Guy Baroan started building and selling computers out of his apartment in 1997 when small businesses were trying to compete with Dell and Gateway. He named his company Baroan Technologies. Dimitri Miaoulis joined the company in 1998, and after some market analysis, he flip-flopped the business model from 30% service/ 70% hardware to 70% service/ 30% hardware.
One of the biggest company milestones came when Baroan and Miaoulis realized their work was mostly reactive in terms of "putting out fires" due to viruses and spyware, so the company introduced a mandatory preventive maintenance plan to its customer base and also added a 24/7 help desk. The mandatory maintenance plan cut down the customer base considerably, as many refused the service. However, since then, the help desk has been generating more than $1,000,000 a year. Miaoulis elaborates, "Once we switched to the preventive maintenance schedule that improved our customer's uptime, we were able to make better use of our time helping with critical issues that needed to be resolved quickly."
Baroan Technologies also introduced a mandatory remote monitoring and maintenance component (as a managed services provider), which included an automation tool that literally knocked out the company's manual customer base. But Miaoulis says the case against manual maintenance was a good one because the benefits of automated maintenance were hard to deny. "Productivity was just one benefit," he notes, "because employees did not have to stop working during automated maintenance, like they did during manual maintenance." From there, Miaoulis says Baroan Technologies' growth has been mostly organic through referrals.