Tech Companies and Internet and Technology

Tech firm moves downtown, plans big expansion

March 22, 2013
Axia_Technology_offices_2col.jpg

Explosive sales growth and the desire to recruit young, energetic employees has led a small information technology service provider to move downtown as it prepares for a hiring spree.

Axia Technology Partners, which operated in the Park 100 office center in northwest Indianapolis until December, is settling into a 5,000-square-foot, 17th floor office in Market Square Center at 151 N. Delaware St.

The company plans to stretch into another adjoining 2,500 square feet as it roughly doubles its 25-person staff by the end of the year.

Axia Technology offices 15colRamon Toliver, right, is among the Axia employees now working in the firm's new headquarters downtown.   (IBJ Photo/Perry Reichanadter)

Chief Marketing Officer Matt Steward said the firm has had triple-digit revenue growth for each of the past four years, surging 390 percent in 2012. He declined to release specific figures for the privately owned company, but said revenue reached well beyond $5 million in 2012, and that the projection for 2013 is $10 million. Providing a snapshot of its operations, Steward said that the firm in 2011 signed $8.2 million in contracts, with a standard contract duration of five years.

Brothers Jason Ross, 37, and Josh Ross, 33, started Axia in 2008 after leaving sales jobs at Lightbound. They sank about $600,000 of their own money in the venture and began operating out of a small office in their native Danville before moving the business to Indianapolis.

Axia's services focus on phone and Internet setup, support and cloud computing. The majority of clients are hospitals, banks, public schools and small- to mid-sized towns and cities. Most of them are in the Midwest, but business stretches as far away as the West Coast.

The rapid growth has sparked hiring to keep up with demand.

The 5-year-old tech firm, as of Wednesday, had two Indianapolis job postings, for a PHP developer and a technical support engineer, and another seven listings for regional sales people throughout the Midwest.

Axia also is readying to hire another dozen software developers and installation technicians, but hasn’t yet posted the openings, said Scott Wood, director of operations. The jobs will pay, on average, between $22 and $24.50 per hour. Odds are, Wood said, Axia will then need to hire people to fill support positions, such as human resources personnel.

Wood couldn’t pinpoint a specific timeline for the hiring spree, but he has been dedicating the brunt of his work days to screening candidates.

The office switch to downtown is part of an effort to recruit from the young professional demographic.

“Being downtown is just a culture thing for our employees,” Steward said.

Wood said that a job applicant's ability to fit into and keep up in Axia’s fast-paced entrepreneurial culture was as important as actual skills.

Axia announced in May 2012 it would open a small office in Bloomington. Now operating with two or three employees there at any given time, the new location gives the company access to student recruits at Indiana University and Ivy Tech Community College.

The firm prides itself on a untraditional office setting in which everyone helps out, even with tasks as mundane as taking out the trash. It includes a breakroom with a futon for napping at the 24/7 operation, Steward said, and flex time for employees.

“Some of our developers work in the middle of the night, because that’s what they want to do,” he said. “We just want to create a good environment.”

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