Focusing on improving each day for better customer experiences.
In everything we do, we believe the usual approach is flawed and we strive for a better experience for everyone - often by doing the opposite. Since 1978, we’ve been streamlining technology® to help clients reduce complexity and avoid risk. Today, our managed IT services protect over $6B in assets for financial and professional service firms.
Instead of meaningless three initials and a swish, our brand is Matrixforce. Blue is the camouflage of our industry for a false sense of trust, while we wear maroon to show passion and hide the blood. It’s common to say customers are number one, but if we take good care of our people then clients are better served.
Information Technology runs the world. IT is broader than the disciplines of healthcare, law, and finance combined. However, there is no recognized title for IT professionals like doctor, lawyer, and accountant. Further, few people understand that anyone can claim to be an IT expert because the industry is unregulated. We believe the only way to ensure trust for clients is by demonstrating capability and removing risk.
Like most inventions, Vetted IT Support® happened out of a series of unrelated accidents. Because early on the original owner had to pay exorbitant taxes to the IRS, we became a C Corporation with publicly listed ownership and board of directors. As Google became prominent and startups outranked us in search, we developed our Streamlining Technology trademarks and Delta Methodology Patent for authority.
While the whole industry touted they could do it all, we specialized as a Microsoft Gold Partner in security and cloud computing. Even though privacy is the biggest concern for all business, we have found few Cloud Service Providers who perform or publish their regulation compliance. The reality is that using unvetted IT support is considered willful neglect by government and legal authorities.
No one really knows when the cloud started. Maybe it was the early eighties with the movie War Games and Mathew Broderick or Arnold Schwarzenegger and Skynet in the Terminator. However, for us it was 2008 and we had never felt so helpless.
In Oklahoma, it can be fire and ice like George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones with dragons and ice walkers. That year summer temperatures soared up to 110 degrees for weeks. While customers scrambled to keep server-rooms cooled with Home Depot fans, venture capitalists kept approaching us about building a datacenter since we were the most experienced Microsoft Gold Partner in the state.
The problem was it seemed like a non-starter because we couldn’t match the billions of dollars being invested by Microsoft, Amazon, and Google into high security datacenters all around the world. Even though startup datacenters seemed to have some limited success, our customers asked tough questions like “Where are your other datacenters and are there 7x24 shifts of staff at each location to protect my data?”
We knew our competitors couldn’t answer those questions either - and then winter came. It was the worst ice storm in nearly 100 years with the entire state covered in 2 inches of ice. Almost 2M Sooners were without power for 2 weeks and hundreds of people died.
Only a few of our customers had generators and the rest we were unable to help because business was on hold without electricity. The other shocking reality for companies using datacenters was that they couldn’t expect employees to risk their lives and leave their families getting to those facilities. Plus, datacenters were short-staffed, overwhelmed by the emergency, and unable to onboard new customers.
So early the next year we embraced Microsoft’s initial cloud computing offering before it became Office 365 of today. We moved e-mail and files of key clients to the cloud for less cost and higher security than keeping them on-premises.
2009 was eerily almost a mirror image of 2008 with blasting heat followed by another ice apocalypse. This time we were ready. Anywhere there was Internet we could support our clients and they could help their customers – safely and securely without worry about facilities. Even for new clients without power, we could immediately provide e-mail and then import remaining data later.
That’s the real secret of using cloud computing - making your facilities irrelevant for normal operations or emergent situations and knowing your IT support is capable and available.
The panic call came in at approximately 9am. No systems were down and there were no disasters, but this problem was much scarier.
The CFO of one of our largest clients told a story about an ex-con who contacted them about the USB drive he sent that contained private financial information of the company and the owner. We advised her not to connect the drive to any systems and wait for us to scan it for ransomware.
The drive was clean, but really did contain company financials including Aged Receivables of current customers and the personal income statement of the owner with social security number, date of birth, and current residence. The ex-con had bought a laptop at a garage sale just over the state line and found the data on the drive.
The former convict had since formatted the notebook but was simply afraid of getting into any other legal problems and was asking for nothing in return. Many of the documents were over 7 years old and appeared to be from a retired loan officer of a bank the firm no longer used and had since closed. Even worse, there was personally identifiable information of other individuals and their companies on the disk.
According to the FBI, 95% of data breaches are human error. The more you can educate and prevent your staff from making inadvertent mistakes, the better you’re protecting your customers. Like Clint Eastwood says in the true story of Million Dollar Baby, “Protect Yourself at All Times”.
Matrixforce is the oldest continuously operating IT support firm in Oklahoma. We’ve had a name change, multiple locations over the years, and survived several disasters.
According to IDC, 85% of technology firms fail in less than 7 years – most in two years. People often ask, "How we have stayed in business so long?" There’s probably not one simple answer.
When the Dot Com bubble burst, we all took a pay cut so no one lost their job. As our industry zigs, we regularly evaluate and collectively decide to zag. Today, we’re more prosperous than ever from focusing each week on improving at what we do for clients.
We invite you to join our journey to streamline your technology!