Interview With Tommy Crutchfield – President & Co-Founder – Partners In Tech

by | Nov 11, 2020 | IT Consulting

Q – Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.

Partners in Tech is a local company created to serve the technology needs of local small to medium businesses in the greater Phoenix area. We are located in Peoria and provide services throughout the valley. Partners in Tech provides organizations with predictable, business focused IT services that optimize operations, manage risk, and deliver measurable business value to our customers.

Q – Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).

James: For 20 years I have been using technology to help companies manage and grow their business. I obtained a Bachelor of science degree in Computer Science from the University of Washington, and have built my experience from Software Engineer to VP of Technology at companies such as Lockheed Martin, Choice Hotels International, and MGM Resorts International.

Tommy: After spending 3 years in the US Navy as a mechanical engineer on turbine engines, I started my IT career doing telecommunications & networking for a proprietary video conferencing platform. After that, I went to work for Pegasus Solutions, the global leader of hospitality technology. I spent the next 15+ years working in all aspects of IT from software development, to data center & infrastructure management. At the time I left Pegasus I was the VP of Technology responsible for all facets of IT and Software Development. I then spent a year and a half working for the largest privately held VOIP provider in the United States as the global head of Enterprise Architecture. For the past year and a half I have been independently consulting for large enterprise clients on everything from web development to infrastructure and public cloud architecture.

Q – What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)?

Today virtually every company relies on technology to operate their business but many are not large enough to have in house technology experts. The companies that want to truly utilize technology to their greatest advantage need more than just an IT vendor, they need a technology partner. This is our goal and we put our mission statement right in the name of our company – to become your Partners in Tech.

Q – How did the idea for your business come about?

Working within IT departments for many years we have been able to see firsthand how larger enterprises leverage technology to their advantage in business growth, maximizing revenue opportunities, and minimizing operational costs. We realized that a need exists in other companies that do not have in house IT departments, to leverage our knowledge and experience in maximizing their technology investments to grow their business.

Q – What makes you different from other businesses in your industry?

There are many IT managed service providers and consultants in our industry to choose from. What makes us different is that we want to be Partners in your success. We choose to only work locally so that we can meet you in person, learn about the needs your business has, and to work with you to implement the best possible technology based solutions, and we are committed to earning your trust based on delivering measurable results.

Q – To what do you most attribute your success?

We attribute our success to listening to the needs of our customers and making sure we understand the problem that needs to be solved before offering a solution. Additionally, we are very transparent with our customers, helping them to understand the costs, risks, and opportunities of the solutions we can offer them.

Q – What is the best way to achieve long-term success?

Long term success requires building trust based relationships. Our success depends on the success of our customers, and that’s the way we like it. Partners implies a long term commitment, and partnership is the type of relationship we want to build with all of our customers.

Q – Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?

I see tremendous growth for Partners in Tech over the next 5 years. The shortage of qualified technology workers is expected to continue, while the use of technology in all businesses will only increase. In order for companies to compete they will need a technology partner they know and can trust. As the companies we partner with grow we will also need to grow, to continue to serve their needs as they expand within the market. I see Partners in Tech growing and flourishing alongside the
businesses that we work with.

Q – Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?

I’ve always admired an employee first culture. It makes sense that if your employees are happy then they will work very hard to also make your customers happy, and it also feels like the right way to treat people too. There are hundred if not thousands of smaller companies that do this well and that I have never heard of, but one that is well known for its employee first culture is Patagonia. As a company Patagonia has a mission beyond the bottom line, and they have always heavily invested in the well being of their employees to support their mission and their customers.

Q – How important have good employees been to your success?

Having good employees is crucial to professional and business success. We trust employees with our most valuable assets – our customers. I’ve always found that hiring smart and capable people, and then empowering them to make the decisions they need to in order to be successful makes you and your company successful too.

Q – What motivates you?

Success! Yes, I like to win, and Partners in Tech wins when our customers win. Seeing our customers not only survive, but truly thrive and grow is the best motivation in the world.

Q – What are your ideals?

Trust through transparency, and always deliver what you say you will deliver.

Q – How do you generate new ideas?

There’s nothing better than a whiteboard session with a customer, to generate new ideas on how technology can better their business. We like to spend a lot of time listening to our customers, to understand how their business operates and what it’s unique challenges are.

Q – How do you define success?

Helping others succeed! This is true for customers and employees.

Q – How do you build a successful customer base?

We build the relationship. We visit, we listen, we provide solutions, and we measure the effectiveness of the solutions. This builds trust in the partnership between us and our customers.

Q – What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

My favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur in a B2B business is getting to meet so many other entrepreneurs and see how their businesses help their customers. The landscape of opportunities in the market is vast and there are many interesting companies out there to get to meet.

Q – What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

The most satisfying moment for us is when we get to see how technology that we helped implement enables rapid growth for our customer. Partnering in the solution from the beginning and seeing how it positively impacts our customer’s business.

Q – What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?

We promote a culture of trust. It starts with full transparency of our pricing, making sure our customers know what they are getting for their money and being able to predictably model out their technology costs. We are upfront with our customers, providing honest assessments of their technology needs. We show our customers exactly what has been done for them through regular reporting and direct communication. All of this establishes trust and allows us to become technology
partners with our customers.

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