James Bowen and Nick Bock, and their company, Five Nines Technology Group, LLC, located in Lincoln, NE., have been named the Nebraska Small Business of the Year for 2010 by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
The information technology firm was nominated for the honor by Marisol Rodriguez, Director, Nebraska Business Development Center, Lincoln, NE.
“Five Nines mission is bringing business intelligence and a passion for technology to every client interaction,” say Bowen and Bock.
Five Nines is an information technology company providing managed services, IT support, and consulting services to small- and medium-sized businesses in the Midwest.
Their company name is a nod to a measure of computer operating system reliability of 99.999 percent, which translates to a total downtime of only five minutes and fifteen seconds per year.
An SBA-backed line of credit from Cornhusker Bank in December 2008 was crucial to drive continued growth of a small business that has to date retained more than 95 percent of its clients.
According to a March 2010 study by the SBA Office of Advocacy, over a recent 15-year period, small businesses created a conservative estimate of 65 percent of net new private sector jobs nationwide.
From their two locations in Lincoln and Omaha, and with their 25-person team, Five Nines has successfully leveraged information technology resources to help more than 250 area companies reach their business objectives.
Five Nines enjoyed a 71 percent increase in revenues its first year before hitting 100 percent growth in 2008. Weathering the recession with growth of 33 percent for 2009, Five Nines continues to strengthen trust and strong relationships with its clients, “going against the grain,” as they put it, customizing a unique solution for its customers in a market that often provides generic IT services.
Bowen and Bock especially are proud of strong position in providing IT solutions for area health care and financial services providers. The firm has earned laudatory testimonials for work saving 60 percent on power costs for a local bank by using “virtual” servers; another customer praised the company for its cost-effective and customer-friendly solutions.
But ask Bowen and Bock how they describe success, and you won’t get anything about growth or net profits – they’ll answer that success is helping their clients achieve their business goals.
Bowen graduated in May 1999 from Nebraska Wesleyan University with a degree in computer science while working as a network and systems administrator for Innovative Technologies/Corpnet Security before moving on to Physicians Laboratory Services as a senior network and systems administrator.
Beginning in 2001, Bowen served as owner for Binary Net, an internet service provider and data center in Lincoln; one year later, as he continued his duties as owner of Binary Net, he began his own consulting firm, providing services throughout the Midwest for high-level network and security design and systems administrator needs.
In 2006, Bowen joined Bock to found Five Nines Technology Group. He currently serves on the board of directors for the area chapter of the March of Dimes and is a Teammates mentor in Lincoln.
Bock graduated from Union College in Lincoln in May 1998 with a history degree and a minor in education and computers before taking a position with the Nebraska Heart Institute in IT support. He moved on to serve as IT director for the Nebraska Urban Indian Medical Center in 2002 and subsequently worked as a pharmaceutical sales representative for Pfizer.
In 2004, Bock founded Nebraska IT, a client-focused IT support and counseling firm serving Lincoln and Omaha. Within three years, the company boasted of more than 100 clients and $400,000 in annual revenue, and led the way in providing IT services to health care organizations in Lincoln.
Three years later, Bock joined Bowen to start Five Nines. Bock is on the board of directors for the Lincoln Childrens Museum, a member of the school board for SDA Schools of Lincoln, and a Union College BCS mentor.