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Four weeks ago, a Houston-based employee with Möbius Partners made a sale to a long-sought-after customer.
That in itself was good news for the San Antonio-based company, which provides technology services and consulting to large enterprise customers. But what made it more remarkable was that the sale was completed in the midst of Hurricane Ike, which slammed the Bayou City and knocked the roof off of the building where Möbius’ Houston employees are based.
The homes of the employees suffered only minimal damage, says Melinda Hart, who does public relations for Möbius Partners, but their office building at the intersection of Briarcliff and Westheimer on the west side of Houston was 90 percent destroyed. The six employees based in Houston had to work from their homes and most had no power for several days afterward.
“In light of all that was going on, it is remarkable that we got a big sale in the midst of it,” says Junab Ali, co-president and co-founder of Möbius Partners. “But our Houston office has been doing really well lately.”
The new customer picked up during the hurricane was Powell Industries Inc., a Houston-based company that designs and manufactures products for the energy industry.
Jay Uribe, the other co-president and co-founder of Möbius Partners, says his first concern during the hurricane was to make sure the company’s employees were safe.
“We told them to get their families situated first,” he says. “We were not worried about losing data. We are a technology company. All of our data is very safe and secure all over the world.”
Fortunately for Möbius Partners, their lease on the Houston office building is up in February of next year and the company was already on the hunt for another location.
“We had already outgrown that location and were planning to move anyway,” Uribe says. “Now we will just be doing it sooner than planned.”
The company is hoping to get its employees situated in a new office in Houston north of Interstate 10 off of Highway 290 by December. But right now, they are still trying to determine the losses at the old location.
“There was a lot of water damage in the building and the insurance process is still going on,” Ali says. “But our employees are prepared for this. All of our systems are set up to work remotely.”
Möbius Partners was founded in San Antonio eight years ago and opened its Houston branch office just three years ago. The majority of the company’s clients have more than 150 employees and have their own data centers. What Möbius Partners specializes in is helping clients manage their computer and technology resources in a manner that is cost effective and energy efficient.
Last month, Möbius Partners learned that it had qualified as a “Public-Sector Elite” partner for Hewlett Packard’s 2009 fiscal year. That means the company achieved a certain level of training and customer success in that marketplace (state and local government, and education accounts). That will be especially helpful for the company’s Houston offices as they are focusing on public-sector clients in that region, such as the University of Houston – for which the company recently completed a case study outlining how the university can upgrade its computer system to be more cost effective.
“A popular thing right now is the “green” data centers,” Ali says. “If a company’s servers are more than five years old, chances are we can help them consolidate and save a lot of money and energy by switching to new servers that will allow them to do more with less.”
Helping large companies to save money and reduce energy costs is what has helped Möbius Partners to grow even under these tough economic conditions. The company does not disclose its revenues.
“San Antonio has been insulated from most of the effects of the economic downturn,” Uribe says. “Texas is poised to do well and with our diversity of clients, we think we will be able to maintain our strong level of growth.”
This past year, Möbius Partners hired five new people – two in Houston, two in Dallas and one in San Antonio – bringing total employment up to 25.
“As a company, we are continuing to grow and expand,” Uribe says. “Our balance sheet right now is stronger than ever and we maintain no long-term debt.”