Supplier diversity doesn’t have to be a commitment only made by NGLCC’s corporate partners; our Certified LGBTBE® suppliers can make the commitment too! Certified LGBTBE® Windows Management Experts (WME) has demonstrated its commitment to creating opportunity for diverse business owners by implementing a supplier diversity program of its own in order to ensure that it is partnering with diverse business owners in its local sourcing and partnerships. Founder Matt Tinney shares why he started Windows Management Experts and why he thinks it’s so important that WME has its own supplier diversity program.
Windows Management Experts in the Spotlight:
- Name of business: Windows Management Experts, Inc. (WME)
- Name of founders: Matthew Tinney
- Date founded: February 2008
- Date certified: 2014
- Location of business: National (operating in 20 states, with HQ in Philadelphia, PA)
- Number of employees: 30+
1. What is Windows Management Experts?
WME is a leading system integrator for Microsoft Infrastructure, Security and Cloud solutions. A Microsoft Certified Partner with gold competencies in datacenter, device and deployment, cloud productivity, EMS and cloud platform, WME has over 50 years of combined experience and passion for transforming IT operations through the development of solutions, products, and managed services that make the job of its customers easier.
WME’s Strategic Services division concentrates on strategic talent strategies, partnerships, and acquisitions partnering with organizations to assess and solve information technology challenges leveraging digital technologies.
WME’s Managed Services is geared towards managing the entire IT footprint for small business (40-200 users) and our Tier 3 Managed Service focuses on providing Microsoft support for mid-market and enterprise clients.
2. What were you doing before you founded your business?
My background is actually in IT with a focus on systems management leveraging Microsoft management technologies and Windows deployment solutions. I worked as a consultant for 20 years with Avanade, Microsoft, CSS, and 1E before starting my business in 2008.
3. How did you get the concept or idea for your business?
When I was a consultant, the emphasis was on billable hours and not always remaining true to a niche technology skill. I ran into this issue often: do I remain focused and on the bench or go broader and remain more billable? This was a trend with most of the roles I had as a consultant, so in 2008 I started WME as a firm focused initially on providing systems management and Windows deployment solutions leveraging Microsoft management technologies (SMS/SCCM and MOM/SCOM). Obviously since then, technology has shifted more to the cloud and as a result, so have our solutions.
4. What makes your business stand out when compared to other businesses in your field?
The word focus comes to mind! We are a focused solution integrator when it comes to Microsoft infrastructure, cloud and security technologies. It’s what allows us to provide a deep level of expertise that our clients and partners expect when bringing us in. Our focus is what allows us to stay ahead of new technology trends, train up on those trends, and leverage the technologies we implement within our internal IT department at WME.
5. What are your goals for your business?
The goals for the business over the next year is to focus exclusively on building relationships with strategic suppliers, partners, and prospects. I also am aiming to have all three divisions of WME led in conjunction with our overall core values: integrity, communication, diversity, inclusivity, fun, and innovation. I am also working to build a supplier diversity program within WME.
6. Why has WME decided to start its own supplier diversity program?
Over the last 2 years, we have met countless suppliers through our active involvement with the IBA and NGLCC and many of those suppliers have become partners as look to earn larger contracts. In working with these partners, I found that those same suppliers could also be providing us with goods and services internally.
It was important for us to set the stage formally that we are interested in working with diverse businesses. Formalizing our supplier diversity program raises the bar for us internally and gives us the opportunity to share that we are a diverse and inclusive business looking to source from other diverse and inclusive businesses. Our supplier diversity program provides a way for others to feel welcomed, supported and accepted when doing business with us.
The proof is in the pudding. We’ve already had several people reach out to us because of our diversity and inclusion program. I’m excited what the future holds for WME’s supplier diversity program.
Listen as WME Founder Matt Tinney speaks to the importance of D&I!
7. How has being a member of the LGBT community impacted your business?
When I first started my career, the importance of diversity and inclusion was not well communicated and, in some cases, missing. It felt lonely working in corporate America with no group or support structure. There have been many times working in parts of the deep south and Midwest that I have encountered those that are not supportive of my identity. These experience have shown me the importance of making a stand as an LGBT business owner.
8. How has being a Certified LGBTBE® through NGLCC impacted your business?
Initially, it was my husband Chris Querubin who was the advocate for WME to get certified. At that time, he was very involved with Equal Rights WA in Washington to get domestic partnerships on the ballot and people were rallying to pass marriage equality. Witnessing this activism opened my eyes up to the possibility of making a stand as an LGBT-owned business in the technology community.
It wasn’t until 2018 that we really started leveraging our certification and the impact taking an active role in the NGLCC community has had on our business is huge. We’ve made an effort to show up at our local events and as a result, we’ve built relationships with suppliers and diversity supplier/procurement professionals in our area. Building partnerships like these has been a priority of ours for a long time and meeting these suppliers through our certification has been key.
9. What advice would you give to an LGBT person starting a business?
Show up to events. Start building relationships with other suppliers today by identifying their core competencies and strengths to build your network and directory. You just never know who you will meet that could utilize your product or services. Be open to making a connection with no expectations. We are all in this together, so let’s lift each other up and find non-competing areas we can partner together to win that next big contract.