Tom’s Blog

I’m Tom Klink and I’m proud to be the President of Infinit Technology Solutions. I wake up every morning with a passion for our business, our team members, and the opportunity to earn our client’s business another day. I believe the most important things you can do in business, and in your personal life, are to live right, act right and do right because that makes a better me, a better you and a better us! I have a lot of thoughts about our business, our industry, and how we can work together ….. and I’m sharing them right here!

Nobody seems relaxed.  Published November 19, 2018

I don't do a lot of traveling for work other than a weekly visit to our office in Fairport, NY...

But when I do travel, I prefer to drive if at all possible. Long distances and long drives don’t bother me; and It isn’t that I am uncomfortable with flying. 

You see, for me, traveling is like entering a new relationship. I want it to be enjoyable, refreshing, rewarding, valuable.
  
And after sitting at the airport, watching people come off the plane, you know what stands out…. nobody seems relaxed. Nobody seems refreshed, nobody seems like they enjoyed themselves, quite the opposite.

Most people look tired, rumpled, cranky….and I can’t believe it was due to the purpose for their trip but the flight-experience itself.

I know I don’t want our clients feeling like that. I want their experience with Infinit to equal that of my travels: enjoyable, rewarding, valuable and a refreshing relationship.

We work hard to provide the best client-relationship-experience possible, with short layovers, great connections and a super team of client-centric attendants!

Because once we have a client on board, we want them to sit back, enjoy their ride and have a great experience!

When Too Much Can’t Be Too Much!  Published November 12, 2018

If you watch any television, you'll see a constant barrage of commercials for auto “marts”...

I find it interesting to see that they offer not just two or three car brands, but sometimes as many as ten different ones.

Being somewhat of a gear-head I know it takes a lot of time and effort to really understand your vehicle.

I mean, an engine is not just an engine. It’s the key component from which you really tune everything else… Your timing, your tires, your fluids….

I spend a lot of time talking with techs from different shops. Not just to learn, but to develop a relationship with a shop that wants to know as much about me and my ride as I want to know about them. Their skills, their team, their passion for making a vehicle run the best it can.

I find that the best folks are the ones who focus on their key brands and train their techs and service teams to be excellent in taking care of them.

And that’s real important to me because that’s how I view what Infinit does. I want us to have the best techs, with a lot of knowledge, hands-on experience and with a real passion for networking.

There are a lot of companies out there that “sell” networking, that carry a whole line card of products. But let’s face it, you can’t be an expert in everything, on every brand. It just takes too much to do that.

At Infinit we want our clients to know we’re not a product-mart, we are a focused, dedicated team of specialized engineers and service managers.

Our staff carries over 150 different certifications and specializations, not 150 different products. Because, being the best, we can be with the key brands we know, is never too much!

What’s in it for You?  Published November 5, 2018

As a technology provider, we get a lot of requests from vendors to partner with them...

I speak with numerous account and territory managers, explaining why we do what we do.

Sometimes they are just adding more companies to their list of resellers. For others they are looking for a company in a specific area as they don’t have a presence there.

I try to be sure they all understand that they have to make an investment in us, our education, our relationship, just like we do with our clients.

For the most part, although we are always grateful for the attention, we pretty much politely decline. After 20-years in business we could have a list of vendors the size of a phone book. But we don’t and there’s a reason for that.

You see, when I look at a vendor I don’t ask “what’s in it for me?”… I ask myself “what’s in it for you, our clients?”.

What business objectives do our clients have that this vendor’s offerings will help us meet?

Will we enhance their customer’s experience with them in some way?

Does this vendor provide tools which I can use to build better relationships for me, for our clients?

After all, I want our clients to know what I want to do for them, not expect that I always only want something from them….

Because if I can’t find something in it for you, well…then there is never anything in it for me.

What’s Your Phone Really Capable Of?  Published October 29, 2018

I ask people all the time...

“What kind of smart phone do you have? How do you use it? What is it capable of? Why don’t we do more with them?”.

The simple answer is that we really don’t know what those phones are capable of doing.
And most of the time, we find new features or functions purely by accident.

Well – you would be surprised at how often I find it’s not much different with the
technology we use in business!

Over the course of time I have learned a lot about what is truly important to clients and I
found a lot of it is what my peers in the industry take for granted.

I often have clients tell me how unsatisfied they are with the technology service
providers they have or the technology companies in general they do business with.

For example, a lot of companies are simply not up to speed on the technology they use.
They often buy technology they were told to buy; have it installed and stop there.

We found a few instances where some pretty expensive security gear was “installed”…
but it was never configured …. so it really didn’t secure very much!

Infinit technology Solutions works very closely with clients to help them learn more
about, and take full advantage of, the products they buy.

We take a proactive approach, so our clients get the most out of their devices, period;
not just what we might provide.

Look, at the end of the day, it is easy to pick a supplier or provider because they offer a
low price. I want you to pick Infinit because we will help your business become more
productive. I want you to see Infinit as a partner for the value we will provide to your
organization.

