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Member Spotlight | I.T. Solutions of South Florida & Deana Pizzo

on November 9, 2020 / by Nancy Dahlberg ,


Read Time 4 Minutes

Business: A managed service provider specializing in solving IT and business challenges for small to medium size businesses.

HQ: Lake Worth

Year founded: 2004

Founders: Deana Pizzo (CEO) and Jason Pizzo (CIO)

No. of employees: 16

Website: www.itsolutions247.com

 

 

I.T. Solutions of South Florida  has racked up a lot of industry and community awards. But the one CEO Deana Pizzo is most proud of is being honored as a Best Place to Work by the South Florida Business Journal last year.

“That was a really big deal to me. Best Places to Work means that you have the right people in the right seat on the bus. They like what they’re doing,” Pizzo said about her Lake Worth-based company. And it’s her people, she says, that drive her business forward while keeping the businesses of her customers running smoothly.

Pizzo started I.T. Solutions of South Florida with her husband, Jason, in 2004 in their living room, and they evolved the company over the years into a Managed Service Provider overseeing the networks of dozens of small and mid-sized companies. Services of the certified woman-owned small business include managing everything from cloud services to local servers to phones to copiers and more. “We do a lot of 24-month technology road mapping with our clients” so there are no surprises, she said, along with ongoing consulting and educational training.

Clients include SunFest, Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium, United States Polo Association and United States Polo Global Licensing, among others. I.T. Solutions of South Florida manages networks in some unusual places, too.  “We are part of the Porsche North America racing team,” Pizzo said. “One single race car has seven servers, which is surprising to a lot of people.”

Feeding South Florida in Fort Lauderdale, the third-largest food bank in the country, is also an I.T. Solutions of South Florida client. For Nonprofits First, I.T. Solutions of South Florida not only supports its network but also teaches classes for the nonprofit’s clients on everything from cybersecurity education to how to use Microsoft Teams – big requests during the pandemic.

 

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEOPLE

What sets her company apart from the competition, Pizzo says, is a people-first mission and approach.

“When you grow your team with great people, the client’s come,” she said.  “We hire for personality and sharpen the tech. You can teach tech but you can’t teach personality,”

To find the best people skills, I.T. Solutions of South Florida doesn’t even talk about the tech with job applicants until the end of the second interview. “The very first interaction with us is a video submission. Can they talk to people and make eye contact? … And then we test the tech,” Pizzo said.

It’s working. I.T. Solutions of South Florida has had very low turnover, Pizzo said. “I can count my turnover in 17 years on one hand. I have people that been with me 10 years.”

I.T. Solutions of South Florida team, complete with fake tattoo sleeves, poses for a fun holiday card in 2018. Two employees who work remotely for I.T. Solutions of South Florida participated via the TV screens. Since then the company has added to the team.

‘NO GEEK SPEAK’

I.T. Solutions of South Florida’ 16-person team is nearly half are women, very unusual in tech. The ways the team goes about treating customers differently starts with no geek speak, Pizzo said.

“We do not do that. We want plain old conversation. Nobody wants to be talked down to, which my industry is full of.”

Once new team members are on board, they get an education plan. “We get them certifications and they’re part of their onboarding as part of their first year. They are doing ongoing technical training — sharpening the sword is very important.”

Since 2016, I.T. Solutions of South Florida has been on South Florida Business Journal’s fastest growing companies list. With COVID-19 in the picture, growth is down a bit this year, but growth will still be in the double digits, thanks to getting an early start following its disaster recovery plan, Pizzo said. “We actually are getting ready to hire two more people by the end of the year.”

I.T. Solutions of South Florida went 100% virtual early in the crisis and then worked quickly to get its customers — about 1,700 people — virtual in a period of two weeks. “We were prepared and had a plan. And that’s something that we do with our clients. Every year we sit and we revisit their disaster recovery plan. I don’t think anybody could have planned for this but having those plans in place was a huge help in helping all of our clients get all of their employees remote.”

 

COMMUNITY FOCUS

Pizzo is active in the community. She was selected for the Palm Beach Tech Association’s Board of Directors this year, a position she is very excited to hold. “I love the mission of creating a tech hub in the South Florida region — it is very needed. I’m excited for what they’re doing and I want to help them be better at what they do.”

Pizzo also serves on the Board of Governors for Leadership Palm Beach County, is a member of the Board of Directors for Nonprofits First and is a corporate member of the BDB and a Corporate Trustee in the Palm Beach North Chamber of Commerce.

In her new role on Palm Beach Tech’s board, Pizzo says she is looking forward to listening to the community, finding out what the demands are and helping Palm Beach Tech meet those needs. She also has some of her own ideas.

“We need our college graduates to stay here. We need to lure college graduates to this area. We need to become that tech hub. Joe [Russo] has definitely made some waves, and we are moving towards that.”

 

Shown at top of post: I.T. Solutions of South Florida’ co-founders, Deana (CEO) and Jason Pizzo (CIO), at a Leadership Palm Beach County event. Photos provided by I.T. Solutions of South Florida.

Member Spotlight | I.T. Solutions of South Florida & Deana Pizzo