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Meet Eric Rieger of WEBIT Services in Naperville

Today we’d like to introduce you to Eric Rieger.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Eric. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
WEBIT was born in June of 1996 under the name Titanic Enterprises. We oddly enough began as a sports apparel company that a close friend of mine and I started. It never really took off but as my career in the software field was evolving, I started having more “IT Consulting” work coming through the business. It wasn’t long before I had to choose a path and decided to make the business a full time IT Solutions provider. We changed the name officially to WEBIT Services (Titanic wasn’t a name that instills confidence in anyone) and back in 2005 began offering full Managed Technology Solutions to the Chicagoland area.

Since then we’ve continued to grow and mature our business model. Today our focus is on providing businesses with Secure, Reliable and Efficient technology solutions and service so that technology becomes a competitive advantage for the business.

We’ve also gone back to our roots of sorts and added application and development services a few years ago. Our clients were looking for more help with integrating their business systems and pulling business intelligence from their systems. We decided to bring that into our solution stack in the form of DevOps. We really see that being a huge part of our service offering in the future, especially as more systems and applications move to the cloud.

We currently have 12 team members and the long term vision for the business is to become an ESOP (employee owned) company.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I don’t think any business ever has a smooth road. I’ve never met one. Early on it was a grind and we were trying to find our voice and purpose in the world. I think we’ve come a long way in 21 years though and I love the vibe we have in our office now. I was just commenting a few weeks ago in one of our Monday huddles that it felt like a Friday in the office. When it feels like Friday on a Monday, you know you’re doing something right.

With that said it hasn’t been all sunshine and roses. We’ve had our share of missteps including several bad hires. People who were poison to our culture and really never should have been allowed in. When you don’t know your “Why”, your purpose for existing, you won’t attract the right people to your team.

I think we’ve been most fortunate in the fact we’ve been introduced to some great mentors. People in our industry who are difference makers and who mentored us along the way. I’d like to especially give mention to three people who I will forever be grateful to, for the guidance and mentoring they have provided along our journey.

Gary Pica of TruMethods in Philadelphia is my friend, coach, mentor and a legend in the IT Industry. I met him back in 2009 and everything we are today started with that initial meeting. His insights helped us align our business model so that we can deliver the absolute best outcomes for our clients. He’s laid out the road map that changed our business and lives for the better in the process.

Doug Diamond is our Gazelles coach and he also owns Business Improvement in Willow Grove, PA. I refer to Doug as my friend, planning coach and psychotherapist (he’s not fond of that last one but it’s true). Every business leader needs someone they can talk to about the struggles in their business and Doug has been the best sounding board a person could ever hope for. He listens and provides rational perspective that is needed.

Kevin Walter is the owner of Tasty Catering in Elk Grove and we met last year when we rolled out our Open Book Management program to our team. Kevin is our Great Game coach and he’s also become a very close friend in a short amount of time. We would never have gotten our company into the Open Book world had it not been for his efforts and perspective.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
The thing I am most proud of in our business is our Why statement. If you’ve ever read anything by Simon Sinek you’ll know that your company purpose, it’s Why is critical in everything you do in business. Without a core purpose, you’re just a ship without a sail and you can spend a lifetime wandering aimlessly trying to be all things to all people, never making a difference.

Our “Why” is as follows:

Through technology we support, enable and inspire businesses to make a positive impact on the world.

It took our team over a year to create with that. It’s our third iteration but it’s something I am extremely proud of because it was built upon stories of when we are at our best as a team and what really drives us to be the best versions of ourselves. When you have a core purpose that everyone believes in, anything is possible.

Technology changes so much that I couldn’t tell you what services we’ll be offering in 5 years.

Today we focus on making technology Secure, Reliable and Efficient. It has to be in that order and when you get to the efficient stage, that’s where all the fun comes in and that’s where you can have the most positive impact on your client’s profitability.

What were you like growing up?
Honestly growing up I was (and still am) a nerd at heart. I was more of a loner than anything and I think it was because my brain was always moving at 100 mph but I couldn’t translate that into any social context. I was shy so I kept to myself a lot but it gave me time to think about everything. I loved taking things apart to see how they worked and if I could put them back together.

I got a computer fairly early on in my life (Commodore 64 for all those old enough to remember what that was) and I started writing my own programs before I even knew what programming was. I just liked seeing what I could make the machine do.

As I got into high school I started taking a bit of an interest in sports and wound up playing Ice Hockey for 32 years. I was a goalie and for anyone who has played the sport they know goalies are the oddballs of the team. It really fit my personality and I wound up making a ton of lifelong friends because of the sport. I have been a blackhawks season ticket holder since my freshman year of high school and I got a job just so I could pay for tickets. They were $6 each back then. You can’t even buy a beer for that price now!

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Image Credit:
Eric Rieger – WEBIT Services, Inc.

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