Since 1996 Advanced Business Solutions (ABS) has been a managed service provider, helping businesses manage their IT by providing strategic guidance, and implementing IT projects. Three years ago, that role expanded as data analytics took off.
John Clark, Vice President of Business Development for ABS explains, “We have always strived to be the strategic thinker for our clients. We prepare them for two years down the road, matching IT strategy to their business goals and avoiding those urgent calls for immediate needs of $15,000 servers etc. And now, with adding data analytics, we are able to be more strategic in all areas of their business. We have helped clients store data for years, and now we can help them take data, analyze it, visualize it, and make strategic decisions faster.”
Clark gave an example of how ABS consultants implemented data analytics for a client in just one department. When the client showcased the information at a team leader meeting, all of the other department heads wanted the same done for them as quickly as possible. This is great news for the tech community as more jobs are being created.
“People have stored data in a variety of formats such as Excel or basic databases. When even one category doesn’t match, the data cannot be analyzed effectively,” Clark said. “To pull the data into a usable format, we hired and continue to hire SQL Server and Python experts to build applications and APIs to legacy software.”
ABS provides opportunities for people to start with their company with little technical experience. This process is helping them to fill more technically advanced roles as they continue to train while on the job.
“We are hiring as fast as we can,” Clark said. “Entry level is the best place to start at ABS because you can work your way up. Entry level here is our help desk and the number one skill you need is customer service. Secondary are basic computer skills.”
ABS trains help desk employees on the job. They also offer all employees access to training tools to study. At the entry level, their help desk manager, Quintin Borders, also serves as a career manager. He will ask employees what future role they would like to have at ABS then he will help them to develop a learning path. The employee can then go after certifications and ABS will reimburse them for the cost of any certification that they earn.
As employees move upward in the ranks, the support to continue developing skills continues. ABS has designated individuals in their technical ranks who provide mentoring and training to others as part of their own job description. This way, when someone is stuck on a problem, they go to these individuals and are guided through how to find the solution. Thereby teaching them to resolve future problems.
“Our management team all grew up inside the business as technicians,” Clark said. “We built a help desk, built processes, and most recently built the data services team. We understand the desire and benefits of learning and growing.”
ABS believes strongly in its core values and even uses them to determine if future employees would be a good fit.
“If you don’t want to help people you have no business working at ABS,” Clark said. “What we want our technicians to know is that when a customer calls and says their printer isn’t working, that isn’t the customer’s real problem. The problem is that they have a proposal that needs to go out in 30 minutes and they are freaking out. Empathize with that human situation. then go fix the printer problem. That mentality is what ABS is - take care of people. Treat people right and they will treat you right.”