IT MANAGED SERVICES VETERAN DAVID JORDAN BRINGS DIVERSIFIED “SUPERPOWER” AND SUPPORT TO THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA
His Pacific Computer Consultants Is The Area’s Go-To Company For IT Support Services, Information Security Services, Legal Tech Services, Cloud-Based IT Solutions, Data Backup and Recovery
In the mid-2000s, several years into his stint as a Senior IT consultant for a prominent Bay Area company, David Jordan realized that the industry dynamic was changing from a by-the-hour hired gun system to a more holistic managed services approach to support business networks. He submitted a proposal to his bosses that included the now-standard concept of a flat lower cost fee for IT support, but they turned him down.
By that time, Jordan, envisioning a bright future for IT based on the new model, had already soft launched Pacific Computer Consultants and was running a small consulting business. The disagreement with corporate-led the ten-year industry veteran - whose impressive resume included prominent stints at Chevron– to leave his position and make his business a full-time endeavor.
After a few years of working as a solo entrepreneur, Jordan was inspired to take PCC to the next level by members of his Mastermind Group, who told him he either had “to fish or cut bait.” He began getting the word out, using marketing services like Google Ad Words and, with the group’s encouragement, targeting specific industries in which many firms had a common need for what he calls his “high touch service.”
Over the past eleven years, the Pleasant Hill, CA-based PCC has evolved from a small one person “lifestyle business” into a full service, fast-evolving firm that is now the Bay Area’s go-to company for full IT support. Finding early niches in the legal market and the hard to crack, tight-knit community of credit unions, Jordan now provides a wide range of business IT services for a large variety of industries - including computer support systems, information security services, legal technology services, Cloud-based IT services and data backup and disaster recovery solutions.
Branding PCC as an outsourced IT company that “takes responsibility for everything IT,” Jordan and his team are dedicated to ensuring that computer issues never appear in the first place – a far cry from the typical troubleshooting IT concept of fixing computers when they break.
A quote from a satisfied client on PCC’s home page epitomizes what Jordan’s firm brings to the table as it sets itself apart from the competition. “Before PCC,” the testimonial reads, “we were plagued with computer and network outages. Today, those nightmares are gone and we are more efficient, our staff is more engaged and computers no longer consume our budget.”
Fully acknowledging that choosing the right IT service provider can be an overwhelming task, Jordan details a variety of key selling points that he believes make PCC the best network and telecom support partner available. Chief among these is simple pricing – charging a single monthly subscription for all network management and problem resolution.
Other important elements include the ability to perform over 95% of IT Support remotely (eliminating the need for an expensive onsite engineer); rapid response; emergency onsite support when necessary (some support plans include emergency onsite support at no additional cost); and, of course, superb technology. PCC’s technical expertise extends to choosing and investing in the highest end support and security management systems specifically for the needs of small and growing businesses. PCC also offers a free network health check, a 108-point problem prevention network audit that has helped countless Bay Area businesses permanently eliminate system problems.
Along the way, the company has developed a specialty for small and medium-sized professional service companies (10-200 users). After “triaging their fires,” as Jordan says, PCC standardizes a company’s systems, bringing in the same firewall, security tools, and backup infrastructure. They supply the servers on premise with these tools to ensure rock solid backup, business continuity, and disaster recovery. Complete copies of all of a client’s servers exist in PCC’s data centers via their disaster recovery service.
While most IT firms boast generally about having great people and an efficient process, Jordan believes that two things set PCC apart and give them their “superpower”; at the start of a list of “18 Things We Do Better,” in fact, he says that “every superhero has a strategy.”
“We go in with specific metrics,” he explains, “where we can track downtime and lost productivity and tell the client how long it takes to resolve a specific ‘ticket,’ or problem, and also the average service time on those tickets per week or month. We set goals for these metrics and evaluate how we are doing towards reaching our goals. Other companies use a lot of guesswork in this area. That has contributed to our credibility as a quick to respond, ‘high touch’ company. We’re good at handholding. Another testimonial sticks in my mind, from a law firm that initially thought we were on the expensive side, but that PCC kept every single one of our promises, ultimately giving us a boost in productivity.”
