Five Questions With: Steven J. Gietz

President and founder of Cumberland-based East Coast Technology Group talks about his company, the challenges of small business and Rhode Island’s IT business climate. More

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Five Questions With: Steven J. Gietz

COURTESY EAST COAST TECHNOLOGY
"WE TREAT each customer as if its our own business – and we always do the right thing for the customer," said Steven Gietz, president and founder of the East Coast Technology Group.
Posted 5/23/12

Steven J. Gietz is the president and founder of the East Coast Technology Group, an IT company focused on providing customer-centric business technology consultation and support services.

A Bryant University graduate, Gietz founded the company in 2002 under the name gAdvisors Inc. It was renamed East Coast Consulting Group in 2008.

The company boasts a 95 percent year-after-year client retention rate and has been regularly named on Providence Business News’ list of fastest growing private companies.

PBN: What are the most common problems you see businesses facing when dealing with IT issues?

GEITZ: We see the most common issues being improper training of staff on the IT environment, not having policies/monitoring in place regarding the quantity of data that each employee is allowed to store, and increased instances of malware/spyware.

PBN: What advice do you have for business owners struggling to come up with an IT strategy?

GEITZ: Call other business owners for a referral, or call us! Meet with each company; identify which one you feel most comfortable with and ask them to come up with an initial plan. Remember that IT companies always like to blame the former IT provider, so be cautious of ones that play the blame game. Let the IT Company do an audit of existing systems and come up with a phased approach for upgrading.

PBN: East Coast Technology Group has been on the list of PBN’s fastest growing companies, what do you think has lent to your success?

GEITZ: We treat each customer as if its our own business – and we always do the right thing for the customer. We are in the business of building long term partnerships with our customers and many of them have been with us for 10-plus years. We pride ourselves on high end customer service, an expert staff, quality equipment, and quick response time. We also don’t lock customers into contracts like many of our competitors do. We work with the customer to help them grow, so we can grow with them. Keeping communication channels open with personalized attention is vital to our success.

PBN: How do you handle your wide range of IT solutions with only seven full time employees?

GEITZ: I’m sure any small business owner would agree, we all have to wear a lot of hats when running a small company. Hiring competent staff, cross training, common sense approaches, urging customers to install quality equipment without cutting corners and just doing things right the first time. All of this in combination we have found drastically reduces further IT service visits.

PBN: What do you think the benefits of the Rhode Island market are for the IT business community?

GEITZ: To be honest, Rhode Island is not a business-friendly environment. We find that business owners here in Rhode Island have to work harder and smarter than in neighboring states in order to overcome the obstacles they face day to day. Even IT vendors must struggle to try to accommodate shrinking IT budgets at our clients, and stretching already old equipment even further to defray costs.

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