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Technology Focused, Relationship Driven

A Family’s Investment into a Technology Business Built Like No Other

Article by Aaron Fongers

Photography by Shel Francis Creative

Originally published in Greeley Lifestyle

Our lives are intertwined with technology, and as a result, we have to be smart with how we understand and utilize these devices to manage our lives. On an individual level, this may seem doable, but for those managing a business, the task is immeasurably greater, and comes with an increased amount of risk and needed expertise. Connecting Point is a family-owned company in Northern Colorado that has remained consistent in its commitment to help navigate this ever-changing environment. 

“We’ve come to realize that what we do every single day is create building blocks,” Andy Warner, Connecting Point’s Chief Financial Officer said. “People and businesses are utilizing technology to thrive in their everyday lives like never before, and our team gets to be a part of helping our clients through that process and share in the satisfaction as we see tangible results.”  

Now celebrating its 40th Anniversary in serving the technological needs for businesses throughout Northern Colorado, Connecting Point didn’t always look like the current IT services-driven business that it is today. Connecting Point was originally established in 1982 by Andy and Scott’s father Ted Warner. It started as a retail computer store named Computers West in Sterling, Colorado.  In its early years the store was poised to provide personal computers and software programs to an expanding market of local consumers. 

A few years later, Ted bought into the developing computer-store franchise network called Connecting Point and with increased demand and opportunity, he was involved in franchising several additional stores across Northern Colorado, Southern Wyoming, South Dakota and Northwest Nebraska. By the mid-’90s, however, there was another market change- the computer service industry. With the commoditization of the computer industry, and retail sales being dominated by large corporations, Ted saw another opportunity to stay relevant in the market and, more importantly, develop deeper relationships with his clientele - a decision which set the trajectory for where the business exists today.

“For the first 15 years of the business, we were primarily a retail store,” Connecting Point President Scott Warner said. “For these past 25 years, our focus has flowed through the lens of client service- how can we help businesses establish, manage and secure their technology in a way that benefits their organizational mission?”

After transitioning away from solely being a product reseller, Connecting Point began working with clients in a varied fashion, but as early managed service offerings came to market, delivering those services in an a la carte fashion was very cutting edge.  However, through the early 2000s, the suite of available managed IT services expanded and Ted realized that maximum value and client engagement existed when products, projects and services could be delivered as a package - positioning Connecting Point as a fully outsourced IT department for their clients in the SMB space.  

“My dad’s vision for that phase of engagement started by realizing that every company required professional partnerships,” Scott recalled. “Whether it’s an attorney, a banker, an accountant, they have someone who takes care of them and provides them with a critical service. He believed that having a technology provider was just as critical a relationship for a business to establish and maintain.”

Originally, Ted’s plans for the evolution of Connecting Point were going to take place without his sons, as both Scott and Andy had intentions to pursue career paths outside of the family business. However, after returning from college at Purdue University, Scott’s desire to find a tech-related sales and marketing job intersected with Ted’s proposition to get his feet wet in the tech-industry by working at Connecting Point which proved to be a lasting decision.  On the other hand, Andy thought the constant “change” in the IT realm seemed somewhat unstable and influenced his decision to pursue a career in finance and accounting, becoming a CPA and functioning in varied operational and consultative capacities.  

But in 2015, Ted shared a potential plan with Andy to transition the family business and transfer ownership to Scott - who had been with Connecting Point for nearly eight years at the time. As the trio worked together on the succession plan, it came to fruition in 2019, when Ted became a “utility” man of sorts and Scott and Andy stepped into their new executive roles.

“Truly, the transition was about a five-year process from start to finish,” Andy said. “and even then, our dad stayed around to help with our team and for our clients.  Ensuring a smooth and successful transition took a lot of work, coordination and flexibility.  But with all of that work in the rear-view mirror, he gets to enjoy retirement while Connecting Point continues in our care.”

Today, Connecting Point serves small-to-medium sized businesses across Northern Colorado, Denver and Southern Wyoming and has solidified itself as one of the premier managed IT and cybersecurity services providers across the region and the country. Their services include a variety of options, including equipment installation, network assistance, cybersecurity solutions, data protection, and responsive technology support for clients. 

“We’ve established our clientele solely by focusing on what we believe are the most important values in business- building close relationships; having tight engagement with our clients; providing innovative technological solutions, and being extremely responsive in our support,” Scott proudly declared. “We are committed to growing the right way- with no strings attached and aiming ourselves at providing the best solutions for the right clients.”

It is this family focused, relationship-driven business model that has allowed Connecting Point to imprint themselves as a premier IT services provider for businesses. “We aren’t just a technology company,” Andy said. “We are a business enablement partner.” Raised in Greeley themselves, Scott and Andy have both expressed an immense amount of pride in their city and gratitude to the community for what it has provided for their family.

Scott and Andy shared their four tips to making sure your technology interactions provide the highest value for your life and your business:

  1. Find the right partner- Finding someone who understands the technology and its inherent risks, but also who cares about you and your work, is crucial to keeping your information and livelihood secure.

  2. Understand the risk- An IT expert can only offer so much. Make sure you understand the risks- technological, financial, and reputational- of entering the digital space before making decisions.

  3. Keep it simple- Work with your partner to streamline and simplify your technology processes so that it can be understood and managed efficiently. The more complicated it becomes, the more headaches you create for yourself and your infrastructure. 

  4. Never forsake security- Your cyber-security posture can have massive effects on every aspect of your business and the technology it uses. Don’t cut corners, and keep yourselves, your employees, and your clients safe.