You’ve got to love a business that keeps its practice at the heart of core values. For Infinity Inc. those values include doing the right thing (always), continually improving and providing fanatical customer service. For CEO and COO, Chuck and David Brown (yes, they are brothers), it’s been the guiding compass since day one.
The company, now in it’s 18th year of business, provides full service IT service to small-to-medium size companies seeking expertise for all their needs. Chuck tells me that not only do they provide the support, but they are fiercely proud to be the best IT support provider in Savannah. With clients as large as the Chamber of Commerce, Savannah Bee Company and Savanah Economic Development Authority, to smaller companies and organizations like the Telfair Museum,Pioneer Construction and many more, Chuck and Dave have created a business that not only meets a tremendous gap, but do so in a way that is tangible and accessible.
The Creative Coast : Tell us a little bit about Infinity’s genesis story -how did y’all get started?
Chuck Brown: Well, I was with the City for 15 years. David was with the US District Courts along the same time, we’re brothers as you may have figured out.
David Brown: That’s at least what Mom says.
CB: I had started doing some work on the outside in this area, and it got to the point that I decided to make it full time. We both quit our jobs about the same time and formed Infinity, and that was 18 years ago. It started out with just the 2 of us doing work for small businesses in Savannah. We started out primarily in construction companies, then did some accounting companies, then did some law firms and, it’s just kind of grown through the years.
Our growth has been almost completely organic, word of mouth, reputation in Savannah. I mean, this is the way Savannah does things. And we’ve basically grown from that two person firm to where we are today, which is 25 and hiring.
CC: For folks who may be reading this interview for the first time, and just discovering who Infinity is, can you talk a little bit about the work you all do?
DB: We are a managed services provider, which means that we work with small-to- medium sized businesses to take care of their IT needs.
For customers that aren’t large enough to have their own IT in-house resources, we have four who are large enough to have, perhaps, somebody who maybe isn’t that skilled. We augment that, we take over their IT network, basically to guarantee performance. We have higher inner resources that most small businesses wouldn’t be able to afford, because we support many small businesses. We’re sort of an outsource for IT department. Another way of putting it-
CB: That’s small to medium, but the smallest company that make sense for us, with our process, is 15 work stations. The largest we have today is over 100. We work with companies like Chamber of Commerce and pretty much any industry you can think of. SEDA is also a client of ours.
But we also work with medical firms, health care, that would be medical, health care, hospitality, manufacturing; pretty much any sort of company you could think of.
CC: Can you talk about the necessity of what you do? It seems like for most people, IT is this murky thing that needs to happen, but one they perhaps don’t understand completely.
CB: The problem that a lot of small companies have is that you start small, and you grow as you have to. One person typically gravitates towards the IT stuff. They know a little bit about computers. The problems with those people is 1. they’re one person, so if they’re out sick or leave, or go on vacation, or whatever; you don’t have that resource available.
The other problem is they typically don’t have a good, broad type view of the company. They’re not really looking at, where you’re going to be in two years. And making sure the decisions we’re making today are going to get you there. That really cripples a lot of people, because we’ll get a phone call that says, “We’ve got this guy, we really like him, he does a great job, but we’ve just out grown him. We don’t know how to get to the next level.”
A lot of times they will have spent a lot of money to get where they are, and it’s the wrong place. Having a company like us, we bring a lot of resources to bear. We do put a lot of resources, time and money, into training. To make sure that we have a very broad spectrum of knowledge. So, that we can bring that, and then the experts in this, that or the other, and say, “You know what, if you want to go here, why don’t we look at it doing it this way.” And bring different suggestions and solutions, and things like that.
So, that’s factually true about a tiny business, probably dealt with. I mean, if you have two or three PCs, and one goes down for a day, it’s probably not going to kill you. But, once you grow beyond that, your server goes out … Your server being out for a day or two, can be devastating to a small business.
Is that one person that’s comfortable with IT, but isn’t really trained in IT, really going to have the view they need to make sure, that if your building burns down your back-ups are good. And how do we restore those back-ups. And are we compliant with the laws that are here, and are we secure, and let hackers get in; and if they do get in, what are we going to do? And all those type of things. That we already have the policies and procedures set up to either, prevent it in the first place, or to mitigate when they do have them.
DB: We do what we do well, so that businesses can do what they do well.
CC: So, why Savannah? I heard your Chuck first say that you were working the mostly here. But why? I mean, why choose Savannah, right? Because, you could essentially could take this model anywhere almost.
DB: You could, but both Chuck and I were born here, we were raised here, we both went to into computer science and research in Armstrong. We’ve never left.
This is home.
CC: What would be your parting words of wisdom for either, small businesses in Savannah, who are trying to make that leap, since they’re really, reading down into what they’re doing, and taking that next step.
Or, even to folks outside of Savannah, who are just kind of, “Hmm, seems okay, like they, they’ve got a film festival, but, hmm, I don’t know.” What would you first say to those folks?
CB: It’s sometimes hard to attract talent here. What’s interesting is that a lot of the people that wound up working here for us, they came to Savannah, because they want to be in Savannah. They vacationed here one time, or they passed through when they were on their honeymoon, and they’ve always wanted to come back.
So, it’s definitely is a place that once people have visited, they want to be here. Between the film industry, and the ports, and all these things, Savannah has a pretty vibrant technology sector. It’s growing. All these things are happening in Savannah, so it’s a good place to be.
I mean, for both the quality of life, and for the job opportunity perspective. So, it’s good to be here.
I think David and I, we’ve never really considered anywhere else. We have some clients that are outside of Savannah, but the vast majority of 99 percent or better, is in a 50 mile radius of this office.
Which, what more could you need?
To find out more Infinity Inc. visit: http://www.infinityinc.us