HOUGHTON/HANCOCK - Two local technology enterprises have come together with the sole purpose of serving their clients more efficiently. Up and Running Services and Solutions and Next Century Technologies merged on January 1st to create Up and Running Technology Solutions.
"Building upon the experience, technical expertise and core competencies of each company, clients will have access to the largest array of technology services in the area: PC and Mac sales and service, telecommunications, audiovisual, surveillance, and other technology products," said Matt Thyer, Operations Manager for Up and Running. "Each company's individual strengths complement and enhance the other's, guaranteeing the best hardware, software, or technology solutions for both commercial and residential clients." In conjunction with the merger Thyer said they are also pleased to announce three new business initiatives.
The first is High Noon Computer Techs, which offers flat-rate fees for computer service and repair. "Their motto says it all. 'We don't charge by the hour because gunfighters don't charge by the bullet,'" Thyer said. "Customers tired of frustrating phone or Web-based technical support will find High Noon Techs to be a quick, efficient and inexpensive way to get up and running."
Next Century Technologies owner Kurt Smith, left, and Matt Thyer, operations manager for Up and Running, are seen shaking hands. Up and Running and Next Century merged Jan. 1st to create Up and Running Technology Solutions.
Up and Running is also proud to announce that they are the first Apple Authorized Service Provider in the UP. "Mac users will now have a local option for service; previously their only option was a really long drive or to send the unit in for repair," he said.
Finally, customized training classes that target key areas of expertise or specific competency levels are now available. "There is a huge need for training for both business and residential clients, especially with downsizing. Everybody's being asked to do more with less" said Tom Wright, training team lead. "We want to help people get the most out of their hardware and software.
Both companies have been serving the four-county area for more than a decade. Up and Running was started in 1995 with the purpose of providing hardware and software support to local clients. In 2005, after having outgrown its origins as a home office, Up and Running moved into its current location in the Portage Building.
Kurt Smith, the owner of Next Century Software & Hardware, established the business in 1996. The business performed electrical engineering research and later shifted into computer sales and service. In 2005, Smith changed the name to Next Century Technologies and quickly became a premier location for computers, network servers and systems, telephone systems, audiovisual applications, surveillance systems, point-of-sale equipment, and premise wiring.
Next Century recently became an authorized Xerox dealer, providing printer, copier, and scanner sales and service, another component of being a "complete technology partner" for clients. "A customer came in three years ago and used the term 'one-stop shop,'" Smith said. "They told me the primary reason they came to me was because we really are a one-stop shop."
"The companies complement and enhance each other, so it was natural to come together," Smith continued. "Up and Running has bought equipment from us in the past and we've always had a good relationship on that level. That was the first step in getting together. About two months ago, we came up with a more formal business agreement," Smith said.
"Many of Next Century's customers have also worked with Up and Running, and had nothing but positive experiences," he said. "Their clients have been very happy with their services, so that made it an easy decision." Thyer agreed, adding that both companies share a similar business outlook. "We listen, and make sure that we understand what the customer wants before we start off with solutions. One of Kurt's core values is to provide long-term solutions, not just a quick Band-aid."
Smith said he's looking forward to working as a team and wants to reassure his customers that together, they're going to provide the same standards of service. "We want them to know they're going to receive the kind of attention that they've always gotten-if not better," he said. "Together, we offer a much higher level of service to our clients." "At the same time, it's easier to serve clients more efficiently because we have a larger and more versatile staff," Thyer added.
Up and Running Technology Solutions also offers remote technical support for clients that live in outlying areas. "We can access systems from our office, make changes and correct problems on the fly without driving to L'Anse, Calumet, or other remote locations," Smith said. "It depends on the circumstances. We use that when we can because we're able to service them faster and save them money."
The current space in the Marketplace Building (314 Shelden Ave., Houghton) will be expanded to provide a larger service center, an improved retail area, and a demo showroom.
Existing phone numbers will remain in service, but a new phone number, (906) 482-4800, will be in service on Jan. 12.
Visit Up and Running Technology Solutions at www.upandrunning.com or highnoontechs.com.
For more information call Matt Thyer or Kurt Smith at 482-4800.
Editor's note: This feature is part of a paid advertising package purchased by Up and Running Technology Solutions. Businesses interested in being featured on the Business page may call Yvonne Robillard at 483-2220.