“Then there’s the process I like to call our internal ‘superpower,’ which is on a quarterly basis making sure there is client technology alignment to our standards and procedures,” he adds. “We go through the networks and say, ‘Where’s the Delta?’ For example, do they have password policies – because we require complex passwords. My team goes through a huge checklist every quarter and I personally go through it once a year. We sit with the owners or partners and show them what we call our ‘red bomb’ report, detailing where they are insufficient and where their confidential data might be vulnerable. If they approve, we will go ahead and mitigate the issue. These quarterly checks allow us to know the way in advance what issues might be coming down the pike. The reason we perform service at this level is that it lowers the ‘ticket count.’ It helps reduce service problems across the board and quiets down potential problems for the clients.”
Jordan adds that while other companies like to say that they act as a Virtual Chief Information Officer, for many, that just means looking at servers and patching. PCC’s dedication to the detailed process is the company’s true superpower. Having that power behind a firm or company’s business isn’t cheap – but in the long run, it saves a lot of money.
When potential clients balk at the price of managed services, Jordan illustrates for them how having fewer tickets over a certain length of time translates to a reduced cost per employee and increased productivity. He walks them through the “pain points” that other companies that charge less upfront might neglect. He also helps them understand the value of managed services by using examples such as a crisis where their email might be down and what an extended delay might cost them in processed orders, customers, clients, reputation or sales.
“A lot of my job is educational in nature,” he says. “I try to get them to attach a value to the lost productivity that can happen without our full range of managed IT services in place. Not everyone sees that value immediately, so I make them dig into the pain specifically. I say, ‘If we wave a magic wand, would it be worth it to solve all these problems you have and prevent others from popping up?’ Most prospective clients’ former IT guys were like bad dates, not returning calls, showing up late, sending weird unfounded bills understand that we’re worth what we charge.”
Jordan boasts another “superpower” for clients involving his high-level information security credentials. For the past few years, he has been adding this education and experience in network and application penetration testing and vulnerability assessment and management to his list of specialized services. His Information Security specialties include Network Penetration Testing using many open source tools including Metasploit Framework and BackTrack Linux. In addition to the core small business clientele at PCC, he now has the training to take a much deeper look at information security for larger businesses with 200-1000 and more users. He works with many banks and credit unions on security-related projects that require this high-level skill set.
Jordan’s success as an entrepreneur and IT Managed Services expert has its roots in his childhood growing up in the East Bay. From Lego to items in the family’s backyard, he always loved building and fixing things. He has been fascinated with computers since getting his first Commodore at age eight. He worked at a computer store at the local mall during high school, and later the computer bookstore in college.
When he launched PCC, he never doubted he would make a success of it – because of his father, who owned a dental lab, was a great role model as an entrepreneur. Interestingly, when Jordan attended the University of the Pacific in Stockton, his major was electrical engineering with a later goal of a Masters in Audio Engineering. His dream at the time was to design sound systems and acoustics for large venues. A quarter of the way through his undergrad years, he shifted gears and entered the university’s school of business, where he specialized in entrepreneurship. His first opportunity out of college was as a financial planner – but he quickly realized it wasn’t for him.
Helping many Chevron employees with their portfolios led him to an opportunity that would set him on his course in the IT world – working at the help desk for the Chevron Corporation, helping people across the U.S and as far away as West Africa and Taiwan with tech support. He worked his way up into a consultant capacity for the global energy corporation, then “downsized” from their vast network of 40,000 computers to IT positions managing far fewer.
“The shift to IT managed services in the early to mid-2000s became possible because of the growth of the internet and the fact that businesses weren’t on modems any longer and had started working remotely,” says Jordan. “I knew this was a compelling, potentially lucrative opportunity for me to shift gears and help people at a high level and in a more comprehensive way. When a network is broken, it doesn’t sit well with me. I still feel the same way.
“Everything goes back to education for me,” he adds, “and I have developed a unique ability to translate ‘technobabble’ into business talk and bridge the worlds so that people can understand. I’ve always had a good feeling when I am helping people using my knowledge and expertise. On the business side, as far as developing my entrepreneurial skills, I am indebted to my Mastermind group that has helped me solve numerous problems and overcome many roadblocks on my way to making PCC a still growing success story.”