Optrics Engineering became a highly diversified, network-specific, software- and hardware-solutions specialist as a result of a highly diversified history of company evolution. The firm initially started as FundSoft Information Systems, providing investors with Canadian mutual-fund data and MetaStock Technical Analysis software (which continues today as an Optrics business subunit). During that time, former president and CEO Bording Ostergaard and his strong, technically fluent staff were able to advise and assist clients with any technical problems they were experiencing from their computers or networks. Clients also started asking to buy software through FundSoft, as well as for help getting their businesses online. After an ongoing and continually expanding series of similar requests, Optrics was born.
Today, Optrics is very much an online business with clients throughout North America. “When the phone rings, you never know who it’s going to be—it could be a school down the street, a Fortune 500 company in the US, or a purchaser sitting on an aircraft carrier in the middle of the South Pacific!” says Scott Young, COO and partner. Ultimately, the company helps clients solve networking problems—whether they involve monitoring, security, or storage. “We also own and operate CudaMail, which is a popular spam-filtering service geared towards small and medium-sized organizations,” Young adds.
As far as advantages, Young believes that the company’s web-savvy and online presence are just a few of its many competitive keys. “We’re easy to find online, and we have a suite of solution-specific sites, such as CudaMail.com, NetworkStorageSolutions.com, FirewallShop.com, and LoadBalancer
Solutions.com.” He also notes that Optrics has a well-seasoned in-house staff that has 20-plus years of networking experience. “They can efficiently understand our clients’ problems by using online meeting tools, such as GoToMeeting, and recommend an appropriate and cost-effective solution,” he explains. “Of course, we also do go on-site for local clients.” In addition, Young says that Optrics is a licensed engineering firm, so clients know that it is held to a higher professional code of ethics. “This also makes us an easy and reliable company to work with,” he adds.
Young goes on to explain how specializing in network-specific software and hardware, as well as network management and monitoring, security, and data storage, can provide solutions for his company’s industry.
“Much of what we sell is complimentary, so whether it is professional services or turnkey solutions, we can definitely help clients with whatever problem they’re trying to solve,” he says, adding that Optrics also has excellent relationships with its vendor partners and other organizations in the industry. “So if we can’t help you, we can certainly find someone who can. We like to view ourselves as a one-stop shop.”
Optrics’s short-term goal is to grow its sales team, as well as its products and services offerings, so that the firm can leverage its long-term growth through the $10 million annual sales mark. But Young explains that Optrics’s biggest challenge for the future is finding strong salespeople, especially those with experience selling IT solutions.
Like many small businesses, Optrics has experienced its fair share of trials and tribulations, but Young says the key to his company’s longevity and success is all about how clients are treated and the people who work there.
“We’re committed to our customers and always answer the phone with a live person—our goal is to create satisfied customers and not just sales,” he says. “It boils down to having a solid team of people with a variety of experience and expertise (as well as personalities) that always help keep the ship upright and moving forward.”