Making IT more human - East Valley Tribune: Business

Making IT more human

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Posted: Sunday, April 30, 2006 6:47 am | Updated: 3:28 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Saturday Night Live comedian Jimmy Fallon’s pompous “The Computer Guy” — that snotty high-tech computer geek who considered himself far above us low-techies — would never get a job with GC Tech Company of Chandler.

“The SNL Computer Guy is just the kind of person we avoid being,” said Ed Garay, 29, co-owner of GC Tech.

“We try to be just the opposite of that Jimmy Fallon character,” said co-owner Steve Jaramillo, 36. “We — and our employees — use simple, laymen’s terms so our clients can easily understand what we’re talking about.”

Garay and Jaramillo, both experienced informational technicians officially joined forces six months ago and formed GC Tech, a combination of the names of each of their companies — GarayIT and Caliber PC.

Until then, they had been sharing customers and exchanging referrals until both realized the value of officially combining their talents and financial investments.

Today, the new company has more than 100 clients, mostly small to medium-sized businesses in the East Valley and five employees.

Gross revenue has risen from several thousand dollars to $200,000 and are expected to reach $500,000 by next year, according to the owners.

Their company provides relatively inexpensive and part-time, on-site computer support for companies with as few as five employees to several hundred.

“Many of our clients can’t afford to hire a full-time IT company,” said Jaramillo, whose title is Director of Information Technology.

“We offer them discounted prices and a guarantee we will be on the job within four hours after they call,” said Garay, director of operations.

Rates range from $85-an-hour for members of the Chandler Chamber of Commerce to $95 for non-members and 40 percent discounts for long term working agreements.

Among their clients include swimming pool builders, construction companies, airconditioning distributors, real estate agencies and medical offices as well as individuals with home-based companies.

One of them is Tri-Lite Builders, 1650 E. Twin Acres Drive, Chandler.

The family-owned, home remodeling company started 23 years ago and has progressively grown so they expect to draw more than $2 million in gross revenues this year.

Still, the company, owned and operated by Linda and Wayne Minde, isn’t ready to hire a technical firm to handle its steadily expanding computer programs full-time and relies, instead, on the GC Tech team.

“They’ve helped us install new PCs, printers and updated our programs,” said Linda Minde, who, admittedly, is not a computer whiz.

“And they help us understand the high-tech world of computers, carefully explaining all those acronyms in simple terms.”

Jaramillo, a native of New Mexico, moved to Chandler in 1985. He learned his computer skills at DeVry University, Mesa Community College and received his bachelor’s degree in Information Systems from the University of Phoenix.

Garay, a native of New York City, earned an associate degree in Informational Technology in Virginia and his bachelor’s at the University of Phoenix. He moved to the Valley in 2000.

They subsequently joined the Chandler Chamber of Commerce, where another chamber member introduced them and they immediately began working together.

“All of our clients came to us word- of-mouth,” said Jaramillo, whose first office was in his bedroom at the 260-block of W. Cedar Drive, Chandler.

The partners this month began their first mass marketing attempt by purchasing advertising time on three Valley radio stations, including KFNN AM where they will be answering call-in questions.

They also conduct monthly “Lunch and Learn” seminars at the Chandler Chamber of Commerce, 25 S. Arizona Avenue about informational technology.

“There’s a lot of competition out there,” said Jaramillo. “That’s why we’re focusing on providing full-time technical services to the small-tomedium sized companies.”

Ed Garay and Steve Jarmillo

Family: Wife, Amy Garay; wife, Kristin Jaramillo and two children, Anysia, 9 and Jacob, 6

Reside in: Chandler

Business: Co-owners of GC Tech, LLC, 3130 N. Arizona Avenue, Suite 107, Chandler

Key achievement:Combined their separate computer technology businesses and, in less than a year — primarily through word-of-mouth — increased the number of clients from 20 to more than 100 and employees from two to five. Gross revenues are expected to reach $500,000 by next year.

Success philosophy: Treat your customer’s problems as if they’re your own. Also, try to use simple, easily-understood laymen’s terms with talking about computer technology — Ed Garay and Steve Jaramillo

Information: (602) 218-5834 or www.gctechllc.com

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