2019 PBN Business Excellence Awards
EXCELLENCE AT A SMALL COMPANY: Vertikal6
THEY SAY big things come in small packages, and that sentiment couldn’t be more accurate if you’re mentioning Vertikal6.
With a workforce of 48 employees, nearly double the staff from close to three years ago, the Warwick-based information technology services provider posted close to $7 million in revenue last year. In addition to twice being named among Providence Business News’ Fastest Growing Companies, Vertikal6 has also been recognized as a best place to work four years running.
Vertikal6 has evolved from starting as a tech company in 2002, to focusing on helping small and midsized organizations achieve their goals and maximize revenue. The company offers various IT strategies, including outsourcing, professional services, hosting services and software development.
“We help our clients rise above their challenges and take the challenge of technology off their plate,” said CEO Rick Norberg. “Our customers are our partners and we work with them to navigate the technology landscape of their business and provide the right solutions to help them accomplish their mission.”
Over the past couple of years, Vertikal6 has made several strategic moves to strengthen itself internally and externally. To accommodate its expanding staff, the company underwent renovations by adding 6,000 square feet of office space in the last six months.
Vertikal6 also invested heavily in its Microsoft Corp. relationship by moving thousands of users to Office 365, by becoming a Microsoft Gold cloud provider, and provided Azure cloud migration and management. The company also developed and launched its own proprietary software called Elevated Strategy Platform, which helps clients turn their strategic business goals into reality by leveraging curated IT solutions.
“As a kid, I always wanted to be an entrepreneur,” Norberg said. “I get to live that dream every day. We are laser-focused on client outcomes and caring deeply about our people and customers. We develop our team, our tools and our culture based on this mission.”
‘We help our clients rise above their challenges and take the challenge of technology off their plate.’
RICK NORBERG, Vertikal6 CEO
Norberg said the IT industry in Rhode Island faces its share of obstacles, including finding qualified candidates to fill open positions, and keeping up with the pace of industry changes and ever-constant cybersecurity threats.
“Twenty years ago, we were worried about a two-digit date oversight, and if we got email in a day or two, all was good in the world,” Norberg said. “Today, our lives are online and if that same email doesn’t arrive in three seconds, something is clearly broken. Few other industries evolve at this pace.”
In an effort to help customers stay ahead of the challenge of increased security threats, Vertikal6 recently rolled out two-factor authentication to all of its clients and is locking down environments when it is necessary. The company also conducts customer audits for its clients to ensure information-related controls and processes are working properly.
Creativity and innovation go hand in hand as critical components in the Vertikal6 playbook, particularly on the rapidly evolving tech scene.
“It is vital to innovate in order to stay ahead,” said Jenna Barboza, Vertikal6’s service operations manager. “One of our core values is ‘Innovate Relentlessly’ and we hold ourselves to that standard every day. One example of this is our employee training. It is a bit ‘out of the box’ compared to most organizations. We train new techs with not just books; each new employee is given hands-on training, interactive videos, classroom-style training and even educational games.”
Although the work at times can be stressful and the hours long, the Vertikal6 team handles all the challenges together.
“I enjoy working for Vertikal6 because it is a great group of intelligent people who can all laugh and have a great time while solving complex technical issues,” Barboza said. “To me, it is like one big group of friends working towards the same goals. There are busy and hectic days, but we still find a way to have a good time and make the environment fun to work in.”