The old saying goes “You get what you pay for” …. That might work when you buy a
horse….

But if you are going to buy something with any horsepower shouldn’t the new saying be
“Use what you pay for”…

What’s in Your IT Wallet?  Published October 22, 2018

I’m sure many of you have seen Capital One’s commercials...

…where the actor ends it by asking “What’s in your wallet?”.

Other than some of the crazy scenes they have used (loved the Vikings), what I really like is that Capital One didn’t oversell, over explain or over promise.

Those commercials challenged you to ask yourself if the credit card you were actually carrying in your wallet provided enough value to be worthy of being in your wallet.

Like – did that credit card earn the privilege of being carried by you the same way Capital One was offering, and willing, to do?

It was also great for me as I often ask this of business executives that I speak with, when it comes to their IT providers.

I mean – seriously – what does your IT provider do to actually earn the privilege of having you as a client?

They won your business for some reason, perhaps over other companies, perhaps not. But winning it and earning it are not the same! Winning – gets you there, earning – keeps you there.

As President I have the opportunity to engage with the IT and business executives at many companies. And it is surprising to me to hear from a majority that they are either unhappy with their IT provider and/or don’t really know what they are doing for what they are being paid.

I expect our clients to first, and foremost, trust us and put their trust in us; to know exactly what they are getting, and why. Regularly…constantly…frequently.

I expect our clients to know that we are working daily to earn their business, each interaction at a time.

I expect our clients to challenge us to provide them all the service they signed-up for and more!
We aren’t perfect nor are we a perfect fit for everybody. But we don’t’ want to win business that we can’t earn or haven’t earned. So, do you really know what’s in your IT wallet? Shouldn’t you?

Getting the Order Right!  Published October 15, 2018

I was telling my team about a client I heard from earlier.

He had been given a presentation by one of our engineers and another account manager. He said that what we presented was way off base; the solution was overkill for his environment.

This got me thinking about what they presented, as well as wondering what his perception was of the engineer and the account manager.

Did our engineers only know how to support enterprise clients? Did the account manager understand the needs of the client’s business? Did they think of a solution for him like they were investing their own money?

I wanted to discuss this with my team and help them understand the client’s point of view.

So, I asked them to think about going to a restaurant and ordering a meal. Let’s say steak, baked potato and a salad. The server repeats the order and takes it to the kitchen.

But when it is delivered to your table you see that it is chicken, broccoli and a dinner roll.  Of course, you state that is not what you ordered so the server takes it back to the kitchen.

The cook’s first reaction is this customer is not happy with the meal and now he must cook another one.  The customer (you) are thinking “did my server not know what I ordered?”.

I told them that key in this situation is the server never inspected the food and compared it to what the customer ordered, nor did the cook. The customer had an expectation which they voiced with their order, and which was clearly not met by the cook or the server!

This is no difference in our business. Our account team needs to understand and inspect what they are presenting to the client. They need to police the BOM prior to getting a quote to present. They should understand the client’s needs and budget enough to help the engineers pick the most cost-effective solution. In that scenario the client feels like we were paying attention to them when we “took their order”!

Don’t just “take the order” – become the client’s advocate for the best solution based on their needs and budget.  You’ll never miss a good “meal”; nor will they!

An Engaging Customer Experience  October 8, 2018

A former employees now in the automotive business recently changed dealerships.

From what I understand one of the most compelling things about the new dealership was their training program.

Granted, all dealerships have a program to provide some type of information and education on their vehicles.

So why was this different?

First, there was a Trainer. But his role wasn’t so much to focus on product or sales strategies as much as customer-engagement. They literally developed an entire, documented, proven, customer-experience-program. Each step in the process of showing someone a vehicle, what to show, when, how to sit and where!

Second, they used technology to tie-in the sales-financing of the vehicle as part of their overall customer-experience program, not something done outside of it.

Big deal? Yeah… because they get-it; they understand what we have known for a long time – it’s all about the experience – not the solution, not the offering, not the pricing.

At Infinit I work closely with our relationship team to ensure our clients have the best experience with us, as their provider, that is possible.

We are transparent in all that we do, we challenge ourselves to be better than anybody else, we focus on how we can educate our clients on how to best utilize the technology.

What we believe, what we work for, that sets us apart – is providing a better client-experience than anybody else – whether it is engaging in support, maintenance, training, accounting, RMAs…whatever.

Shouldn’t that be the goal for any client-based business? Isn’t that what consumers expect?

Expect more – communicate more – do more.  Are you getting that type of support from your technology service provider? Do you trust them? Shouldn’t you?

There is No Such Thing as Apples-to-Apples  Published on October 1, 2018

Over the last 20 years I have seen and been involved in a lot of competitive bid situations.

For technology projects – private sector, public sector, RFPs, you name it.

What strikes me every time is why anyone thinks that putting things out to bid or in an RFP will bring all the responses into an apples-to-apples comparison.

Granted everyone may have the same products and even the same prices, but at the end of the day, the similarities end there.

