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DominionTech excited to join Williston business community

July 21, 2011

By Luke Baynes
Observer correspondent

Dominion Tech president Brian Curtis. (Photo courtesy of Brian Curtis)

The employees at DominionTech have their heads in a cloud — cloud computing, that is.

The newest addition to Williston’s growing business community on Vermont 2A is a premier information technology service provider that offers support for both the Macintosh and PC marketplaces. Formerly headquartered in Colchester, DominionTech is still in the process of moving its operations to Williston.

“It’s a natural place to be,” said Mark Renkert, who holds the Capital Markets Chair on DominionTech’s board of directors, of the reason for selecting Williston. “We wanted our clients to feel comfortable in a place they visit, a place where there was parking, a place where they didn’t have to worry whether their doors were locked, a place where they knew there was adequate police support and adequate fire support, a place that people felt was generally conducive to commerce and conducive for growth. Largely, people look at businesses in Williston as up-and-comers, fast movers and risers.”

Brian Curtis, founder and president of DominionTech, concurred that Williston is an ideal location for a growing company that plans to add 40 employees in the next two years.

“We needed an area that was close to the highway, because we have clients all across the state,” Curtis said. “Price played a factor. We found that price in Williston was cheaper than Colchester — which I was surprised to find out — quite honestly.”

DominionTech is unique among local IT companies in that it is the only Vermont provider with service certifications for both the Mac and PC platforms. It’s also progressive for its “DominionCare” managed price structure that charges a fixed rate for its 24/7 “100% Up Time Philosophy,” rather than the traditional “break/fix” IT model in which firms invoice per office visit.

“We prefer to profit in success instead of failure,” Curtis said. “We need to be in contact with our customers so they know that we still exist and that it’s not just a fluke that their systems are running.”

“Most of the work we do is interpretive work,” agreed Renkert. “We’re anticipating when things are going to break.”

DominionTech specializes in the small business workplace, providing enterprise solutions via the “cloud.” Curtis explained the popular buzzword in layman’s terms: “Instead of having your server in your office, your server is in a secure temperature controlled facility on the Web which gives you access to the data from anywhere in the world as long as you have Internet access.”

Curtis’ ability to talk about complex computing concepts without sounding haughty or condescending is central to his company’s computer support model that “doesn’t demean people for not knowing how to manage their systems or talk down to them.”

“Not everyone is tech savvy, and they don’t have to be, as long as there’s guys like us around,” Curtis said.

DominionTech’s growth strategy has it first expanding the employee base of its Williston location, then branching out with additional sites in the Barre/Montpelier area and New Hampshire.

“Our vision would have us being a premier service provider for the Northeast,” said Curtis, who stated that the 10-year plan would include a presence in all the New England states and an increased footprint in upstate New York.

Renkert provided a sevenfold growth model, involving increased sales, market penetration, employment, mergers, and aggressive acquisition of other companies, product development and value to shareholders.

“Without any one of those, the plan can’t work,” he said.

Renkert and Curtis stressed that relationships are the core of their business, both with their employees and with their clients, whom Curtis noted are almost entirely subscription based, long-term relationships.

“I subscribe to the Japanese business model of 100 years. Even if our business is unsuccessful, our relationship will be successful, because that’s the most important thing,” Renkert said. “And that’s what we do at Dominion.”

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