By Shari Valenta
It’s a digital age and many businesses are realizing that to stay competitive, they need to automate their business transactions with high-tech computer servers, faster networks and more reliable data storage systems.
“FedEx, UPS, Blockbuster and Domino’s Pizza all get it,” said Marion Jenkins, CEO of QSE Technologies, Inc., a firm located 10 minutes southwest of Centennial Airport.
QSE installs computer systems for small and medium businesses, primarily in the healthcare industry.
“Each time you go to your doctor, you have to supply the same information on a clipboard that you filled out last time. When you have blood drawn, it’s a whole week before the results are back,” said Jenkins. “Most medical practices are automated only to the point where McDonald’s was five years ago. We want to make healthcare more efficient.”
QSE Technologies Inc. sets up networks in all kinds of businesses, but it specializes in physician private practices, clinics, imaging centers and other medical centers. Jenkins says his business tries to streamline processes in healthcare by implementing robust networks, supplying better data security and installing faster equipment.
Jenkins founded his company with Randy Scott. Combined, Jenkins and Scott have 40 years of experience in corporate information technology. Jenkins manages sales and business development, and Scott focuses on operations and technical issues.
“Randy and I met 10 years ago at a Texas telecommunications company called USLD Communications,” recalled Jenkins. “We had mutual respect for each others’ talents and abilities.”
LCI International bought USLD Communications, which then was bought by Qwest Communications International. Qwest transferred Jenkins to Denver as vice president of sales operations. After that, he left to work for a small start-up company called FirstWorld Communications, Inc.
“We grew the company from three to 900 employees and bought 14 companies all in about 18 months,” said Jenkins.
Scott moved to Denver to join Jenkins as senior director of IT. The two eventually left the telecommunications industry to proceed with their own business plan.
“Randy and I started a company so we could control our own destiny,” said Jenkins.
“We wanted to be in a business where someone couldn’t pull the rug out from under us.”
In 2001, they formed QSE Technologies, Inc. as a “virtual” business, with two cell phones and business cards produced on an inkjet printer. Because of rapid growth, they have upgraded to larger office space four times. The company has clients throughout Colorado and 11 other states. QSE twice earned a spot on the Denver Business Journal’s list of Denver’s 25 fastest growing companies. The business grew 296 percent from 2002 to 2004, and experienced 183 percent growth from 2003 to 2005 (the DBJ does ratings in two-year growth spans). QSE also made ColoradoBIZ magazine’s list of Colorado’s top 250 private companies in 2005 (237th place) and 2006 (228th place). Additionally, the South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce honored the company as the runner-up for 2006 Small Business of the Year.
Why is QSE so successful? Jenkins says it’s because they know what they’re doing. Nine of the 12 employees have college degrees in technology and computer science and carry multiple Microsoft, Cisco and CompTA certifications. In addition to extensive certifications, each engineer has at least five years experience in corporate IT.
“The technology business is highly fragmented and confusing,” explained Jenkins. “A lot of hobbyists out there are working out of their homes. It’s very hard for clients to know the difference between your local ‘rent-a-geek’ and a true IT business professional. This type of business isn’t licensed and regulated like most industries. A hobbyist can install a DSL (digital subscriber line) or do memory upgrades, but we do entire computer systems. It’s flying a solo run in a Cessna versus having your A&P and working on a Gulfstream.”
Jenkins jokes about planes because he used to work during college as a ramp rat, fueling airplanes for an FBO at Van Nuys Airport. The former “test pilot wannabe” attended Utah State University on an Air Force ROTC scholarship. He chose mechanical engineering to improve his chances to become a test pilot, but the fuel crisis and the 1970s wind-down of the military redirected his interests. He attended graduate school at Stanford University, and earned a masters and PhD in mechanical engineering.
Scott also lived another life before entering computer science He was a noncommissioned officer in the U.S. Army, in charge of patriot missile systems defense in the United States and Germany. He holds a BS in computer science from the University of Maryland.
Both Scott and Jenkins have interest in aviation, so it’s a plus to have their newest office location within Centennial Airport’s traffic pattern. Because of the owners’ military backgrounds, QSE Technologies supports the troops in Iraq by refurbishing donated laptops, which are then given to the men and women serving at Camp Corregidor in Fallujah. The soldiers are then able to communicate with friends and family via email. QSE became involved when they learned that a client’s son had to share the camp’s five computers with 1,500 other soldiers.
In addition to helping out the troops, the company helps a Centennial-based international organization called Project C.U.R.E. The organization collects usable medical supplies and equipment, and then ships them to more than 100 different countries. QSE Technologies recently reconditioned more than 130 business computer workstations, and Project C.U.R.E. will deliver them to fill needs in places such as Vietnam, Albania and El Salvador.
“We receive and inventory the computers and “wipe” all the existing data; you can’t just delete it because deleting files doesn’t really remove the data and it’s still there,” explained Jenkins. “Then we take out any nonfunctioning components and make sure everything is tested and operational. Project C.U.R.E delivers the computers to medical clinics around the world. The units are used for databases, accessing the Internet, patient scheduling, reports, billing and email. For some clinics, these are sometimes the only functional computers for dozens of miles around.”
Jenkins and Scott are happy with their decision to start their own business. The two friends seem immersed in technology and are eager to speak about the fun tech toys they get to test while on the job.
“We’re in the business because we really like technology. It doesn’t get boring; it’s always different,” said Jenkins.
Want to hire someone who knows the information technology business? Call QSE Technologies, Inc., to install and manage your computer systems.
QSE Technologies, Inc. is located at 359 Inverness Drive South, Suite K. For more information, call 303-283-8400 or visit [http://www.qsetech.com].