For hire tech consultants help rescue businesses

“The digitalSled company is made up of Robert Daugherty, left, president and CTO; Christy Hansen, office manager; and David Broussard, seated, vice president of enterprise services. Not pictured is another digitalSled team member, Chris Stoffel, director of software engineering. (Photo by Bonnie West). of Federal Way, which had touted itself as the highest quality Internet service in the nation, can no longer make that boast. Within the last few weeks the company, which offered its national client base free Internet access, laid off 90 of their 300 employees, withdrew their Securities and Exchange Commission proposal and then announced they filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Robert Daugherty, president and CTO of digitalSled, a Tacoma-based technology consulting company, was not surprised by the company’s downward spiral.We were hired to put together a game plan for FreeInternet, he said. We also interviewed vendors to resolve their issues, but when we brought recommendations to upper management, they said, ‘Thank you very much’ and that was about it. It was at that point that we said ‘This place won’t be in business much longer.’His prediction was spoken a couple of months ago, and the rest is history.DigitalSled is the ghostbuster a company calls to clean up their messes.The consulting company deploys seasoned technology professionals for hire-CIO’s and CTO’s and directors-with experience in managing multi-faceted, high-growth startup businesses to ensure that a company’s technical strategies are in line with business goals.We’re very job specific, said David Broussard, vice president of enterprise services for digitalSled. We discover what you want to get done, do it, document it, train your employees and get out. Someone in a subdivision of Ford described us as ‘a high end swat team.’ We help avoid mistakes FreeInternet made, Daughtery added.Daugherty said that what he discovered at the root of’s problem-and one that other com-panies could use as an example-was the company’s weak internal systems. They were without a corner-stone to capture and keep their client base, he said. The company’s intentions were very good when they were still small with their original free software model, he added, but when they went national, their systems weren’t ready for the extra load. They didn’t have server problems with a few thousand users, but when they went to a million plus, they went down, and the people began to quit the service. They couldn’t access their e-mail. The problems you’re seeing at FreeInternet are an example of the basic things not working well. Poor execution hurt Freeinternet. Wonderful model, poor execution.Broussard said in new companies, CIO’s and CTO’s are being put in positions in a new frontier where there isn’t a lot of experience. Companies need leadership and trusting people to provide it, but it isn’t being provided. That’s what we’ve found, he said. I think what is really needed, and there is a shortage of, is experienced people in the startup industry. Experienced people to take it from ground zero to completion and have the experience and know-how to adapt it to the new world. Things change extremely quickly and you nave to stay on top of the technology. These days your business IS technology.On the brighter side, companies that have hired digitalSled’s experts to help them stabilize their business have lost their startup tag and gone on to enjoy established success.We’ve done a number of startups over the years, Daugherty said, And some have become extremely successful. Broussard predicts changes in technology will have a huge effect on organizations in the next five years. You’ll see a lot of companies being bought out and small businesses going the wayside. A lot of your big companies will fail because of independence on leaders not educated in this realm, he said.The key to a successful company, Broussard believes, is having people with old school knowledge who know how to supplement it with new technology. Then you’d have very valuable people. If a company applied it right, they’d be unstoppable. The digitalSled company is located in Tacoma at 917 Pacific Ave., Ste. 610. They can be contacted at 253-284-2250, or at their website: “