InfoSystems, Inc. began in 1994 as a small Chattanooga-based company selling office products like electric typewriters, copiers and networking services. As newer technology replaced the old, founder and president Clay Hales had an idea for the company to be as dynamic and changing as the market. A giant transformative step came in 2000, when InfoSystems, an IBM Business Partner and an IT business, began selling the most sophisticated IBM computer systems and software on the market.
InfoSystems plunged into the unpredictable, fast-paced technology industry. The transition wasn’t easy, but the timing was impeccable. The company flourished through the economic slowdown of 2002, following the devastation of 9/11. Later, they weathered the recession of 2009 and beyond. From 2001 to 2010, IBM lost more than one-third of their less successful business partners, while InfoSystems somehow found room to grow. Against all odds, InfoSystems doubled their revenue from 2009 to 2013 and expanded their market to include Knoxville, Nashville and surrounding states.
After such unprecedented success, Hales realized that continued growth would be unsustainable without expansion to new markets. In 2013, he introduced Scott Davis to the team as VP of Sales to bring stability and a higher level of customer service to its burgeoning customer base. In 2014, InfoSystems was recognized by CompTIA Security Trustmark, CRN’s Solution Provider 500 list, CRN’s Tech Elite 250 and even the IBM Choice Awards. Predictably, more changes came; shifts in demand for computer systems and software have led to the latest transformation within InfoSystems’ business.
Most recently, InfoSystems began complementing their legacy products with new, cutting edge services like Network and Cyber Security, Cloud and Managed Services and even StREAM—an early warning analytics system for the higher education market. Last November, InfoSystems partnered with the startup Permabit and monolith IBM to create and market a new computer storage product, UHD7000, which offers a fast, affordable and efficient data storage solution for those who need to add or replace hundreds of terabytes on the data center floor. Building new relationships with vendors like Palo Alto for Network Security, the company is far from finished when it comes to expansion.
“When the market changes, people’s needs change. The real value in InfoSystems has never been great products or great pricing—although we have both—but it’s equipping the best people to lead customers to the best solutions,” Hales says. True to his word, InfoSystems boasts the largest technical sales and engineering staff in East Tennessee. An unheard-of double digit growth in 2015 leads InfoSystems into 2016.
Despite the changes, InfoSystems is still very much the same organization it was 20 years ago. The focus is still on the customer; however, the customer base has expanded to retail, manufacturing, healthcare, finance, and others, covering companies with thousands of locations as well as those thriving in a single location. The line card has grown from its IBM DNA to include vendors like Cisco, VMWare, EMC and others.