Former CEO for the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has returned to San Antonio to launch an IT company focused on making it more accessible and more affordable for small businesses in the Alamo city.
Luis Rodriguez, formerly with both the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (SAHCC) as well as the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GAHCC), is the CEO and President of Modern Managed IT. The recently launched company is centered around addressing the needs of the small business when it comes to IT.
“We’re a small business being led by a Hispanic who’s very proud to be doing what I’m doing,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez began his professional career working in the for-profit world at companies like Conn’s HomePlus and United Van Lines. During this time, Rodriguez became involved heavily with the SAHCC as a volunteer which would eventually lead to a full-time position.
“[My wife] said, ‘you might as well go work for them, they might as well pay you because you’re always there volunteering,’” Rodriguez said.
After seven years with the chamber, Rodriguez was recruited again, this time to act as CEO and President for the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GAHCC). Him and his family relocated to Austin in 2017.
“I took best practices [to Austin] that I learned in San Antonio,” Rodriguez said. “Those best practices were to focus on your members.”
After three years in Austin, Rodriguez was having a conversation with Brett Piatt, CEO of Jungle Disk, a cybersecurity company based out of San Antonio. They met at the Magnolia Pancake Haus where Piatt explained the concept behind Modern Managed IT and the overwhelming need of the small business community regarding IT. Piatt also asked Rodriguez if he wanted to be at the helm of the company and take the position as CEO.
“When this was presented to me it was two things, one, it was still a way to help small businesses by helping implement a solution for small businesses’ necessity for technology.” Rodriguez said. “Second, the simplicity of this company, Modern Managed IT is different than what other managed IT [companies] provide.”
Rodriguez consulted with his family and the chairman at GAHCC and accepted the position.
The vision behind Modern Managed IT is focused directly on small businesses and making IT services accessible and affordable. Therefore, the company doesn’t utilize contracts, prices are simple and fixed, and customer service is personalized and accessible.
“Our prices are on our website and they don’t change,” Rodriguez said. “What you see is what they are.”
These company policies are in stark contrast to what Rodriguez and Piatt observed in other IT companies that may have been more geared towards larger businesses.
“It’s super simple for small businesses and that’s what I appreciated,” Rodriguez said.
Additionally, the Modern Managed IT team looked to revise the typical IT business model because it was mostly outdated and took into account tools and resources no longer necessary with the advancement of modern technology.
“We’re hoping to revolutionize that part of the technology sector,” Rodriguez said. “We want to keep it simple by being honest, transparent, and letting our customers choose for themselves. That’s us.”
With over 10 years of chamber experience under his belt, Rodriguez understands how critical IT is for small businesses. He also acknowledges that it shouldn’t be something a small business has to be
“Having a good, reliable IT partner is important to help small businesses,” he said.
For both Rodriguez and Modern Managed IT, this is true now more than ever with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the pandemic, technological needs have shifted drastically, and Rodriguez believes that IT support is pivotal.
“Now more than ever it’s important to have a trusted technology partner on your side,” he said.
According to Rodriguez, the COVID-19 pandemic has allowed many small businesses and entrepreneurs to change their mind set about utilizing technology.
“COVID-19 has actually, maybe helped small businesses think more about technology more quickly than they would have wanted to, but in a good way so they can grow and learn and be prepared if this were to ever happen again,” he said.
Overall, the pandemic has forced virtually all businesses to adapt including Rodriguez who is used to face-to-face interactions and in-person meetings.
“It’s been challenging, but a good challenge because it’s helped grow our knowledge base of technology.”
Ultimately, Modern Managed IT wants to create more opportunities to stimulate technology jobs in San Antonio.
“Hopefully I’m just one of many new, future tech start-ups in San Antonio,” he said.
Additionally, Rodriguez foresees widespread growth for the future of the company.
“We’re kind of revolutionizing the whole managed IT choice for small business owners,” he said. “At the end of the day we’re hoping that what we do in San Antonio sticks so we can replicate it Austin, Dallas, Houston, through Texas, Arizona, and Oklahoma.”
In the end, Rodriguez believes that small businesses are the economic engine of the community and with Modern Managed IT he wants to create a definitive answer when it comes to IT.
“If we can someway, somehow create the ultimate solution for small business IT I think we’ll have hit a home run.”