This story is published with permission from the Wyoming Economic Development Association.
WEDA is a statewide nonprofit professional association representing nearly 200 economic development members and organizations. The organization provides mentorship, education and networking opportunities to help the professional development of local leaders.
Independent Software Solutions, Inc. (ISS) is a provider of custom software solutions, IT support, website creation, hosting and network administration.
Based in Evanston, the company got its start providing custom software development, maintenance and support to county governments and state behavioral health institutions.
The company has now expanded to serve individual consumers and businesses throughout the state of Wyoming and Utah. They are exporting a high-demand Wyoming product – talent combined with personal attention and common sense.
Owner Bryan Johnson started ISS at the prime of his career.
Although he had experienced success as a high-level developer, he felt there was a better way to develop software and meet the daily needs of clients, so he went out on his own.
He chose to locate his software company in his hometown of Evanston, where he was drawn back to the community, climate and mountains of his youth.
“I think it is hard for people not raised in Wyoming to understand the things that I missed by not being here,” Johnson said.
His return to Evanston was good for business, too. He secured software development and maintenance contracts from counties that wanted to work with an experienced local provider.
Johnson pointed out that he’s a small business that’s providing big service.
“We will go out of our way to ensure the client is happy and that we are meeting their business or personal needs. What we do is very personal and customized when it comes to software development," Johnson said. "If you are part of a business and ever have a thought about how your business could be better if only you had software that did exactly what you need, we can help you with that, right here in your own state.”
Based in Wyoming, but open for business everywhere
ISS employees operate out of their Evanston location. From there, they serve local customers and travel throughout the state and Utah to provide IT services and support for their software.
Most of their clients are based in Uinta County, but the company’s reach extends across Wyoming and into Ogden and Rich County, Utah.
“Businesses in Utah are willing to pay for travel costs if they receive good service” Johnson said.
The opening of a retail storefront in Evanston that has driven much of the company’s recent growth.
While the business trend is to move storefronts online, Independent Software Solutions found some customers needed face-to-face tech support.
Instead of placing a call to an IT support desk to ask technical questions, receive troubleshooting support, discuss equipment needs, or purchase parts, ISS customers can now walk into their location, meet with someone face to face and receive direct assistance.
This level of personal connectivity is often lacking in the tech space and Johnson found his customers appreciated the effort. So much so, that their Utah business has come from word-of-mouth referrals – not advertising.
Their local Evanston business has also expanded through word-of-mouth referrals as local customers have told other individuals and business owners about the services available in their hometown.
“Ultimately, our business is expanding and that is because of the community we are in,” Johnson said.“As we bring on more business clients and provide services for everyday customers at the store, we keep growing. The community urges citizens to shop local and that helps immensely.”
Potential for other tech companies
The story of Independent Software Solutions, Inc. is a story about the innovative spirit of Wyoming’s citizens.
Often, it is possible to find a better way to do things, the Wyoming way, and start a business to prove it.
Wyoming entrepreneurs like Bryan Johnson are finding that their brand of business is getting a warm reception from in-state and out-of-state customers.
It’s also helping creating abundant opportunities for Wyoming companies to grow.