Training an IT nation

Information Management Systems Inc. helps build careers in the technology sector

17 locations. “We did not have a single glitch and got it running a week ahead of schedule,” adds Giles.

It is that kind of commitment that has helped IMS grow from a two-person operation earning $50 a job to a $14 million a year corporation with 53 employees and offices in Atlanta, Seattle, Orlando, Florida, Johannesburg, South Africa, and Malaysia. With Internet and computer technology developing so rapidly, IMS has had no shortage of clients. “[Clients want to know] how to use the Internet to [better] communicate with their employees, vendors and customers,” explains Giles. “We see customers in the new millennium facing these issues, asking ‘What is our core business?’ They’ll need to outsource things, like technology, that aren’t core.” Giles believes that the need for companies to hire consultants instead of internal staff to address these concerns will fuel IMS’ growth. In fact, he feels so confident that he wants to take the company public this year, and plans to expand into Latin America and other parts of Africa.

One client who believes that Giles and his staff have the stuff to grow in the industry is Delta Technology (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Delta Airlines) Advisory Systems engineer James Chester. Five years ago, IMS was the lead training provider for Delta’s technical staff, teaching them how to use new Y2K-compliant computer systems.

“One of the biggest areas that we were having problems with was getting staff who knew the [new] technology,” says Chester. “Mr. Giles [trained] people like customer-care agents and computer and network operations staff who already worked for Delta Airlines. Although they had the technical background, they were not familiar with the new Y2K-compliant technology,” he adds. IMS also took people who worked with old mainframe systems and taught them to work with servers and routers. Chester was also impressed by the fact that IMS completed the job several months ahead of schedule. “We estimated it would take two years,” says Chester, who notes that IMS began the job in 1995 and was finished 18 months later, in 1997.

As busy as Giles is these days, he has found time to establish a second company, SkillLearning.com, and turn his attention toward publishing. In 1998 he authored the Cisco CCIE Study Guide, which earned more than $3 million for the publisher and became McGraw-Hill’s best-selling computer book ever. He is currently updating that study guide and penning a second one on Nortell technology. Giles is the 21st century version of a Renaissance man-a tech guru and a scholar.

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