It was just a few short years ago when you and a couple of buddies started your up-and-coming Software as a Service, (SaaS) business out of your home, in Coppell, Texas. What did you have to get started? Two laptops, a monitor, an idea and model for the Accounting industry, and the will to build an empire.
Back then you did not have the necessary capital to get started, so you turned to Equity crowdfunding and small investments from friends and family. You knew going in this direction all of your investors were expecting a return on their investment. The confidence others had in your dream, gave you the drive to succeed.
Fast forward to today and how your hard work has paid off. Your company went from your couch to an office complex. From 2 laptops and a monitor to two dozen devices and several monitors. From only having Stateside customers to clients in different countries.
From you and two friends to you, a staff of 60, Board of Directors, Investors, a Human Resource office and an IT Department. And your company is still showing steady growth and on pace with earnings beyond your predicted timelines.
But The Time For Hardware Upgrades Reared Its Ugly Head Again And Was Back On The Table
The licensing software subscriptions were pouring in month after month, and your company’s centralized hosting has made it all possible to bring in users from around the globe. Though your company is now international and growing, there are quick reminders that your dream, in Coppell, Texas, can come to an abrupt halt.
It was just before tax season a year ago, when you started noticing the system straining again. Similar to the peak season the year before that. As a result of selling more subscriptions, your company’s hardware workload increased. Then it hiccupped, then stalled, then fixed, then started growing again, then hiccupped, then broke-down again, then got repaired again, and so on. No real solution. Just a band-aid.
Seeing this twice, in the past two years, around the same time of year, and with your peak season two months away, you finally reached out to Tony Garza, head of your in-house IT department about your concerns.
Later that day he sent you an email, informing you what the team found. It wasn’t terrible news, but it wasn’t positive either. Because you are on a wireless network and your Ring Central phones are running through the data lines, your system is experiencing these symptoms:
In simpler terms, what was happening your user’s quality of experience and your network was no longer running smoothly. Replacing the two old pieces of hardware was the recommended first step.
Unfortunately, Tony did not do any of the upgrades or installations. Upper management always left that up to an outside hardware vendor. But, the last time any hardware installation was ordered and put in, might have been four to five years ago.
Tony’s recommendation was to call Data Magic. He had heard they can quickly get and install a 48-port 500W switch, compatible controller, and a rack. He also requested Cat 6a cables to reduce the crosstalk phenomenon and system noise.
Your email back to him:
“Thanks, Tony. I’ll bring it before the board and get back with you. In the meantime, see what you can do to keep us going.”
Here is where you rub your staff the wrong way.
You are a successful Vertical SaaS company, answering specific needs for the Accounting industry. Your clients love the flexibility of using different devices and accessing the application in their office or at their client’s location.
But now four other industries were knocking on your door, looking for help too, (Agriculture, Finance, Healthcare, and the Real Estate industries). And plans to offer Horizontal SaaS, so your company can focus more on software product categories is in the works.
The front office knew, the IT department shared their findings, your company could not accommodate these other industries in your current setup. But like most businesses, any necessary expansion, upgrades or preventative measures is put off until the time is right. Or the system was showing its age.
Finally, the necessary upgrade was approved.
That upgrade couldn’t have come at a more needed time. The hardware maxed out and was running out of time. It was around 4:30 pm Friday afternoon when Tony received the work order email from his IT Administrator Phil Tonk.
It read: “Needing to add to our current network. Installation and purchase of a 48-port 500W switch, compatible controller & rack with the Cat 6a cables for 11 desks. The Board approved. HR gave the green light. The expansion is a go! Call Data Magic as soon as you get this email.”