After successfully growing OneNeck IT Services for nearly 14 years and, with his co-founders, selling it in July 2011 for $95 million, Chuck Vermillion was ready to jump back into the entrepreneurial world. “I learned that when you have great entrepreneurial success, it’s unquestionably the most satisfying professional experience you’ll ever have,” says Vermillion.
Vermillion has weathered both good times and bad. When he and his co-founders started OneNeck, things were going so smoothly they often wondered when the other shoe would drop. They knew the reality of life included challenges as well as opportunities. Those challenges came right after September 11, 2011, when the economy took a significant hit along with their revenues.
“During tough times, you have to be very pragmatic, calm and measured,” Vermillion says. “You have to positon yourself for the reality of the situation, and it often requires strong, bold action that can be very difficult.” After company-wide layoffs that reduced the workforce by approximately 10 percent and executive pay cuts across the board, OneNeck emerged in a stronger financial position.
With AccountabilIT, Vermillion plans to grow the firm into the industry’s largest managed services business with the same industry-leading customer satisfaction ratings of his previous firm. AccountabilIT’s focus is on enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications. These applications are the ones companies use to manage their finances and inventories, enter and maintain orders, ship products and build parts. “Because it’s a single integrated application designed to meet the majority of their business automation requirements, the preponderance of businesses ultimately will run ERP applications in a private or public cloud,” says Vermillion.
Through AccountabilIT, Vermillion is putting a greater emphasis on the local managed services market in the Greater Phoenix area. AccountabilIT is helping its customers understand the right cloud for the right workload, and which applications should be moved to the cloud and which ones shouldn’t. He also sees a real need in security management. “I talked to CIOs and asked if there were any services they weren’t getting, and many pointed to security management. We are now in a position to help them leverage the right tools to identify potential security breaches and assist in resolving the issues.”
Vermillion was inspired to maintain this business focus after he was engaged by the Arizona Technology Council as a pro bono consultant to help them find the right local managed services partner. During his research, he realized the Phoenix market was dramatically underserved. The managed services companies he found didn’t have the scale, process maturity or enterprise delivery capability that he had expected.
The strategy to achieving growth began with Vermillion realizing that, to gain the confidence of the market in his startup, he needed to quickly acquire a customer base. On November 1, 2016, AccountabilIT announced the acquisition of MITS&C, the managed services division of Business & Decision, N.A., headquartered in Wayne, Pennsylvania. The move instantly grew the AccountabilIT staff from 12 to 100 and added an office in Wayne in addition to a global delivery service center in India.
What excites Vermillion the most is, four of the top five executives at MITS&C worked with him at his previous firm. Everyone enjoyed being a part of a team that had the same vision and ideas on how to satisfy customers. “The band is back together. Our strategy will continue to be the same: Care about our customer’s success as much as we care about our own company. When everyone loves the work that they do, it makes going to work pretty easy,” Vermillion says.
Growth is managed differently at different stages. Vermillion refers to his experience with OneNeck as he relates, “There’s the small, steady, incremental growth that comes in manageable step changes and is easy to handle, which is what we had at OneNeck in the beginning. Then there’s a rapid growth that is super exciting but presents risks, as when we acquired our first very large corporate customer. We had to change the existing processes that we once had, scale them to manage the new workload and quickly hire additional qualified staff. It was easy to get distracted by it all and forget about other portions of our business.” The key, he says, is to “recognize that you’ll make mistakes and adjust quickly.”
With AccountabilIT, Vermillion is prepared for the growth that comes his way. He has the benefit of being a seasoned entrepreneur with a proven management team that is focused on customer success. “It’s not an accident that we chose the word ‘customers’ rather than ‘clients,’” Vermillion says. “Many people overlook that the root of the word ‘customer’ is ‘custom.’ Each of the solutions we design is unique to our customer’s need. That’s how we help them gain competitive advantage through information technology.”
Obsessed with Managed Services
- AccountabilIT was launched in August 2016 in Scottsdale.
- The company acquired MITS&C in November 2016, boosting its employees from 12 to 100 and adding offices in Wayne, Pennsylvania; and India.
- Vermillion is a seasoned, successful entrepreneur and, with his co-founders, sold his previous business, OneNeck IT Services, to TDS in July 2011 for $95 million.
- Six of the top seven executives at AccountabilIT worked with Chuck Vermillion at his previous firm, OneNeck IT Services.
- Chuck Vermillion currently serves on the boards of the Boys and Girls Club of Phoenix and The Miracle League of Arizona.