Introducing Contracting (+)

The 2020 Global Pandemic hit friends and family hard. For those who made it through, the loss of loved ones, economic damage, and forced isolation are not something to ignore. Finding good things that came out of the pandemic, in a way, feels wrong.

This impacted Excelon as well. For about a year, no one was paying for training at all; consulting also suffered. When training budgets came back it was for remote e-courses, not in-person, not travel. If you’ll pardon the expression, in order to survive, Excelon had to pivot.

So pivot we did.

One thing the world learned in the Pandemic was that the “need” to commute into an office was largely a social construct. This opened the doors to work outside of West Michigan, and to hire people outside of West Michigan, so we did. In 2021 and 2022, the overwhelming majority of Excelon revenue was “good old software development”; doing it and helping others do it. Today that looks like programming, testing, and developer support services on complex infrastructure. Today we support Kubernetes, Docker, Cellery, along with internal systems that extend them.

“But Matt”, you ask “Consulting and training are differentiated. That makes them expensive. How can you possibly succeed with Plain Ol’ Contracting when you are competing with anyone working anywhere?”

I’m glad you asked.

Contracting (+)

At Excelon, we tend to attract a different type of person. Someone interested in doing the work, sure, but also improving the state of the system. We have low overhead from working remote. Excelon has no office building, no cubicle farm, no new roof to repair, no water-heater to break. The sales force actually does technical work to earn their keep. Between those two, we can attract a different caliber of worker, one capable of consulting work, for about the price of a contractor.

Working with Excelon staff, you’ll get cool new ideas. These are ideas to improve the system. They might be metrics, they might be ways to improve prediction, ideas to tighten the feedback loop, coverage measures or analysis of problems to find the easiest changes to make the most powerful impact. In some ways, you might argue this is better than straight consulting, because we stick around and have to live with the consequences of the ideas. Not only do we need to live with the consequences, but we stake the continuation of our work on it. This provides a strong incentive that the ideas actually work.

Not everyone wants new ideas. Some want execution — follow our process, do it our way. Sometimes we find out halfway in that is the desire, and we can do that too. A typical assignment is six months. If Contracting(+) isn’t what is wanted, then we can shake hands, call it a good assignment, and move on. Overall, though, our people want to do better. Maybe this way, maybe that way, but better. Our structure and remote nature makes us attractive financially.

The pandemic opened the doors to remote work. If your company has resisted consultants, been price-sensitive, or required travel, those things might not be a problem any more.

We are open for business.

Are you?

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