It’s a rare business model when a company doesn’t get paid by its clients.
Yet that’s how TierOne Solutions LLC is structured. The 7-year-old company provides technology solutions to businesses, primarily in network connectivity and cloud-hosted telephone systems.
While TierOne works with nearly 300 clients in 40 states, it doesn’t receive a dime of income from them.
“We receive 100% of our compensation from the carrier,” says Richard Reding, TierOne’s managing partner.
Along with TierOne co-founder Steven Huxley, the partners describe the work as providing a mixture of telecommunications consulting and services by negotiating contracts with carriers on behalf of clients.
“That allows us to be agnostic. We can go to the well and bring back multiple options,” Reding says.
The vendor well is about 250 companies deep – from networking by AT&T to data centers by Rackspace and voice systems by Cisco. In a typical scenario, the TierOne team analyzes a company’s telecom needs, current services and equipment with an aim to find savings. They say the challenge is in not sacrificing quality of products.
“The client is not going to move forward unless we put something attractive before them,” Reding says, noting the average client saves 30% though the telecom audit Officials claim to have saved clients $4.7 million cumulatively last year.
At home health and hospice provider Integrity Home Health Care LLC last year, savings came in above 50%, according to a case study on TierOne’s website.
Nathan Barnes, Integrity’s chief administrative officer, says when he joined the company he was charged with reviewing the tech and communications systems used by over 1,000 employees in eight locations – and secure patient data.
“There are always three main levers when it comes to technology: there are people, there are products or solutions, and then there are processes,” Barnes says in the case study. “All three of those levers were being challenged.”
At the end of the TierOne audit in early 2020, Integrity officials decided to switch to Mitel internet-based phone and messaging and add fiber connections.
“I took one of the new phones to our president,” Barnes recalls in the case study, before asking for approval: “‘I’m going to save you 51% each month, and everyone in the company gets one of these.’ He said, ‘Where do I sign?’”
TierOne’s client count is almost double the tally in 2019. The roster in the Springfield market includes Hamra Enterprises, Pyramid Foods, O’Reilly Hospitality Management and Aaron Sachs & Associates. Reding and Huxley estimate the contracts TierOne has brokered are delivering tech services to over 50,000 endpoints at the multiple locations of clients.
The partners say revenue is split 40% apiece between networking and phone services and 20% in the security and cloud data center arena. Sales in 2020 came in at $10.4 million.
From ‘WFH’ to SASE
The creation of the TierOne business model began in 2014. Huxley brought years of experience working for his family business, telecom provider Telec Inc., and Reding came up through L3 Technologies and iHeartMedia.
The company started out working from home – well before the term “WFH” was known.
“When we were doing it on our own, it was rebelling against the theory that you had to be in the office,” Huxley recalls. “The technology was a kind of a practice what you preach.”
The first office didn’t come about until 2017, and now with 11 employees, the firm moved into freshly renovated digs at 3036 S. Fremont Ave. It was a roughly $500,000 remodel and office infill, Reding says, completed in December 2020.
“Once we started adding more folks to the operations team, we heard the cry for collaboration,” Reding says.
Because of the experience and the technology, the partners say the impact of the coronavirus pandemic was minimal. The company already had a remote work policy that enabled a hybrid home and office environment.
“All of our clients and all of our people, we were ready,” Huxley says.
In the industry, the partners see sped-up adoption of disaster recovery services. Clients are asking: How do we build a solution that’s ready for this?
“Security is the big buzzword,” Reding adds.
He says the next concept for widespread deployment is called secure access service edge. SASE, pronounced “sassy,” is defined as technology that continually monitors network activity to decrypt content and identify sensitive data or malware. In laymen’s terms, SASE protects digital business anywhere it’s accessed.
“Security is the first S there. That’s the name of the game – being able to securely access,” Reding says. “It’s relatively easy to secure something – put up a firewall and block all the ports – but that doesn’t enable your business to connect to the critical applications it needs to function.
“That’s our new frontier.”
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