How A Reputation For Excellence Propels ADS Consulting Group’s Success

What are the critical characteristics of an entrepreneur? Alan Sugano would say determination, self-confidence—and a dash of delusion!

Plus, Alan insists on impossibly high standards for ADS Consulting Group. “We want to be known as the MSP of MSPs,” says the president and CEO of the Los Angeles area business. “To do this, we need to be exceptional at troubleshooting problems, which is something I drill into all my employees.”

A Drive To Know How Things Work

Alan grew up with an emotionally reserved father. “My father was a typical Japanese American man,” says Alan. “He was very light on praise and encouragement for us kids while being very self-disciplined. As a result, I quickly learned to develop my self-confidence and discipline.”

This environment led Alan to pursue many things. He was in the gifted minor’s program in school, played the trumpet in the second grade, and tinted car windows for extra cash in high school. Most notably, Alan began exploring his innate interest in technology. “I’ve always had a natural interest in how things work,” he says. “I remember getting my first computer as a young boy—a TI-99—and programming it to play some of my favorite songs. The coding was challenging and took some troubleshooting, but I was hooked once I figured it out.”

Alan needed to determine what was next for him after finishing high school. “I’m very passionate, but I also like to think I have a practical side,” he says. “So yeah, I’d love to be a rockstar, but I also needed to be realistic. That’s why I went to Cal State Northridge for Computer Science; I wanted to explore my passion for technology further. Not to mention, I knew breaking into the tech industry would be easier than the music industry, for example.”

Two years in, Alan took an economics class that changed his trajectory. “This econ class made me realize my heart just wasn’t in computer science,” Alan recalls. “So, I switched to a business degree with an emphasis on computers. This is where I truly found my passion.”

A Sponge For Knowledge

With it now time to step into the IT industry and begin his career, Alan did what he had always done. He dove in headfirst, with confidence. “Thankfully, immediately after graduating, I got several offers from the Big Eight accounting firms at the time,” says Alan. “I accepted an offer from Coopers & Lybrand and started in their Information Technology and Audit Support department in 1989.”

He continues, “One of the reasons I selected them was because I wanted to get experience in various industries with different-sized clients. I became a sponge, soaking in as much knowledge as possible, so I was prepared to solve any problem I faced.”

And while this was a fantastic position for someone straight out of college, the demands began to weigh heavily on him. “The only issue with Coopers & Lybrand was no work-life balance,” Alan says. “They would work you until you dropped—sometimes upwards of 36 hours straight. I thought, ‘If I’m working this hard for someone else, why don’t I work this hard for myself?’”

Alan had toyed with this idea in college. He finally pulled the trigger in 1991 when he launched ADS Consulting Group.

“Do Or Do Not. There Is No Try.”

Every entrepreneur knows that building a business from scratch takes perseverance and assuredness in not only yourself but your business idea. “My friends told me I was nuts to leave Coopers & Lybrand. But I was confident I could do it,” Alan remembers. “Although it was during a recession, I felt this was the right time to go for it. I wasn’t married, didn’t have any kids. And I just knew I didn’t want to look back on this in the future and wonder, ‘What if?’”

Alan has since cultivated a group of senior IT technicians and built a robust technology company from the ground up.

The drive for excellence around problem solving has paid off more than once. For example, Alan and his team were called in to troubleshoot a connectivity issue with a space shuttle Rockwell developed. “They were running IBM OS 2, which was a decent operating system, but they were having trouble connecting the computers to download flight data,” says Alan. “They had an IBM tech on site for months trying to fix the issue before they called me. I thought, ‘If the IBM tech can’t figure it out, I don’t see how I could figure it out.’” But ultimately, he persevered. “It turns out they had the network card misconfigured. Once that was tweaked, I had it up and running within 30 minutes,” he recalls.

Today, Alan’s clients come to him for these types of solutions. “Realistically, my clients just want the problem solved in the fastest time possible,” he explains. “Most times, they don’t even care about the actual problem. This is where our motto, ‘Do it once, do it right,’ comes into play. Our clients want to move through technological hurdles seamlessly, and that’s where we thrive.”

He continues, “Something else I instill in our company culture is [our Star Wars-inspired] ‘Do or do not. There is no try.’ In other words, we’re either all-in working toward finding a solution, or we’re all out. You won’t find any Hello Kitty Band-Aid fixes here.”

A Venture Into Cloud Services

After careful consideration in 2013, Alan and his team concluded that it was time to build their own cloud infrastructure and offer ADS Cloud Services to new and existing clients. As IT Infrastructure specialists, they know how to properly design, secure, build, back up, maintain, and scale an IT Cloud with end-to-end visibility. ADS Cloud has an uptime of 100%, so their clients can sleep better knowing their servers are stable, secure, and properly backed up.

Moving forward, Alan and his team plan to continue serving their diverse clients, focusing on cybersecurity and compliance.

“Currently, we’re looking at transitioning all our clients over to an MSP model as well as offering compliance as a service,” says Alan. “I think that’s probably our biggest core value—our heavy security focus and commitment to keeping our clients safe and secure.”

Ultimately, the intersection of Alan’s upbringing, his passion for technology, and his team’s unwavering dedication led to ADS Consulting Group becoming a top-tier technology firm, proving that excellence, perseverance, self-confidence, and a little delusion pay off.

For more information about ADS Consulting Group, visit here.

MSP Success Magazine is a print and digital publication dedicated to helping the CEOs and owners of managed IT services businesses build strong, profitable, growth-oriented businesses. Written and published by Robin Robins, founder of Technology Marketing Toolkit, this magazine is uniquely focused on the topics of marketing, client-acquisition, sales, profitability, leadership and personal development.



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