by Chris Miles
In 1982 (I was 12) I was babysitting for a neighbor. The father had a Timex Sinclair 1000. It was one of the first affordable personal computers. While they were out to dinner and a movie I read the manual and started writing small silly programs to display different things on the screen based on IF-THEN-ELSE scenarios. By the time they got home they were surprised by what their little computer could do and I was hooked.
It goes back to when, I guess, I first was introduced to technology. I was about twelve years old, and I went over to this couple’s house, and their kids were there. And the father had a Timex Sinclair 1000, and this was 1982, no personal computers were really out there. I read the manual—it was the BASIC language, looking back on it—and I just learned what I could do. I could start writing things and make it do different things, and that’s when I got hooked.
When I was very young, I worked construction. I fell in love with people needing something, and then me providing it, and them saying, “Great job!” I mean I became addicted to “You did a great job,”when somebody would say that. And when I was sixteen, I got hurt; I got my hand caught in a wood chipper. I decided, you know, if I’m going to risk my limbs, I’m going to work in my own business, and I started a construction company. Other businesses at the time didn’t utilize computers. I had computers with me at all times—in the field, at the homes, writing estimating software, working in accounting, doing computer-aided design. That’s how it all started, was I ran my company well with technology. Time went by, I went to school for engineering, I never even thought about being in the technology field.
Ten years later, I was twenty-six and running a company with twenty-five, approximately, employees, and it’s going well, but people kept asking me when I would meet them, “All the people in IT, they don’t understand business, and you seem to understand business and all these different things, like collections, and HR, and sales and marketing, and all these things that were needed, accounting.” It was like these two passions came together, and when technology and that came together, it was like chocolate and peanut butter.
When Miles Technologies just started, we were in the basement of my home. One day, I came down the stairs I said, “Customer wants a website. We’re going to have to figure out how to build a website,” so our President of IT Services built the first website for Miles Technologies. But eventually, we had ten or twelve people doing IT work in that basement. And then we bought our large twenty-eight thousand square foot facility, and we’ve been able to grow inside of this building.
When I started the construction company, there were so many things that we had never done before, so it was very normal—it became one of our strong suits—is to take something that’s never been done before and get it done for somebody. That’s how we add new service offerings. Customers have a need for heavier or more complex security services, so we build an offering around that. Or it’s a specific industry, and they have needs around that, with HIPAA compliance in the medical industry, so we build service offerings around that. And even whole sections of our business, like surveillance and phone systems, those have been added over the years as our customers have needed them.
I believe we have the dedicated, passionate people that care. I mean, our slogan is, “You request. We respond. It gets done!” and our core focus is helping people accomplish more. That’s what you would want in a company that’s doing the kind of work we’re doing. To have everything from software developers to people helping with routing and networking and things like that in their websites and online marketing, it really makes it great for the customer. They can concentrate on their businesses, but share their goals and objectives with us, and we help make it happen. We help people accomplish more.