When it comes to finding the right information technology (IT) solutions for your business and your customers, flexibility is always a key consideration. After all, the only constant in life is change.
Entrepreneurs Michael and Rebecca Hogan, who won a $10,000 grant as part of a Purdue/Lilly business plan competition in 2004, can attest to that.
“Writing a business plan is kind of like writing a letter to yourself on what it will be like to have children when you’re expecting your first child,” Michael, who previously worked as an IT systems engineer, said. “I always knew that I wanted to start my own business one day. While working as a Systems Engineer for another consulting firm, I saw the value virtualization could bring to clients, and no one else was focused on this technology in the region. It was the right time for a change.”
“I was doing contract shift work then, so my flexible schedule allowed me to do all the ground work and get the business set up,” Rebecca, a former registered nurse, explained. “After we started Hogan Consulting Group in our basement, I only picked up one more shift as a nurse. We took off so fast.”
In the early years, Hogan Consulting Group focused exclusively on larger companies, providing managed IT services, cloud computing and IT strategies exclusively using Citrix-based solutions. The company has grown to 22 employees with offices in Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. The Chesterton corporate headquarters was established in 2005 and has been expanded twice to accommodate two distinct divisions.
“We kept our eye on what needed to be done everyday, and business grew organically,” Rebecca said. “Even when the recession hit in 2009, we continued to do well. That’s when we took a leap of faith and hired some of the tremendous talent that was out there looking for work.”
Along with Michael’s technical expertise guiding the company’s growing group of systems engineers, Rebecca’s office management and marketing leadership contributed to the company earning a multitude of awards from Citrix over the years, including Partner of the Year, Excellence in Service and Marketing Excellence.
“As a Citrix Authorized Learning Center (CALC), we not only deliver solutions, but also provide training for companies and individuals looking to further their skills with the Citrix products we implement,” Rebecca said. “A little over a year ago, Mike helped rewrite one of the Citrix certification courses and then was asked to teach the first class in Germany.”
That led to a conversation with Michael Fox, author of Demystifying the Virtual Desktop, which has been invaluable reference across all job functions—sales, systems engineers and software developers—demonstrating how solutions should be driven by the unique requirements of a business and not by technology.
“He was looking for someone to co-author an update,” Michael said. “It’s only been three years since his first book was published, yet virtualization is now transforming how businesses work, collaborate and network in the cloud era.”
For starters, the playing field is more balanced. Smaller businesses now have the opportunity to leverage the same IT resources that Fortune 100 companies have been using to gain a competitive advantage.
“By only paying for what you use, it’s now realistic for smaller businesses to compete more effectively with larger companies that have bigger IT budgets,” Michael explained. “We recently introduced Hogan Cloud Services to help meet the needs of small and medium businesses when it comes to aligning the very latest IT solutions with their unique strategies and goals.”
Simply stated, cloud services are off-premise hosting - server and application virtualization.
“Quite honestly one of the biggest advantages is scalability without the investment,” Michael added. “Cloud services deliver a better cash flow by eliminating the upfront capital expense associated with building additional data center infrastructure. This gives a business the ability to cost-effectively leverage external resources when it makes sense. Examples of this include seasonal fluctuations such as an accounting firm that significantly increases their staff during tax time or project-based demand such as a law firm that has specialists collaborating on trials across the country.”
Other proven benefits of cloud services include the ability to lower maintenance and ownership costs.
Since cloud services require fewer onsite physical resources, there is less hardware to power, cool and maintain. Additionally, cloud computing can simplify license agreements by consolidating them under the cloud provider, resulting in significant cost savings. Plus, when you make the switch to external resources, you won’t need to continually add/update servers, storage or network capacity.
“Many people are surprised to learn that cloud services can be very quick and easy to get up and running,” Michael said. “There are many options, and you can get started using your current infrastructure investments. Virtualization provides better and faster delivery of IT services while granting users the freedom and mobility to be continuously connected.”
To learn more about how virtualization can transform how you do businesses, contact Hogan Cloud Services for a personalized consultation and overview of their Impact Technology® Solutions. A member of M7 Global Partners, Hogan Consulting Group is aligned with more than 200 virtualization consultants and engineers across the country, sharing knowledge and experience to offer their clients total seamless and secure access to information wherever and whenever they desire.
“Our goal is to provide the technology piece of the puzzle so you can stay focused on running your business,” Michael said. “The recent rapid growth of cloud-based services have made data center modernization accessible and beneficial to organizations of every size. The real question is whether you want to continue buying servers that will be obsolete in two to three years or pay a set monthly fee for someone else to refresh and maintain them?”
Look for The Evolution of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure by Michael Fox and Michael Hogan later this year.