Three decades can go by in a flash when you enjoy what you do and have a passion for solving client problems. It’s hard to believe that Friday, December 8 marked UCG Technology’s 30th anniversary. It was just before the holidays in 1987 that I decided to "control my destiny" and pursue a dream to run my own IT company.
At the time, UCG was primarily a dealer/lessor/broker of IBM midrange equipment and peripherals. Today, 40% of our business is IBM Power (i) hardware related, and nearly 60% is managed services and niche solutions.
I don’t want to dwell on the past, because the technology business is about moving forward. In looking at how we would mark this anniversary, though, we decided to take a page from our history and resurrect a brand that many people know as well as UCG Technologies: VAULT400.
In 1985, the Coca-Cola Company introduced a reformulated version of its flagship product that attempted to address what it believed were changing customer tastes. Coke did extensive research prior to making the change, and was convinced that New Coke would be a hit. What it didn’t account for was the considerable sentimental attachment Coke drinkers had to the original formula. The negative backlash was immediate and powerful, prompting Coke to hastily reintroduce its original formula and quietly retire New Coke.
Our experience with VAULT400 followed a similar, though less dramatic story line. Two years ago we conducted customer research and focus group tests that indicated that the VAULT400 brand was seen by some customers as a little long in the tooth. Not wanting to be behind the times, we decided to change the name to “UCG Enterprise Cloud Backup and DR" and more recently to "IBM i Cloud Backup & DRaaS."
What we didn’t anticipate was the name recognition VAULT400 had developed. It was unique and memorable. I’ve personally had new prospects tell me they don’t know UCG Technologies, but they do know VAULT400. A Google search of VAULT400 yields more than 550 results, all related to our service. The name is easy to remember in contrast to the tongue-twisting "UCG Enterprise Cloud Backup and DR".
So welcome back, VAULT400! You rejoin our expanding family that includes Enterprise Security Training; IBM POWER8 Systems; and Contract Management Software. UCG Technologies now does business in 31 states, Canada and the Caribbean. We’ve added dynamic young leaders like Matt Paterini to help keep our eyes fixed on the future. And we have changed and evolved our brand from the original United Computer Group, Inc. to UCG Technologies. Because sometimes a new name really is a good thing.
I’ve never been more excited about what’s going on in information technology or about the future opportunities for UCG Technologies and our clients. To all of you who have helped us grow through these past 30 years, thank you. To all of you who will continue our growth over the next 30 years, we are looking forward to meeting you.
Jim Kandrac, President & Founder