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Each week, The Columbian offers a brief snapshot of an interesting Clark County business. Send ideas to Mary Ricks: firstname.lastname@example.org; fax 360-735-4598; phone 360-735-4550.
Business name: Creative Computer Solutions, Inc.
Owner, President and CEO: Scott Huotari.
Address: 202 E. Mill Plain Blvd.
Owner Scott Huotari answered the following questions:
What the business does: Creative Computer Solutions, Inc. is a full-service information technology services company that installs, monitors and maintains networking systems.
Steps to build the business: The company has grown organically for the past 15 years, says owner Scott Huotari. While the company has tried using radio, direct mail, and other forms of marketing, Huotari has found that nothing is as effective as word of mouth from happy clients.
Greatest challenge: As new technologies emerge, Huotari says one of his company's greatest challenges is to provide the best advice to clients. It's up to his staff, Huotari says, to guide clients along a path that leads to more productivity with no down time.
What's ahead: Huotari says his company has been helping its clients stretch their IT dollars as far as they can for the past several years, but some clients are now past due for server replacements. Some have been holding off to see what cloud computing -- storage and other services delivered over a network -- can offer them. In reality, moving to the cloud is not much of a money-saver, Huotari believes, as providers are asking a premium price for their services. Companies do need, however, to look at how cloud services can help them become more productive and more profitable. The ability to work from home, or access files when in other places -- even on a plane -- is a large boost to employee productivity, he notes.
A favorite part of the job: For Huotari, it's watching the company grow up and become more mature. The business creates best practices on a daily basis to fine-tune the way it serves its clients, he says. It's rewarding to him to see staff pitching in and developing the best way for the company to be run. Having employees who care about their clients and the company that they work for is the best part of his job, Huotari says.
Owner's business history: CCSI was founded by Scott Huotari in October of 1998. His vision was to take technologies that were engineered for large business and apply them to make small businesses more successful. He focused on networks with five to 50 users, installing servers and work stations based on best practices. The company added network monitoring about 10 years ago to track real-time trends on its client's networks and offer proactive services.
Year established in Clark County: 1998.
Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.