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January 13, 2010

Network Installation Feature: In Good Times and In Bad, IT 'Plumbers' in Demand

By Erin Harrison, Senior Editor

With the New Year underway, many companies in the IT industry are looking to make 2010 a triumphant year, especially after facing the struggles brought on by the economic recession in 2009. 

For network installation provider Contingent, last year proved to be more successful than other years, solidifying the company as a front runner in the IT space. 

In a recent TMCnet interview with Russ Maney (News - Alert), principal and co-founder of Xponential Group, a Louisville, Ky.-based technology procurement services company that represents Contingent, said that networks require not only installation but monitoring and repair, and it’s critical that problems are addressed swiftly and cost-effectively.
The company specializes in a variety of information technology services focused primarily on design, deployment and management of wide area network and local area network infrastructure. Contingent itself is not a carrier, a reseller or an agent but a “managed services provider” that is technology, vendor, and carrier neutral, according to company officials. In our interview, Maney discussed the wins of 2009 and said he expects “big things” for the network installation provider in 2010.
Our full exchange follows:
TMCnet: How did your company perform this year? How close did you come to meeting your goals as you entered 2009?
RM: Contingent performed well this year, considering the state of the economy, we finished the year profitable. The company made the Inc. “500” list for the second year in a row – and moved dramatically up that list. Contingent continues to grow at an “award-winning rate.” In good times and not so good times, “IT plumbers” are still in need.
TMCnet: What major product, services, and partnership agreements did your company announce?
RM: Last year was a big one for Contingent in terms of announcements. In 2009, we focused on our new agent program, and updates to our EverWorX and security offerings. 
TMCnet: At the start of 2009, the economy slowed to a deep recession. How did that affect your company’s performance? More specifically, what affect did it have on demand for your goods and services, if any?
RM: Contingent’s performance actually received a boost from the economy with the increase of technicians looking for work since many companies cut back on their IT needs. We found that though some scheduled projects were pushed back, our break/fix services increased due to company’s focusing on maintaining their current equipment instead of replacing it. The fact that companies increasingly turning to companies like Contingent to outsource, and thus more efficiently meet, their break/fix needs – in these tough times – helps Contingent. But, this may be another case of a “new normal,” as once companies realize they can count on companies like Contingent to do break/fix work on an outsourced basis, they may never go back to doing such things with in-house resources.
TMCnet: Talk to us about the major news item – whether it was a new product, an acquisition or something else – in your market segment this year?
RM: Our major news item of the year was moving into our new 50,000-square-foot headquarters facility located on a 19-acre campus in West Chester, Ohio. The new campus gives us more room to continue our rapid growth, more room to warehouse and stage equipment for customers’ installation and repair projects, and more room for our teams of project managers and engineers. This new campus positions Contingent to grow even more rapidly, as the recovering economy gets companies spending more on IT again.
TMCnet: With signs that the economy is pulling out of the recession, what are you expecting in 2010?
RM: Contingent expecting big things in 2010, many of those scheduled deployments that were pushed back in 2009 have been rescheduled for early 2010. In tough times, the break/fix business increases as companies concentrate more on maintaining what they have, versus upgrading what they have or buying new technologies altogether. When times improve, companies start upgrading what they have and buying new technologies again.

Erin Harrison is a senior editor with TMCnet, primarily covering telecom expense management, politics and technology and Web 2.0. She serves as senior editor for TMC's print publications, including "Internet Telephony", "Customer Interaction Solutions", "Unified Communications (News - Alert)" and "NGN" magazines. Erin also oversees production of TMCnet's weekly iPhone e-Newsletter. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Erin Harrison

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