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IT Company Is Taking Holistic Approach to Growth Strategy

TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION GROUP

CEO: Bruce Geier.

Revenue: $317.7 million in 2010; $267 million in 2009.

No. of employees: 450.

Year founded: 1981.

Company description: Information technology systems integrator and computer equipment reseller.

Key factors for success: Profitable every year since founding 30 years ago; maintains highly trained specialists, and continually updating staff with changes in the industry; wide network of support offices including one in China.

Growing a business can happen organically or through acquisition or, if things are really in sync, by both means.

That’s the fortunate situation for Technology Integration Group, a San Diego computer reseller and systems integrator that’s been growing at double-digit rates for much of the past decade. It ranked No. 4 on the San Diego Business Journal’s list of Largest Private Companies.

TIG generated revenue last year of $317.7 million, up 19 percent from the prior year when it pulled in $267 million, according to data provided by the company.

Those enviable results were due to the confluence of hard work on the part of its growing staff as well as a “controlled acquisition strategy,” said Chris Ferry, TIG’s executive vice president.

So far this year, the company conducted two purchases: WaveNet Technologies of Pensacola, Fla., in May, and Integrity Networking Systems Inc. of Albuquerque, N.M., in February. The business didn’t reveal acquisition costs for either transaction but they have benefited TIG’s bottom line, Ferry said.

The Expansion

“We’ve been continuing our growth as we buy smaller companies. We now have 23 offices in 16 states,” he said.

In early 2008, TIG opened an office in Shanghai, China, to better serve clients in that nation as well as in South Korea, Japan, India, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore and Taiwan.

TIG is benefiting from an overall movement by many companies to contract out for their computer network services, said Kevin Carroll, regional director of TechAmerica for Southern California, a national trade group for the high-tech sector.

“Businesses are outsourcing more and stuff that used to be in-house is going external,” Carroll said. “It’s more efficient and cost-effective and as computer systems become more complicated that’s going to continue.”

Despite a global recession, the need for experienced and skilled computer network installers hasn’t abated. Businesses and organizations are continually seeking faster, more effective and secure information networks, Ferry said.

“A lot of this business is commodity based,” he said, referring to the hardware, the PCs and mobile devices that many businesses require. “But we’re providing them with more than just boxes, but the ability to fully integrate the boxes and make them work efficiently.”

In addition to helping clients design their networks and select the best hardware, TIG also integrates software programming into the systems and maintains the systems for clients, who are generally midsized organizations of more than 500 employees, Ferry said.

Keeping Up With Changes

Bruce Geier, TIG’s founder and chief executive, wasn’t available for an interview, but in an interview he gave earlier this year to the Business Journal, he said his firm makes it a priority to be knowledgeable about the many changes occurring within the uber-fast-paced world of technology.

“As a company we’ve been very open to change, which is what we should be since we sell change,” Geier said.

In July 2010, TIG was awarded $10.9 million in damages from a civil trial involving another company’s allegedly stealing trade secrets and former TIG employees.

Geier said the award will help set standards for the still nascent computer industry.

Geier founded the business, originally called PC Specialists Inc., in 1981 after spending his early professional career as a software consultant. He later joined a larger networking enterprise, but eventually outgrew that model and decided to make his own way, according to the company’s website.

TIG is a certified minority-owned business and does business with several major corporations including Sempra Energy and AT&T as well as with several large federal agencies including the Department of Defense, the General Services Administration, and National Institutes of Health.

The business has certainly been on a tear in recent years, and from 2006 through 2010, it was consistently increasing revenue sufficiently to be part of the San Diego Business Journal’s 100 Fastest-Growing Companies list.

Ferry said TIG’s consistent rising sales aren’t showing any signs of slowing, and he expects similar growth paths in the near term although he declined to prognosticate figures. “We’re definitely an innovative market leader in our field and we’ve positioned ourselves well for future growth,” he said.

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