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Rochester Top 100: Telecom company connects to strong growth

Rochester Business Journal
January 3, 2014

(Photo by Kimberly McKinzie)

Tele Data Com Inc. is wired for 2014.
 
The company, which expected to reach 14 percent revenue growth for 2013, projects 8 percent growth for its 30th anniversary. It has 22 employees and also expects to add to that number in 2014.
 
"We have to be a little bit different, and that's where our size, financial stability, experience, technical skills-that's what separates us," said Michael Grant, president and owner. "Sometimes it's frustrating that a lot of our competition will claim to have (15 to 25 years of) experience, and the reality is they've only been in business three years or five years.
 
"We have been in business since 1984 in Rochester, and I think people need to know that."
 
For 30 years, the network cabling installation and design company has served Rochester.
 
After taking over the company in 1989, Grant focused on building relationships with clients. Seventy percent of clients are in the Rochester area and 30 percent elsewhere in the nation.
 
"I always tell (the employees) I don't know everything," Grant said. "I can't tell you what to do, but I know what not to do. Having done and made those mistakes over the years, you learn, OK don't do that, do this and this works better than to try something that I've failed at probably five to 10 times."
 
The company picks products to complement its offerings and ones that do not interfere with the offerings of its partnerships. One of the latest products to be added to the portfolio is the Spectra Classic from Lencore Acoustics Corp., which masks sound in public places, giving customers privacy.
 
"We didn't want to step on the toes of all our partners. There's also (a network of) integrators that we work with that probably sell products that we could sell, but if we started selling it then it might damage the relationship with them," said Eugene Clay, director of sales. "We tried to pick a couple of products that really weren't being sold by a lot of our partners."
 
The company also got its employees certified for the Fluidmesh Networks LLC line of products, which builds the company's portfolio and capabilities. Fluidmesh offers a range of telecommunications-related applications.
 
The expansion of products and capabilities led to revenue growth over the past three years, especially from 2011 to 2012, when Tele Data Com had a 60 percent jump.
 
The company built new relationships to stay afloat during the recession. Some of those relationships included security companies and network integrators with wireless access points.
 
"The reason for our success is really the skill and the loyalty of the people in our company," Grant said. "I think it's important to note that we built this company. I think we are in one of the best positions moving forward as a group that we've ever been."
 
He added: "Owning this company, it's very rewarding. Seeing it grow, seeing it be successful has really been a good thing for me. It's been rewarding to be around people that are on the same page, that are loyal, dedicated, smart, and it's taken a lot of years to assemble the group that we have today."
 
Often customers believe that network cabling will automatically be addressed by a general contractor when a new building is constructed, he said.
 
"Network cabling is customer-specific," Grant said. "It has to be designed; it's not a power outlet every six feet. It has to be done determining a client's needs, so it's really more of a specialized installation."
 
The company's focus will not shift in 2014.
 
"I think what's helped us through the years is our focus," Grant said. "We've focused heavily on network cabling. We believe we need to be diverse, but not so diverse that we lose track of what our core business is. That's network cabling. That's what we do; that's what we're good at."

The Rochester Top 100 program is presented by the Rochester Business Alliance Inc. and KPMG LLP. Launched in 1987, it recognizes the fastest-growing private companies in Greater Rochester. Next year's Rochester Top 100 event will be held Nov. 5. For more information, go to rochesterbusinessalliance.com.

Tele Data Com Inc.
A telecommunicaions company specializing in designing and installing network cabling systems.
Founded: 1984
Top executive: Michael Grant, president
Employees: 22
2013 ranking: 64
Location: Chili
Website: www.teledatacom.net

1/3/14 (c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email service@rbj.net.


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