Leading Edge IT Solutions

Buchanan Technologies

In 1988, Jim Buchanan launched a small IT company in Dallas, Texas. “It was one guy working out of his apartment,” President Stephen Sweett recalls. Before long, however, the one man show exploded into a global operation…

“We’ve grown to over 500 IT professionals providing services to hundreds of global clients spread across Canada the United States, the Philippines and Bulgaria,” Mr. Sweett reports. “It’s a great success story.”

Buchanan Technologies is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and, despite its growth, remains a privately owned business with the Buchanan family still at the helm. One key aspect of the company has recently changed, however. The team has just restructured its services to remain current in a rapidly evolving industry. “We restructured the entire business around five core lines of business: project services, professional services, managed services, support centre services, and field services,” Mr. Sweett explains.

Most importantly, the new structure delivers the dedicated, individualized support that clients need. “We provide our clients with a full menu of service offerings across each line of business. We will work with our customers to propose offerings that meet their specific needs and then build a client centric solution that tailors to their specific needs.” The restructuring has also promoted company unity. Before, Mr. Sweett explains, Buchanan was geographically dispersed into a U.S. team, a Canadian team, and a European team. Now, each line of business operates as one cohesive unit across multiple countries and continents. “It has united our organization globally into one management team that now thinks and delivers globally as opposed to regionally.”

Buchanan’s Project Services team takes care of complex IT projects, from application development and business intelligence through to IT infrastructure solutions and system integrations. Through this service, the company is able to improve the overall efficiency of a client’s business by carefully evaluating the current IT environment, determining where improvements can be made, and providing new or updated technology tools including custom business software applications. The result is a reduction in support costs over the long run as well as a more secure IT environment.

Buchanan’s Professional Services arm is designed to provide customers with an IT team that best fits their individual needs. The company has a wide network of vetted, high-skilled Subject Matter Experts from which to choose. And, the team carefully considers a client’s talent needs, culture, and technical environment when making a match to ensure that the right expert is assigned to the right job.

The company’s Managed Services team actively supports a customer’s daily operations round the clock, every day of the year. “Our managed services really allow us to reduce the personnel cost for the 24/7 monitoring and management that customers have to do of their IT environments,” Mr. Sweett explains, “which means customers can free up their IT team to focus on strategic initiatives.” The setup also means that someone is always managing the IT environment – even when members of the customer’s own IT team are out of the office. “It allows them to not worry about sick time or vacation time or turnover employees.”

Buchanan provides IT end-user support through its Support Centre Services. With more than a decade of help desk experience under their belt, the team is able to ensure that a client’s hardware, software, IT infrastructure, and telecommunication systems serve the needs of their end-users. “Our support centre solutions help reduce employee downtime and loss of productivity,” Mr. Sweett points out. “We make sure we are finding the best solutions for our customers.”

Buchanan’s IT Field Services Team tackles tough technical problems involving hardware, software, and peripheral devices. “We are able to do onsite support anywhere in North America the next business day,” Mr. Sweett reports. The result is an increase in productivity for the client, he adds, particularly those working out of small or remote offices that don’t have their own IT team. “IT really is a challenge for a lot of companies. We take the headache out by calling one of our dispatchers, getting someone onsite, and doing the follow up to make sure it’s done successfully. And we do it all by the hour so there is not a big overhead to the customer.”

In every one of these business lines the customer always comes first. “Customers matter,” Mr. Sweett states simply. “It is one of our core value propositions as a business. We want happy customers and we truly mean that.” He goes on to explain that a strong commitment to customer satisfaction is particularly important in the IT business. “We work in an industry that relies heavily on relationship building; a customer needs to feel comfortable with you and it takes a long time to gain that client’s trust. And, as we all know, it takes only seconds to potentially lose it if you do the wrong thing. So we always strive to do the right things for the right reasons at the right time for our customers.”

Meeting customers’ needs has never been more important, Mr. Sweett adds. “IT has become critical now in almost every aspect of every type of business. And the organizations today that are successful figure out how they can leverage IT to improve efficiency, save cost, increase revenue, reach more customers, and ultimately drive more profit. It influences every aspect of an organization – whether it be manufacturing, marketing, sales, HR, or communications – in terms of how they interact with their employees, their customers, and their vendors.” Indeed, businesses without an efficient, up to date IT environment face a serious disadvantage. “You are not going to be competitive, you are not going to survive in the market place.”

Indeed, many brand new technologies have suddenly become necessities almost overnight. “With the advent of cloud computing, social networking, and the growth of mobile computing over the last few years, it is challenging for organizations to keep up,” Mr. Sweett points out. For instance, businesses must quickly integrate these new technologies and advancements into their IT environment and overall business strategies. “Today, many employees connect their work-based email client to their personal smartphone or tablet; five, ten years ago that capability was in its infancy or didn’t exist. IT leaders didn’t have to think about that. Today, they do.”

Buchanan is eager to meet the increasingly demanding IT needs of businesses around the world and to do so, the team is committed to staying one step ahead of the rapidly evolving technology. This means that the company is always open to adding new service capabilities and launching new offerings. “For example, that is where our Lync Complete Solution came from. We recognized Microsoft Lync as a mainstream solution for unified communications three or four years ago and we started investing in training and capability around Lync. Now we are seeing that pay off in terms of the phenomenal growth we are having there.” That sort of foresight and proactive planning, Mr. Sweett believes, will continue to be integral to ongoing success.

The team is also open to future expansion. “We are also always looking for strategic acquisitions that are the right cultural fit with us, that allow us to expand from here from a geographical or capability perspective.” For the moment, however, things are looking pretty good just the way they are. “We are in the first year of our restructuring and we have seen a lot of success and a lot of synergy from that,” Mr. Sweett reports. “We are excited about moving forward with that into 2014.”

December 11, 2017, 2:20 AM EST