard to see the big picture. I think this is a great time to take a step back from that and really understand how your business can or should fundamentally evolve. Plus it’s always great to get an outsider’s perspective on things.
Question 8: What is next for CHIPS
D: We have always tried to stay ahead of trends and technologies as they emerge in our industry. We embraced Cloud Technology as early as 2008, internally, well before it became mainstream and standard for most businesses. We realize we have to stay ahead of what’s coming to make sure our clients can be prepared.
To that end, we have started to embrace a lot of emerging technologies internally in our business. We built an entire platform for our help desk on top of an AI / Machine Learning engine (IBM Watson) because we feel it can help us deliver the best possible service to our customers, but also because we wanted to pioneer the technology to help us determine where it might be a fit for other companies moving forward. We’re incredibly excited about the possibilities it holds both internally and externally.
I’m a big believer in the power of automation in all forms. I am not an alarmist who thinks robots are going to take over our jobs and make half of the work humans do obsolete, but if a computer can write better, handle customer service better, process orders better, or just do any sort of routine task better than a human, why would we not embrace it? Personally, I’m excited about all the opportunities and jobs this technology will create and I’m not at all worried about the jobs it will take away.