New owners of ISC help tame the IT beast

TRAVERSE CITY – Information Technology (IT) is not an area in which every person feels comfortable. Start talking IP, SSL and VOIP and eyes can quickly become glossed over. For businesses IT is, however, a necessary tool.

For more than 12 years, Michiganders Mike Zamiara and Troy Fairchild have been working side-by-side in taming the IT beast for various companies across the U.S. The two recently partnered together officially, and are now the new owners of Integrated Systems Consultants (ISC) of Traverse City.

ISC is an IT solutions provider and has been in existence since 1983. What ISC does is help local businesses utilize technology to become more efficient in their day-to-day operations. Whether setting up a phone network within an organization or helping companies with multiple locations manage their communication needs, ISC has been there behind the scenes ensuring it all happens for their clients.

Previously owned by Dr. Gilbert Mosher, founder and CEO of The PMP Corporation in Traverse City, Zamiara and Fairchild officially inked the deal in 2011 and are now focusing their sights on 2012 and the future of ISC.

The road to ISC – and Traverse City, for that matter – was a few years in the making. Some 12 years ago, Zamiara and Fairchild worked together at BioPort Corporation in Lansing. Zamiara was the chief operating officer while Fairchild was the director of IT. While at BioPort, the two were instrumental in linking together, from a technology standpoint, BioPort's Lansing headquarters with its two offices in Maryland so that the corporation's business could be run efficiently despite the geographical distances between the three offices.

Five years later, the two were in the same boat again, this time for Orchid Orthopedic Solutions. Having acquired nine different businesses in three years, Orchid was also faced with ensuring that all of the IT cogs in its machine – as spread out as the company was – worked seamlessly.

Fast-forward a few years. After being encouraged by the folks at Cisco, an international designer and manufacturer of networking systems, to start their own company, Zamiara and Troy bit the bullet, set up an LLC, and began the tireless research for what would be the best next step for them. "We considered two options – either start a business from scratch, or buy an already-existing company," says Zamiara.

With a long list of criteria, he says, the two looked at the viability of the markets across Michigan, primarily the west side, and at the existing IT solutions providers within each of these markets. Grand Rapids was of particular interest to them and at the top of their list. However when the two learned of the opportunity to purchase ISC and to transplant themselves and their families to Traverse City, they willingly shifted their focus.

ISC appealed to them for two reasons, says Zamiara. "Number one was the staff. The people here have a good reputation within Cisco and came highly recommended in regards to their talent. They're very strong technologically." The other thing they found attractive was that ISC had been around for almost 30 years and was well established.

ISC employs about 11 people currently in its Traverse City headquarters, and already Zamiara and Fairchild are looking to add a few positions in the next year. ISC also has a location in Gaylord. Future plans, they say, will likely involve expanding ISC's presence across northern Michigan. To learn more, go to BN