During the 1990s, ORBIT founders Steve McFarland and Phil Palmquist designed, implemented, and managed large systems for Fortune 500 corporations. These fast, reliable, secure systems were the best money could buy, with budgets typically exceeding $50 million.
The pair got to talking: what if small and mid-sized organizations could afford sophisticated enterprise-level systems, too? The impact on the way these companies did business—and the bottom line—would be significant.
A new way to do everything
McFarland and Palmquist began developing their idea for leveraging truly world-class systems across many businesses, spreading around the expense and the benefits. The system they envisioned would be ready to use in any office environment with no interruptions—and it would start contributing to a client's success from day one.
But quality was only half the story. McFarland and Palmquist knew how frustrated, confused and even anxious small business leaders were becoming around their IT systems. Much of that had to do with IT professionals, who tended to be intelligent and well-meaning, but difficult to communicate with.
The pair recognized that world-class systems and capabilities were meaningless without world-class customer service.
In 1999, the duo, along with Jennifer Amys, formally opened ORBIT Systems Inc. (The name ORBIT is an acronym for Office Ready Business Information Technology.)
Putting customer service at the center of IT
At a time when pocket protectors were coming into vogue and "geeks" were being elevated on pedestals, McFarland, Palmquist and Amys started assembling a team of technical experts who also had excellent interpersonal skills. Little by little, a culture around integrity, excellence, and outstanding service sprung up at ORBIT. This enabled ORBIT to attract additional talented IT professionals who embraced these values.
ORBIT Systems grew rapidly across the seven-county Twin Cities metro, largely by word of mouth—particularly among clients who shared ORBIT's embrace of integrity, customer service, and excellence.
Today we serve more than 100 small and mid-sized businesses headquartered in the Twin Cities, as well as their remote offices across the nation and the world. Our clients come from diverse industries and disciplines, but they have a few key things in common: They embrace excellence. They tend to be dedicated to providing the best products and services to their customers. They expect that same commitment from vendors like us.
We're proud of our astonishing near-100% client retention rate. We've also received numerous local and national awards. Our founders remain heavily involved in the company, working alongside our 55+ local professionals who share a passion for customer service and technology.