I’ve heard stories of entrepreneurs who jotted down their initial game plan for their start up on a napkin but I had never actually met anyone whose business actually started that way. That is, until I met the founders of Optimum Networking. And then, the founders shared the story of how when they were trying to scope out the competition, they turned to the Yellow Book. Yes, the phone book… this was back in 1995.
“We went to the technology section of the phone book, looked through there and didn’t feel like we were too intimidated by the other competition in there,” CEO Joe Turnbough said. “So we said, ‘let’s just go for it.’ We shut the phone book and just went at it.”
From a team of two, CEO Joe Turnbough and Chief Operations & Information Officer Tracy Huntzinger, this Denver-based company now has a team of almost 50.
“Joe and Tracy were pioneers,” Chief Technology Officer Brett Ammerman admits. He went on to say back in the 90s, computer businesses focused solely on repair work. Joe and Tracy knew there was more to computers than just repairs.
Optimum Networking is a leading managed service provider that tackles any IT need for 140 small and medium sized businesses: everything from hardware and software to infrastructure and connectivity to cloud storage and malware prevention. The list goes on and on.
Not only does Optimum Networking provides the equipment needed for their clients to get to work, but there is a deep bench of technology experts who can answer any question and fix any issue. Some of the specialists work in-house with clients and others are just a phone call away. It depends on what the client wants and needs.
“Technology has become strategic for companies and they’ve recognized over the last 10-15 years that they can’t live without technology,” CEO Joe Turnbough said. “We here for our customers to help them maintain their technology and take them to the next level so they can compete in the global marketplace.”
Optimum Networking engineers are also constantly focused on keeping clients’ data secure, addressing not only immediate concerns but also brainstorming what might be a challenge in the future.
“I think we’re going to see dramatic changes in technology going forward,” CTO Brett Ammerman said. “And people are always going to need help with technology and we’re always going to be here and evolving.”
“You have people who call in who don’t know how to sign into their email or log into VPN to work so you have to have compassion,” Support Desk Analyst Kristy Kirk said. “Not everybody knows how to do IT stuff and there are a lot of people who are afraid of it. That’s why we are here. You have to have compassion.”
The team at Optimum Networking definitely has compassion. They are a tight-knit group that many who work there refer to as family. No matter what department people are assigned to, they are collectively focused on working together.
“If something goes off the tracks for a client, we know how to get it back and everyone wants to,” COO/CIO Tracy Huntzinger said. “And that’s a willingness that I don’t know exactly know where it came from. But, it’s something that’s always been here and that’s an attribute that I don’t see at a lot of companies.”
For a people-centered businesses, Optimum Networking had to adjust and reset when theCOVID-19 pandemic hit and everyone had to work remotely for a while. However, it was through that separation that the team became even stronger. And, Optimum Networking became even more united in helping clients navigate the world of IT.
It was a pleasure to get to know the team at Optimum Networking. Not only is everyone exceptionally bright, but they were also welcoming and friendly to our crew during our 3 day shoot in February and early March. I wish them the best over the next 25 years!
Here is a shorter version of the Optimum Networking story, a “trailer” that we produced for them to share when connecting with potential clients.