By Russ Levanway, CEO
Two years ago, I started up a conversation with Eric Egolf, CEO of CIO Solutions, a tech company not unlike our own, established in the late ‘80’s and based out of Santa Barbara. At the time, we were friendly competitors sharing a border between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties, but through the course of conversation, we discovered that our businesses are very complementary. For instance, CIO Solutions is very strong in areas including cloud technology, security, and first call resolution, while TekTegrity’s strengths include operations, administration, and managing the life cycle of issues our clients experience. Soon, we were talking about how compelling a combination of our strengths might be; before long, we were talking more seriously, and last August, Eric approached me with a well thought out proposal.
That’s the exciting news I’m sharing today: Effective the beginning of April, TekTegrity will be merging with CIO Solutions and the combined organization will be known as CIO Solutions.
Before I continue, let’s establish that little will change.
It’s important to Eric and I that we avoid business jargon, euphemisms like “redundancies” or “synergies.” Nobody will be leaving their position at TekTegrity as a result of this change. We’re in the business of service, and we have dedicated and loyal people who work hard every day to support our amazing group of clients San Luis Obispo and Fresno. And because the CIO Solutions back-office is lean, the combined staff make up will be ideal. There is remarkably little overlap in positions between our teams.
Because the services we provide to our clients is similar, client agreements and rates will not change as a result of this merger, either. However I am very excited to say that CIO Solutions brings technological capabilities and creative solutions that will provide a significant value add to our clients over time.
As for Eric & I, our strengths are compatible, too. He is extremely outwardly-focused and a good strategic planner with extensive involvement with CIO’s clients, while I tend to focus on strategic execution, operations and the smooth running of systems. As such, I’ll take the more internal role of President and report to Eric, who will continue as the CEO.
I can assure you that both TekTegrity and CIO Solutions performed due diligence for several months in pursuing this move. Our first official discussions began in August and September of 2017. More recently, a facilitator interviewed all of our division leaders for cultural connection and expectations, capped off with a day and a half planning session where we decided what the joint culture would look like. We shared the news with the entire TekTegrity staff earlier this week, and we have kicked off communications with our clients as well.
A marriage of two companies should ultimately benefit the communities they serve, and that’s certainly the case here.
The markets in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Fresno share many similarities, including the understanding that we’re community-oriented, not corporate. CIO Solutions well understands the importance of relationships with partners, vendors, and clients that TekTegrity has in San Luis Obispo and Fresno.
That said, this is a bittersweet transition in some ways. Personally, I put my heart and soul into this company. The attitudes people have here at TekTegrity and the camaraderie we share is special. I have confidence that this is the right way forward, and believe that our mission―to enhance productivity and to enrich lives―will be furthered as such.
Onward and upward,