BY: STEVE IVEY STAFF WRITER
Louisville firm Unified Technologies LLC expects to double its revenue to more than $10 million this year, riding a trend of companies looking for streamlined communication tools.
President and CEO Scott Diamond said Unified Technologies, which provides networking and telecom-munications services, had $5.2 million in sales for 2010.
The company, which Diamond co-founded in 2009 with Mike Fischer, also has grown to 39 employees from 27 and added a satellite office in Lexington, Ky.
“This whole space has really taken off,” said Robb Bashore, the company’s vice president. “The way that we communicate — through tablets, mobile phones or other technologies — is changing. Our clients are looking for solutions to unify them into a single application.”
Mobile devices causing strategy shift
Diamond and Fischer previously were owners of U.S. Voice and Data LLC, which provides business telephone systems. They sold the company to Brookside Technology Holdings Corp. in 2007 for $9 million.
Diamond said that even since that time, communications tools have evolved for businesses. Google Inc., for example, estimates that 500,000 Android smartphone devices are activated every day.
“Unless all your devices are turned off, you’re at work,” Diamond said. “Customers expect their vendors to be accessible.”
Unified Technologies provides its clients with equipment from California-based ShoreTel Inc. ShoreTel’s equipment can help a caller connect directly to a user, whether through an office phone, mobile device or other technology. And companies can communicate with employees via videoconferencing, instant messaging or other methods from anywhere.
New clients needed centralized system
Norton Healthcare Inc. , Stites & Harbison PLLC, Georgetown College and Christian Academy School System are among the clients recently signed by Unified Technologies.
Rob Hough, director of technology services at Christian Academy, said he evaluated vendors for about two years before choosing Unified Technologies. He said he chose Unified because it was most able to provide an easy-to-use network compared with others who bid on the project.
Tom Spooner, telecommunications manager at Norton, said he had known Diamond and Fischer from their previous venture and turned to them when he needed a new solution for Norton’s growing network of physician practices.
“We don’t need to be traveling to 50 different doctors’ offices and have them all on different lines,” Spooner said. “We needed a vendor who could provide one central point of administration for us.”
Equipment makers encouraging growth
As Unified Technologies continues to grow, Diamond said, he expects most of the firm’s new clients will continue to come from the region. “The (equipment) manufacturers are asking us to grow,” he said, noting that Unified Technologies ranked No. 12 on ShoreTel’s “Circle of Excellence” rankings for revenue and customer satisfaction, making it one of the fastest-growing among ShoreTel’s 1,000 partners worldwide. “We have a strong foundation here. And we have been successful going in and showing options for our customers.”
Business communications growing
Research shows most companies are opting for the type of services provided by Louisville-based Unified Technologies LLC.
California research and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan expects the number of unified communications users to grow to 50 million by 2015 from 2 million in 2009.
Boston-based Infonetics Research estimates the unified communications market will grow by double-digit percentages topping $1 billion by 2013.