What? Why? Listen….

Every company will make a promise to earn your business. Only you will know if that company will stand behind their promises.

All companies have the same tools to do the job. But they do not all have trained and certified network engineers and Relationship Managers with thousands of hours of related experience.

How do I know this?

Because I am personally dedicated to providing an over-the-top engagement experience for our clients. And not every company does that. I stay connected to our clients and learn how to improve our offerings.

Because we work to pro-actively plan our client’s technology future. We build stable and secure networks. Unlike a lot of other companies, we do not focus on the break/fix or how many hours can we rack up a month. We treat your business like it is our own.

Why do we do what we do? Because we have a passion for educating our clients in the technology they use, in showing them the value of having a trusted partner, and in not letting their projects fail.

So, yeah, there are no apples-to-apples when it comes to our clients, not for us anyways.

Would you want anything less?

What Makes Us Different  Published on September 24, 2018

In my role as President, I am often in contact with technology vendor executives.

When they ask me who Infinit is, I tell them we are an engineering company that provides Advanced IT Services and hardware solutions with people you trust and people who care.

I tell them that unlike the countless other companies that just sell products or just offer service or just fix what is broken, that who we are is what makes us different.

For example, we had a client that did not get a voice system as promised by the vendor OEM. In fact, there were literally none to be had in the country. One of our engineers spent an entire weekend re-configuring a similar system we had in our lab, tested-it and was ready to deploy it as soon as possible. Literally, this saved weeks in down-time for the client.  Our Engineer did this on his own time with no other expectation then to make the clients project a success.

You see, this is not just going above-and-beyond. This is a sign of the respect and regard in which we hold our clients.

If you are going to talk-the-talk, well, you have to walk-the walk. So, each of us at Infinit has taken the following pledge, in writing:

We stand behind this pledge to provide our clients a higher level of service:

We understand the value of your time.

We pledge never to waste it.

Our goal is to deliver over-the-top service.

We pledge to never let your projects fail.

Our team focuses on building relationships with customers.

We pledge to be there every step of the way, with a team of readily available resources.

Our account representatives are empowered to make decisions.

We pledge to never leave you waiting on us.

You can trust us as an advisor.

We pledge to get your project done on time and within the constraints of your budget.

Your projects are important to you; therefore, they are important to me.

I pledge to give your projects the time and attention they need.

Better me, Better you, Better us! …. THAT is what makes us different.

Our Pledge  Published on September 10, 2018

In 2013 I took some time to really think about our company and where we were heading.

I had been here four years, we made a lot of changes, were continuing to grow and I wanted to focus on some key elements that got us there.

It didn’t take long for me to realize it wasn’t products, it wasn’t technologies, it wasn’t manufacturers ….. granted, they are all hugely important.

No, what was at the heart of what I believed, and still believe, is how we take care of our clients. Because everything else will change, but how we treat them, respect them, care for them, should never change.

So, I came up with this Pledge – and asked every employee to sign it. All of them did, and every new employee signs it as well.

At Infinit Technology Solutions, we stand behind this pledge to provide our customers a higher level of service:

We understand the value of your time.

We pledge never to waste it.

Our goal is to deliver over-the-top service.

We pledge to never let your projects fail.

Our team focuses on building relationships with customers.

We pledge to be there every step of the way, with a team of readily available resources.

Our account representatives are empowered to make decisions.

We pledge to never leave you waiting on us.

You can trust us as an advisor.

We pledge to get your project done on time and within the constraints of your budget.

Your projects are important to you, therefore they are important to me.

I pledge to give your projects the time and attention they need.

People ask us all the time why we do what we do… Well, this is why – so we can provide the best, over the top technology service provider experience possible. If you aren’t experiencing this with your current provider today – why are you still keeping them around?

Firing Yourself: Why IT Management Hurts   Published on September 3, 2018

One of Steve Jobs’ business rules was “If you don’t cannibalize yourself, someone else will.”

He pointed out that most businesses don’t follow this rule; they protect and preserve existing systems, processes, products, business lines and practices. What he realized and focused on is that in doing so all you did was put your clients at risk.

In the practice of IT-management I believe we have something similar – it’s called “Firing Yourself”. Over time many of us in IT believe we have all the knowledge on all the technologies and products that we need.

Now let’s be real – nobody has that – I mean – how can we? Technologies appear every day – change every day – disappear every day. And that doesn’t even cover the products, let alone the people.

Check out your Twitter feed – I mean – who can keep up with all that by themselves.

So, when do you “fire yourself”?

When you admit you can’t know everything, that trying to know everything takes more time than doing anything and that you’re getting behind rather than ahead.

And yes – you need to find resources that can help you stay informed. To do the legwork, to help you plan, budget, prepare, discover and uncover.

That’s why we provide our clients with end-to-end-IT – not just being the living acronym – VAR, MSP, MSSP or whatever folks call themselves.

Firing yourself may hurt, kind of; but IT-management, doesn’t have to.