Who Is Outhouse IT?

[Transcript of above video below]

Hey Everybody, Scott Kendall here with Outhouse IT, It’s another Friday so I’m taking a minute to record a video for everyone and I wanted to touch base this week on a question we get all the time. And it relates to the company name Outhouse IT.

Every time our customers here it or a new customer hears it they chuckle a little, and I’m glad they do. Because that gives us an opportunity to explain who we are and explain the story behind our name. So back in 1992, that’s when I first started my own company, at the time I had a full time job but in my part times days, my evenings and weekends I would assist local small businesses, usually family friends or friends of family friends and then that became friends of friends of family friends as the referral business tends to go.

I was able to provide computer services and this is back in the days of pre-windows 95 even. We were running windows 3.1 and often dos based lotus 123 type applications. So we were able to help, well I was able to help a lot of small businesses with their IT needs. I actually took over a number of clients from my father who ran an It consulting company or well a computer service company previous to 1992 if you can imagine. This was his retirement gig, he got bored sitting at home and decided to take his hobby of computer repairs on the road and decided to take his hobby of computer repairs on the road.

So from 1992 till about 2001 I ran a company called “Computer consulting by Scott Kendall” In 2001 I decided to get a little bit creative and formed a new company named the technology coach. That name came to me through a discussion with a mutual networking friend and marketing guy who said “what you really do is you’re a technology coach” Well the reason we came up with that name, well he came up with that name and I loved it is that we were doing a lot of software training, Microsoft word, excel, PowerPoint, outlook.

We were teaching our customers how to use, at the time it was Microsoft Office 97 and later Microsoft Office 2000 versions of Word, Excel and Outlook. And we were doing 1 day training courses internationally US and Canada and I got to travel quite a bit. I saw 187 North American cities in just a little over 18 months, so it was absolutely fantastic. I’ve still got a number of collectible nic-nacs, I collected a lot of shot glasses, so I’ve got a number of shot glasses from all over north American and I love them their fantastic.

Sometime around 2008 or 2009 we were moving away from the training side and focusing more on the IT services. Now the IT services was something I had been doing all along but I found it wasn’t as profitable as training and I really enjoyed being in front of an audience, as many of you who know me will attest to.

The real plus was that we were able to take our existing clientele base and deliver additional training on top of the computer repairs and computer support and all at the same client base. SO sometime around 2008 or 2009 I started to realize that  the technology didn’t send the right kind of message to our clients that what we did was IT services not just computer training. So we started racking our brains and looking for ideas and the very first place I went as many of us do when we’re looking for ideas or to do some research was Google. Let me tell you, in 2001 when there was a large fallout in IT, all of the existing IT guys were down sized or “correct sized” and ended up forming their own IT consulting company.

Most of them didn’t stick around very long but they did tend to keep the websites they registered. So if you go out there and do a Google search you can look for websites that are available with IT or Computer or IT services anywhere in the name and it’s impossible to find a good website name related to IT services, computer services or anything else like it. And I didn’t want to be just another name in the IT services bundle. You know there’s companies out there like Outsource IT or My IT Outsource.

You know that was really what we were focusing on was finding a way to outsource small business IT needs, without necessarily using the name outsource as I say because it’s so heavily taken on Google. If you don’t believe me, take a minute now and type outsource IT, you’ll find thousands and thousands of listings and that just wasn’t something we wanted to compete in. So I was talking to an IT client of ours, a law firm in Mississauga and I asked the admin staff who were typically the person we had the most communication with.

I asked what is it about the IT services we provide for you that make this a really good fit. I was trying to get the sorts of key words out of this individual user that would allow us to target our market a little better. And she said to me “I used to work for a larger law firm that had 6 or 8 lawyers and we had an In House IT department, and the in house IT department…” and she continued speaking but I have to be honest and say I kind of faded out.

Because I heard that “In House IT Department” and immediately a light bulb went off in my head and I thought “In House IT Department” well everyone knows what that is, everyone knows what the In House IT Department is, it’s the guy down the hall who sits in a cubicle and keeps to himself and will sometimes come if the computer is broken but not necessarily as quickly as you’d like and doesn’t necessarily answer the phone when you call that extension.

And that’s typical in a larger organization and can be really frustrating for the users. When a user like that moves from a larger organization to a smaller organization that might only have 1 or 2 lawyers and might only have 8, 10 or maybe 15 staff the type of services they required tend to be different and the immediacy for those services can be different as well.

So I was able to combine the concept of an In House IT Service department and an Outsourced IT department, I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this and we created “Outhouse IT” which is the outsourced in house IT Department.

And at Outhouse IT We provide Outsourced IT Services for small to mid-sized business who don’t have the budget or necessarily need a full time in house IT Department but they do need someone reliable and capable on call and be there when they need them and to be able to take care of their IT for them.

As that concept has evolved and as we’ve moved towards what is now our service model we provide our IT service clients with a Flat Fee IT Service, which means we charge a per computer or per user fee for all IT services, and one of our videos next week will talk about what the benefits are of a flat-fee IT service as opposed to an hourly it service.

So there’s the story of Outhouse IT, where the name came from and yes, we get the pun and we think it’s hilarious too and we’re glad that everyone was able to get a couple chuckles out of it too. This is Scott Kendall with Outhouse IT signing off, have yourself a great weekend and we’ll see you next week.