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JCS & Associates finds new home in Sioux Falls

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SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO-AM) JCS & Associates Inc. has enthusiastically embraced its new home in the South Dakota Technology Business Center in Sioux Falls. JCS, which sells IT security and endpoint virtualization solutions, is an existing business that is re-establishing itself in a new but familiar market. Jim Shaeffer, founder and CEO, is a Sioux Falls native. He moved his business from Michigan to Sioux Falls in January 2013. Then in September JCS became one of the newest tenants in the SDTBC. “I’m a restart business. I’m a new business for South Dakota,” Shaeffer says. “I’m branching into a new geographic area.” SDTBC is a good fit for his company, says Shaeffer, who likes to network with other entrepreneurs and technology buffs. “I’m not one of those guys who can work out of his home. I have to have a place to go. This has been a great place to do that,” he says. The SDTBC, which opened in 2004, provides more than 20 business clients with development help, technology services and flexible lease terms for work space. Twenty businesses have graduated from the center and moved to new locations in the Sioux Falls area. “Jim takes advantage of what SDTBC has to offer better than most clients.  He maximizes his ability to connect with others,” says Pam Boehm, entrepreneurship and incubation manager at the SDTBC. “His solutions and services are some that our other clients may be interested in, too.”. After working in technology jobs for three years in his native Sioux Falls, Shaeffer moved to Michigan to be a systems analyst and designer for a newspaper chain. He also worked for three years as IT director for a communications company in Ann Arbor, Mich. Then, in 1991 he started his own business in Michigan. “In the beginning I was doing IT security consulting. I was doing a lot of computer virus eradication,” he says. “That was the big thing back then. Computers were getting infected with viruses left and right.” Shaeffer used shareware products from McAfee Associates early in his consulting career. That caught the attention of company founder John McAfee. Shaeffer recalls John McAfee personally calling him in the summer of 1991 to express appreciation. Subsequently, Shaeffer became an authorized agent for McAfee products. In 1992, he was McAfee’s top agent in the United States, Shaeffer says, and in 1993 he was McAfee’s top agent in the world. But then John McAfee left the company, and the sales system that Shaeffer had worked under was changed. Shaeffer had grown his business to employ 10 people, but by 1994 he was a one-person shop again. “I learned that you don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” he says. “I never made the mistake again of having only one product in my portfolio to sell.” By 1999, Shaeffer had rebuilt the company to five employees. Through the years he retained a desire to return to Sioux Falls. Finally, in January 2013, he moved his business to his home town. He based the company in an office  in the downtown area for the first eight months, then moved to the SDTBC. JCS has several national and local clients, including Dakotacare, a physician-owned health insurance provider in Sioux Falls. Roy Newcomb, Chief Information Officer for Dakotacare, says Shaeffer does a good job assessing issues and proposing solutions. “He’s very easy to work with. I consider him a trusted adviser on security products, even though I haven’t bought everything he’s brought to the table,” Newcomb says. Dave Logelin, co-owner of Condre Storage Systems in Eden Prairie, Minn., has known Shaeffer since the late 1970s. Shaeffer knows security products, he says. “He’s very good at identifying and satisfying the needs of customers,” Legolin says. An email-management product from Mimecast and a hybrid local-cloud storage and backup system from Duracell are among JCS’s current hot solutions. Shaeffer hopes to grow the business’s products and sales footprint in South Dakota. His chief technology officer remains in Michigan, a contracted telemarketer is based in Ohio and a contracted sales worker is based in Massachusetts.  “We believe this type of dispersed workforce is a trend for how most companies of the future will operate,” Boehm says. “We are also anticipating that JCS will grow and add more employees in Sioux Falls.” Contact: Pam Boehm, 605.275.8008, pamb@sdtbc.com

 

Source: South Dakota Technology Business Center

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