A Growing IT Business
Jesse Kegley, Managing Partner at Emerge
Photo by Jon Keeling
We all know that Cincinnati is a great city in which to live. It is also geographically well located and in a position to be a (not so) small fish in a big pond. Jesse Kegley of Emerge Technologies tells us why.
LEAD Magazine: Tell us about what you do.
Jesse Kegley: As a partner in the organization, I share responsibility for the overall success of Emerge. Specifically, I oversee our go-to-market strategies and execution from a business development and account management standpoint, as well as marketing and advertising that spans outside of that. Finally I spend time in and around our industry identifying partnership opportunities with our customers, and the IT channel at large.
I have been with Emerge for 11 years. A few business partners had worked together at a previous IT company. We had a working relationship in technical engineering and management capacities before Emerge was founded. We created Emerge to take advantage of a market opportunity – we felt we could out-service the other IT companies in town.
LEAD Magazine: Would you say that is different from other companies?
Jesse Kegley: Yes. Our objective is to be a trusted technology solutions advisor to our customers. In order to do that, we need to have credibility with our customers, and in the community. I believe Emerge has a very good reputation because of the outcomes we have been able to generate. Even more important, we recognize that it’s the people we work with everyday that make success possible. We work hard to retain the good people that give us their time every day. We do that by investing in them.
This morning we had what we call “Breakfast of Champions,” where the leadership team prepares breakfast for the staff. That is just one kind of example of the things we do to create a culture that shows appreciation for our people and allows us to have fun and enjoy what we do every day.
LEAD Magazine: Do you feel the company is on a steady incline?
Jesse Kegley: Yes, we have had year on year growth since we started. We have a ton of awards up there in the front of the office that we are proud of.
We have found a few niche’s that are helping us grow which is great. It means more great people helping other people, which is exciting.
One area of continued anticipated growth is a channel strategy that is underway at Emerge. In addition to supporting our customers, we also supply to other companies like ours. We are an extremely transparent organization, by working with other companies like ours we can collectively advance technology and enable innovation together in some way. So far it is working and it is creating revenue channels for us, our goal is to continue to develop and grow that. I spend a lot of my time navigating through and developing those relationships; and trying to forge those new partnerships at Emerge and in the industry at large.
LEAD Magazine: What does the future look like?
Jesse Kegley: We are going to keep on going. I feel like we have a lot of opportunity ahead of us, as an organization, as well as principal owners. We are all on the same page there. While we have been in this industry for 15 years, we are relatively young owners of an organization in comparison to other companies out there. There is plenty of runway left for us to just continue to help people.
LEAD Magazine: Technology touches everything, doesn’t it?
Jesse Kegley: It touches every business and it touches every industry. We are going to see an explosion of logistics in this area. We had the recent announcement of Amazon coming to CVG, bringing more than 2,000 jobs. That is an example. Geographically, Cincinnati is in a position where you can reach many other markets within eight hours. That really propels Cincinnati to be a logistics big wheel in the cog. It is all going to be driven off of technology. The IT infrastructure needs to be there to support the data processing and the data that those other organizations need to be successful. This area is a great place to be.
LEAD Magazine: What is a big challenge in your business?
Jesse Kegley: One of our biggest challenges is tech talent. We can’t grow without it. We are focused on attracting talent to bring them into the organization and work with them to develop and grow. We want to look at the person first, then build into their skill set. The skill sets are not out there in the masses, so we have to develop it. If they have a will and they exhibit the soft skills – communication, integrity and an eagerness to learn – they will be fine. You can teach people skill sets, but they have to want it. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. Our ultimate goal is to enable people.
LEAD Magazine: What is a big victory in the IT world?
Jesse Kegley: Our biggest victory in the last five years has to be development of data analytics. Speaking from an industry perspective, having the ability to gain insights that are data-driven enables us to impact business and customer service at a higher level. The outcome of all devices is data. The data behind the phone is way more valuable than the phone, for example. I believe data analytics is the foundation of major world advancements.
LEAD Magazine: Why the name Emerge?
Jesse Kegley: The emergence of multiple technologies – to develop and grow and appear and show up. That is Emerge.
For more information about Emerge, visit emergeits.com or call 859.746.1030. Emerge is located at 1895 Airport Exchange Boulevard, Suite 170, Erlanger, KY 41018.