Operating and managing a business is no easy feat, and with rapidly evolving advancements in technology, it's imperative to guard your information well.
In the Greater Lehigh Valley many technology companies are equipped with the resources to keep businesses safe from cyber threats and other risks.
Here to answer this week’s “Behind the List” questions is Craig Stonaha, president of Laughing Rock Technology in Sinking Spring.
Lehigh Valley Business: How long has Laughing Rock Technology been operating in the region and what are its primary services?
Craig Stonaha: Laughing Rock Technology was founded in 2008. Our initial product offerings were primarily focused on break-fix services for computers, servers and networking equipment. We quickly realized that most businesses have significantly more involved technology needs. Our answer to this was to expand our footprint to encompass three main divisions: information technology (including structured cabling and managed services), web services (including website design and custom application development) and telecommunications (on-premise and hosted voice over internet protocol solutions). Having a presence in nearly all parts of our customers’ technology has allowed us to provide comprehensive solutions while minimizing downtime and giving them a single point of contact for technology needs.
LVB: What have been some of the biggest challenges and opportunities that Laughing Rock Technology has encountered throughout its years in business?
Stonaha: Starting our story during a recession ended up being both a huge challenge and a massive opportunity. While it was a rocky road those first years, we learned to operate lean and manage growth while focusing on the core values of building lasting relationships in the business world. As the market improved, we had already set up a culture of efficiency and innovation, which helped carry us to new levels of success. Then when things started going really well we did what all businesses love to do, we blew it all up. In 2016 we restructured the organization as a managed service provider and since that time have experienced unprecedented growth.
LVB: How does Laughing Rock Technology directly stimulate the local economy? How does it get involved with the local community?
Stonaha: We have always been strong supporters of recruiting from within the community, which is why most of the jobs we create are filled by local talent and entry-level positions are typically hired out of area colleges and technical schools. We even assist local schools as scholarship judges and sit on advisory boards to make sure students come out of school with the skills they need. Laughing Rock is also passionate about supporting local charities and nonprofit organizations. We do this through donations, discounts and donated products and services. We volunteer for youth outreach programs and support state and local STEM [science, technology, engineering and math] foundations. We are also active in the local chamber of commerce and the local business community.
LVB: Does Laughing Rock Technology provide its services solely in the Greater Lehigh Valley/Reading area, or does it expand into other markets? What are some of the industries that you provide services for within the region?
Stonaha: Since early 2016 we have made the push internally to broaden our scope and encompass additional geographies. We currently have customers across the country and we are also in talks to acquire other managed service providers in major markets such as Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York and Pittsburgh. While we don’t focus on any specific industry, we have always had a high level of success in the manufacturing and contracting verticals.
LVB: What does the future look like for Laughing Rock Technology? Does it have plans for growth?
Stonaha: Laughing Rock continues to look for ways to stay ahead of the ever-changing technology world while growing and diversifying. Internally, we are in the process of revamping our marketing and our sales to focus more on the national market to bring more business into the area from other parts of the country. We are partnering with major corporate entities such as Microsoft and Level 3 Communications to make this happen. We are also looking to expand into new markets through the acquisition of new businesses. This will allow us to have an immediate presence with an established customer base through which we can expand. Most importantly, though, is to continue to be an integral partner in our customers’ success. Helping our clients to achieve their goals has been our best long-term strategy for achieving our own success.