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IS Inc.

IS Inc. does not believe in going generic. That is why the company works to tailor training and consulting to the perfect fit.

Anne Crawford, sales manager of Sacramento-based IS Inc., doesn’t believe in going generic. Although such products may thrive in the grocery industry, it’s not right for training, and that’s why the company works to tailor training and consulting to the perfect fit.

How did the company get started?

My parents started IS Inc. in 1982. It began as an idea as we were moving from Dallas to San Francisco, which was our seventh corporate relocation in seven years. With five children and a father traveling throughout the U.S. during the work week, my parents realized that it was time for a change.

We began selling and supporting dedicated word processing systems. This involved working closely with clients, understanding their business processes and improving them with technology-whether it be through training, consulting or a combination of both. While the products and the industry have changed dramatically, our core business has remained the same.

What got you interested in doing this kind of work?

I grew up in a household with all the latest computer products and software, often before they were available anywhere else. I started working in the business in high school. Although it is often more difficult to work for your family business–the hours can be very long and the boss always knows how to get in touch with you–I was drawn to it. I’ve learned about so many different types of businesses and the technology they use.

Why do you feel that there’s a need for what you provide?

Technology is changing very rapidly. Because of this, customers are looking for an organization to help guide them to improve their business processes. Our company builds long-term relationships with our clients and they know they can trust the level of expertise of our staff. I believe there will always be a need for people that take the time to understand a client’s business and that can develop solutions to better run it.

We spend a lot of time researching and investing in new technology and find ourselves pretty accurate in forecasting new trends. Right now we’re really excited about the trend toward using cell phones for all sorts of business activities and we expect to see a lot of interest in mobile enterprise development. Overall, the number of students participating in Nokia developer training is expected to double this year as interest in mobile software continues to grow around the world, and we’re excited to be part of that and to be one of only two organizations working with Nokia to provide mobile applications development training here in the US.

What makes your company unique?

Companies send people to training because they have specific problems they are trying to address. Our customers are more knowledgeable and need instructors that can address the problems that they are encountering on the job. The only way this can be done is to have training designed for the job they have to do. Generic, feature-rich classes, including on-line training, do not address these needs.

During the past few years, companies have downsized and are expecting their staff to do more. These people are more sophisticated and don’t find the generic training and certification as important as they once were. Now with all of the new technology that is becoming available, companies are seeking to improve their business processes to remain competitive. The type of training we are providing now is focused on helping companies apply technology to solve critical business problems. This is one of the reasons why there has been a huge increase in training, particularly customized training.

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