The Roaring 20 award from Inside Business honors Hampton Road’s most dynamic businesses based on revenue and employee growth. It recognizes the region’s fastest growing companies that are making significant contributions to the local economy.
For a company to be eligible it must be headquartered in Hampton Roads and established prior to 2009, realized gross revenues of at least $2 million in 2011 and experienced three years of growth. Nominees were interviewed and finally selected by an advisory panel.
ABS’ Hunter Dorroh accepted the award on November 1 at the Westin Virginia Beach Town Center.
The write-up for ABS from Inside Business appears below. To view the entire section on all companies click here.
ABS Technology Architects
Business type Information technology
Based Virginia Beach
Revenue $21.6 million in 2009; $28.9 million in 2010; $35.4 million in 2011
Employees 65 in 2009; 80 in 2010; 93 in 2011
When brothers Walker and Hunter Dorroh were children, they probably didn’t comprehend their father was starting a business that would soon be essential to the way the business world operates.
Now Walker serves as chief executive officer and Hunter chief technology officer at ABS Technology Architects in Virginia Beach, which was started in 1972 when computers were considered state-of-the-art technology. Their long-term success is due to providing innovative technology solutions that meet business and organizational needs, they say. The brothers took over the business in 1999.
They provide network security, wireless networking, IP unified communications, virtualization, structured cabling, information technology outsources and data center solutions, said Chief Operating Officer Chris Zettervall.
The reason for their long-term success, according to Zettervall, is the “great job they do of taking care of the customer and customer loyalty.”
“Technology is always evolving for business and the public, and to be able to offer solutions is important,” he said.
Commitment to change is a reason they have weathered the long-term technology evolution, Zettervall said.
“And we have good, smart people who can relate to our customers,” he added.
“Our people are able to relate and understand what the customer is trying to accomplish,” Zettervall said.
“We consider ourselves a partner in the equation as opposed to just a part of it. It is more an art than a science in the way we relate to the customer,” he said.
While they consider their customer important, Zettervall said they understand their limits.
“We have not tried to be all things to all people,” he said. “We are very focused with a couple of major product lines.”
One of those was Cisco. ABS Technology was the first Virginia-based firm to receive Cisco’s IP Telephony certification.
Even though it’s had long-term success, the firm is challenged with being a private company. No outside equity makes it tough to grow with little capital – it makes them run a tight ship, Zettervall said.
And as with any company involved in IT, keeping up with the rapid changes is an everyday challenge, he said.
Another challenge is finding good people.
“That is our single biggest factor,” Zettervall said.
Many people leave the company for management positions with other companies. Zettervall said they are only able to offer so many management positions.
“We can only have so managers. We do not discourage those who are talented and have management skills to leave if we do not have a position for them.”
The goal for the next few years is to have 20 percent growth each year in a manageable way with respect to cloud technology.
There is also growth with WiFi in the United States and Latin America, he said.
- Susan Smigielski Acker