Oakland A's and San Diego Padres team up with local company
on new software that is all the rage n major league sports.
PIECE OF ART DOMINATES the office of Richard Nicholas, president
of E Solutions Corp. in Tampa. A large, real-life photo
captures tumultuous ocean waves battering a lighthouse in
the midst of a storm, and the lighthouse keeper, oblivious
to any sense of doom, stands gazing out the front door.
It is a metaphor for the high-tech firm, a provider of customized
automated solu-tions that include application develop- ment,
Web site design, hosting, network security and statistical
Michael Morizio, vice president, and Richard Nicholas,
president, at E Solutions Corp. in Tampa provide information
technology services to global companies like Pricewa-
terhouseCoopers. photo by:Tom Berndt
lighthouse is E Solutions," Nicholas says. "Everything
is going on around us and we're rock solid."
indeed. With many of the com-pany's competitors disappearing
in the downturn that has hit the technology sector in the
past couple years, "our revenues have grown," says Nicholas.
had a record year last year."
revenues were at $7 million in 2002, with profits of $1.2
million, and are projected to hit $8 million this year.
That is up from starting revenues of $721,000 in 1998.
Nicholas and a partner, who has since retired and is sailing
around the world with her husband, formed E Solutions four
years ago, they made a list of pro's and con's of the corporate
cul-tures they had experienced in their pre-vious positions.
"We had 60 or 70 items on that list," Nicholas says. "And
we dis-tilled our core val-ues. We picked very well. They've
held up and led to our success."
with pro-viding excellent compensation and benefits to employ-ees,
the executives settled on three tenets to guide the company.
"Most important is the customer comes first," says Nicholas.
"We never leave our clients hanging and we always make them
look good. Second is we only work in the field of our expertise
and, third, we don't go overbudget, even if it means we
work for free." That hasn't hap-pened often, Nicholas adds.
E Solutions area of expertise as an IT consulting firm is
IBM and Microsoft technologies. "We're experts at that,"
Nicholas says. "We're not hack-ers. We don't play with it
until we figure it out. We understand this technology.
is a very competitive business," adds Nicholas. "Our only
edge over our competitors has been our corporate cul-ture.
All we've had to do is deliver what we said we would do.
This has been an extraordinarily successful model. Our client
base has remained loyal."
firm's largest client is Pricewater-houseCoopers. "They
have been invalu-able to our growth," Nicholas says. "They
are a corporate mentor to our firm. With 150,000 employees
world-wide, they're one of the largest compa-nies in the
world and they expect a level of professionalism from us.
We've for Price Waterhouse (before their merger with Cooper)
and here we are four years later with a $7-million busi-ness.
I love it here."
ownership of E Solutions altered in January 2000 when his
partner retired and Michael Morizio, a global account executive
at Lotus for 13 years, joined the firm as a partner and
to pack up and come full steam with E Solutions," Morizio
says. "We had worked together for two years and I came in
as a partner with owner-ship. I had a wonderful career path
with Lotus and had won enterprise rep of the year. I left
that to come here and it has been totally exciting."
contributions to the E Solu-tions team led largely to the
selection of the firm by URS Corp. to build their employee
intranet system, called the Sourse. URS, based in San Francisco,
has 15,000 employees around the world using the Sourse for
(www.urs.com) provides ser-vices as consulting engineers,
architects and planners and opened its Tampa office in the
1960s to work on the mas-ter plan at Tampa International
Airport, a project it still has at this time. Other projects
include the airports in Orlando, Denver and Hong Kong.
typical project on an airport might be 10 years," says Carol
Justice, the firm's director of information tech-nology
the technical expertise that E Solutions offered in Lotus
Notes that led to the contract with URS. "They're a Notes
and Domino shop," Justice says. "They were uniquely qualified
to do the work on our intranet system. This has been a fabulous
success in our firm."
system provides a common inter-face on the computer of each
employee globally. "This application includes their e-mail,
calendar and corporate documents," Morizio says. "The human
resources and financial departments serve information through
the portal. After the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 they
were using this system for critical communications to employees.
They all live and breathe in their portal."
was an absolute blessing to have that kind of tool to communicate
with our employees around the world after Sept. 11," says
such impressive clients as URS and PricewaterhouseCoopers,
both Nicholas and Morizio agree, nonetheless, that their
greatest challenge is acquiring new clients. "Once we have
a client, they don't go away," Nicholas says.
the firm did experience a slowdown last year, "it was hard,"
adds Nicholas. "We decided to hold on to them and now we're
busy and about to get bigger."
already seeing a steady increase month to month in our rev-enues,"
Morizio says. "We expect to hire significantly by year end.
There is pentup demand for our services."
of that expansion is due to a new software package E Solutions
has creat-ed for Major League Baseball teams. To date the
Oakland Athletics and San Diego Padres have purchased the
ScoutAdvisor software created by E Solutions (www.scoutadvisor.com).
did work for the Yankees a few years ago, enhancing their
scouting system," Nicholas says. "We saw a need for this
product in Major League Baseball. Their systems are so backward.
We eliminate paper work and provide an advantage in time
savings. This is not a shrink wrap package. Each team has
a custom version."
program we've developed with E Solutions is tremendous,"
says Bill Gayton, director of scouting for the San Diego
Padres. "Some of the charts we've built into the system
have elimi-nated a lot of manual hours. This has made our
system gives our scouting staff four to six hours back each
day," says Danny McCormack, player develop-ment and scouting
coordinator for the Oakland A's. "It eliminates hours of
voice mail and mounds of faxes."
and Morizio plan to market the software to other professional
sports teams. "We can cross into football, bas-ketball,
soccer," Morizio says.
to creating software, the firm also hosts web sites. "We're
hosting over 1,500," says Nicholas. "All the sys-tems we
host have a secondary and ter-tiary backup. We have redundant
every-thing. It is highly secure."
the way, Nicholas has gar-nered a special designation for
the firm as an IBM premier partner. "There are only 400
of them worldwide," he says. "A company has to have customer
ref-erences, revenue levels from IBM engagements and the
ability to demon-strate efficiency in their technology."
the future direction of E Solu-tions, "we're getting into
acquisition mode," Nicholas says. "These acquisi-tions will
be a logical extension of our core competencies."
is pending to purchase a 15,000-square-foot data center
in down-town Tampa from Phoenix-based Fourthstage Technologies,
which is in bankruptcy proceedings. "It's a $9.1- million
data center," Morizio says. "The deal is consummated by
both parties; it's pending closure by the bankruptcy court."
as the firm won't compete for projects outside its range
of expertise, such as Oracle or SAP development, for instance,
"we won't expand into areas we aren't experts in," says
Nicholas, who appears to be happy with what he does know.
wouldn't trade my life with anybody. I love where I live,
the people I work with and my clients. We've made good decisions.
Our culture and ethics have paid off consistently for us."