Thursday, May 6, 2010 | 4:01 p.m.
Computer wiz David Hansen – founder and president of Las Vegas-based Hansen Network Services & Solutions – is an accidental entrepreneur.
He serendipitously stumbled into business ownership shortly after graduation from UNLV, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in computer science with a minor in mathematics.
By the time he earned his diploma, Hansen already had eight years of experience in the information technology industry, having launched his professional career providing technical support for Prodigy at age 16. He was working locally in the software development field when an opportunity came knocking. Literally.
“A friend came by and asked me to look at a quote they had gotten for getting a new network set up, and I gave them my opinion – it was not a good deal. They asked me to produce a quote and also offer technical support for them,” said Hansen, who moonlighted on the project from home until the workload generated from referrals and word-of-mouth prompted him to quit his day-job and focus on Hansen Network full-time.
Since launching the company in 2003, Hansen has grown the business from an after-hours solo operation to a thriving enterprise with five employees and roughly 100 diverse clients, the majority of which have fewer than 50 workstations.
Despite the economic downturn, Hansen Network reported an increase in net income of more than 280 percent from 2008 to 2009, and an increase of more than 2,000 percent from 2007 to 2009.
Originally founded as a traditional break/fix IT service company. “If you had a problem, you’d call us and we’d come and fix it” – Hansen said that model had an inherent flaw.
“Something had to break or go wrong in order for you to call me, so our focus now is managed service, a proactive approach that actively monitors servers for potential problems before they affect the client,” said Hansen, adding that managed service is seen as the future of the IT field. That allows Hansen Network to service a greater number of clients more efficiently with fewer resources.
In fact, last year more than 90 percent of all services were performed by means of remote access rather than onsite, up from 60 percent in 2008.
The company has partnered with industry leaders and worldwide vendors such as Dell, EMC, VMware, MxLogic, Connectwise and Kaseya, and has strategically invested in multiple enterprise software platforms and adapted them for use in the small-business environment.
Hansen said the company’s Help Desk accounts for the core of its business, as Hansen Network provides 100 percent of IT services for many of its clients. The company also offers a second-tier service, whereby Hansen Network specialists interface directly with a client’s existing IT department, which in many cases, is just one individual who may not have expertise in every area.
Hansen, who also founded Artery Networks in 2007 to offer a cost-effective solution for datacenter hosting, anticipates continued growth as Hansen Network continues to promote its innovative managed service model.
“Business is going great and we’re constantly adding clients,” said Hansen, adding that this year he hopes to land a couple of clients with more than 100 workstations. “Even though the economy is down, it hasn’t really affected us, because a lot of companies are outsourcing their IT, because we can do it for a lot less than they can in-house.”