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Rochester Top 100: IT firm sees growth, new facility on horizon

Rochester Business Journal
September 18, 2015

Capping off a strong year of growth, the leaders of Capstone Information Technologies Inc. predict the firm will reach twice its current size in five years.

The computer support services firm, which is located on South Plymouth Avenue, estimates 25 percent growth in revenues next year.

Now with 23 staffers, the firm is looking to move to a new facility this fall to keep up with its growing team. A handful of employees will be added next year.

Finding staff has become increasingly important but difficult as well, said co-CEO Michael Fowler.

“I think it’s more challenging,” he said. “We continue to find those people but it takes a lot of effort; it’s every single day making sure you’ve got your eyes open.”

Spouses Michael and co-CEO Sitima Fowler are thinking about the future leaders of their business when they hire.

“Having people that can take on leadership roles becomes more important than when we were smaller,” Michael Fowler said.

The company chooses a point of focus each year to help it reach its goals; last year’s focus was on traction. Capstone aimed to propel forward using the processes and people in it had put in place.

“I would say that in 2013 we had already started this concept but then understanding it we had said, ‘let’s leverage that concept of traction to the next level,’” Michael Fowler said.

This year, Capstone is directing clients to the cloud.

“That’s reminding us every day that the systems that we support are no longer at a client site … they’re now at multiple locations,” he said. “Our business needs to change to be able to support that reality and to encourage it.”

Tools such as Office 365 are ways companies can adapt to their constantly shifting employee schedules and needs, Sitima Fowler said. The ways of the workplace are no longer static.

“The way people communicate, the way people collaborate and work is so different than it was even two years ago,” she said. “People want to use their handheld, their smartphone, to do a lot of their work and we just noticed the way people are changing they want access to everything immediately.”

As the workplace changes, so do requests from clients. Businesses are using Capstone as a consultant, officials said.

“Before it used to be somebody’s computer isn’t working or they got a virus, those (were) the kind of service calls,” Sitima Fowler said. “Now it’s evolved where the businesses are saying what kind of applications do we have to have in place to be efficient and compete with our competitors?”

“So the questions are now more CIO-level coming to us,” she added.

The need for computer support has become even more crucial to companies.

“Nobody is jumping up and down to buy IT support,” Sitima Fowler said. “But what they’re buying is basically a state of mind that somebody has got their back, somebody is going to take care of them. As a result, they’re able to focus on their business and not have technology hassles.

“We don’t make the hardware; we don’t make the software. We’re the people in the middle that are making it work.”

Internal IT departments are disappearing, and companies such as Capstone help firms move forward. Often, internal IT departments cannot keep up, Michael Fowler said.

“We’re starting to see that going away because it’s hard to find good people. They’re tired of training people over and over. They’re tired of having people who only know what they know,” he said.

Now in its 12th year, the company knows what it can do for clients.

“To work with a client, help them leverage technology, establish standards for technology and help them to grow takes a different approach, a more mature approach,” Michael Fowler said. “There are fewer companies that we see in the Rochester market that take that approach.

Despite its years of successful growth, there is always a need to evolve to prosper, officials said.

“The things that got us to where we are today won’t get us to where we want to be tomorrow,” Michael Fowler said. “We’re very focused, but our roles are going to change as we move forward.”

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. The 2015 Rochester Top 100 event will be held Nov. 4. For more information, go to rochesterbusinessalliance.com.

Capstone Information Technologies Inc.
Computer support services firm
Year founded: 2003
Top executives: Michael and Sitima Fowler, co-CEOs
Current employment: 23
2014 ranking: 47
Headquarters: Rochester
Website: capstoneitinc.com

9/18/15 (c) 2015 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email service@rbj.net.


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