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INTERview





Decypher Technologies: Top Colorado IT Provider offering Cybersecurity, Managed Services and one of the nation’s best Cellular DAS Teams


Farr Shepherd

President | CEO


Decypher Technologies

www.decyphertech.com


Contact:

970.236.1115

farr.shepherd@decyphertech.com


Interview conducted by:

Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor

CEOCFO Magazine


Published – September 7, 2020


CEOCFO: Mr. Shepherd, what was the idea when you founded Decypher Technologies™ way back when? What is your focus today? 

When I started Decypher Technologies I was a young, hungry entrepreneur. Aspen is a world class luxury market where residents expect the best so I knew that in order for the company to be successful I would need to bring a high level of professionalism and hard work. During our first 10 years of business we grew primarily from referrals which was a very satisfying barometer of our reputation and success. I worked hard to build a brand that was bigger than any one person, always encouraging our team to deliver amazing service to our clients.


Recently Decypher was awarded the honor of being named Top IT Provider in the state of Colorado. Our focus hasn’t changed much from when I first set out, if anything it has narrowed. We have worked hard over the last 5 years to improve our processes and focus on just a few things that we execute better than our competitors, Managed Services along with a strong Cybersecurity offering, and we are very proud of our Cellular DAS team which I feel strongly is one of the best in the nation. 


CEOCFO: What is different when a company engages with Decypher? 

We are proud of our culture and how it impacts the service we deliver to our clients. Our staff has voted us the top place to work on Glassdoor when compared to other Managed Service Providers and Cellular DAS companies in our markets. We believe if our staff loves what they do they are going to provide the best experience to our clients. I truly believe this is where our differentiation starts, we take great care of our team, they in turn will take great care of our clients so when someone engages with Decypher they can expect personal attention and attention to detail and a world class experience. 


CEOCFO: In what way? What might be different when someone calls on you or when someone works with your organization?  Perhaps, a couple of examples?  

In our industry many aspects of our work are unregulated so when calling for technology or communications design or support the results can vary greatly. Decypher is a very process driven organization so our results are consistent and are built around decades of experience. This can be seen in a few areas of our company, first on the sales team where our process has been proven to highlight our strong discovery, design and sales process.  We recently were awarded a contract on a cellular DAS proposal we spent several months designing in a 1 million square foot Casino. We were pleased to find out that we were awarded the project due to having the most detailed and thorough submittal at significant savings compared to our national competitors that bid against us.

 

As it relates to our service delivery, a different example comes to mind with our cyber security incident response. Our team was working on onboarding a new hotel property when one of their staff clicked on a Phishing email which launched a ransomware virus infecting all of their servers and over 60 computers. That day we had 5 engineers dedicated to the issue working around the clock to remediate it and restore services providing a full recovery. The new customer was amazed at our response which highlighted our strong teams process and ability to carry out our Incident Response action plan. 

 

CEOCFO: Are there services you are not providing that you would like to add to the mix? 

This is a great question. At present our core focus is Cyber Security, Managed IT Services and IT Projects, and cellular engineering and DAS which we provide Nationwide. Right now are only working to improve our preventative and proactive approach so we can sleep better at night knowing that our systems are designed and maintained very well. We have been working to narrow our focus from a company that can do everything for you to a team of Specialists. We have a motto, “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.” We have been really focused on doing an amazing job at a few things instead of a poor job at many things. 

  

CEOCFO: In the cyber security arena, there are so many different approaches? How do you know what is good overall and what might be appropriate for any specific client? 

I would say it is not necessarily that our product is more amazing than anybody else. Everyone has the ability to get a second and third opinion on any service they have, take medical professionals for example. Sometimes we choose that professional because we like them better, we connect with them, they give us a sense of confidence and comfort. I think that is Decypher’s unique differentiator, we have the ability to work with people on a personal level, while still instilling in them confidence that we will take care of them and guide them to maintain the best ongoing protection in their lives and for the businesses. 

 

CEOCFO: How do you know when someone is right for the team? I am guessing people would really like to work there, given the corporate culture and employee satisfaction.  How do you know when someone is right and understands the approach you want towards your clients?  

I appreciate you asking that question. There is a small story behind my answer. I met Patrick Lencioni at a conference speaking about his experience consulting with corporations around America which motivated him to write “The five dysfunctions of a team” and “The ideal team player.” He spoke about how he identified a common thread in great teams that provide amazing output and have the best culture. He boiled it down to three core values, Hunger, Humility and People Smarts. After reading a few of his books our Leadership team really related to his message and so we set out to adopt this in our organization by first reviewing it in our existing team and then making it part of our interview process which helps us identify if the candidate will be a good cultural fit. It really transcends the job specific skills. For the most part we can teach our team what they need to be proficient, but we cannot always teach them to be an ideal team player due to intrinsic personality traits or their past history. This works well for us and I know we have turned down candidates that had strong experience in our field of expertise but we know they were not a good cultural fit on the model that was identified in Patrick’s books. 

 

CEOCFO: What has changed for you under the COVID environment and how are you helping your clients get through some of the challenges? 

We have been focusing on how to reinvent and reposition our team in the market. One of the biggest struggles honestly has been making sure that we do not lose track of our culture which has been a struggle. When we can’t play together, work all the time without a little banter and a break for a game takes it toll. Seeing faces is important so using Zoom and Teams is still a big part of how we communicate, but it wears on you, nothing can take the place of face to face interaction. 

 

Another big focus is to be flexible with our clients. While we operate under Agreements with our clients, many had to go on life support to keep their businesses alive and keep their head above water.  Reducing our support even short term caused us hardship, but we are still looking beyond COVID. We have found that by being creating and flexible with our clients that we have strengthened their resolve to keep us as a long-term partner in their business pursuits. This also has shown them that we are not just a vendor but a true partner working with them to make it through this tough time together.


CEOCFO: What is your geographic range today? 

We have clients in Italy, the Caribbean, Kauai to Florida. Our offices are in the Colorado Rocky Mountains and in South Florida and our project work takes us all over the United States and the world. I would definitely say that coast to coast in the US is our focus, but if someone invites us to them for a project we will travel. 


CEOCFO: Do you do much outreach for new clients? How so?

I love speaking engagements, lunch and learns and any chance I can to take some technology into the classroom to show kids a career in Technology is something I enjoy very much. I have a lot of fun conducting Cyber Security Lunch and Learns with our clients and Chamber organizations or at conferences as a guest speaker. Everyone appreciates walking away from our discussion with something they learned and often they are thinking about how to apply it when they get home. That is certainly a goal when I speak is to make the engagement memorable by helping them learn something so they get as excited about the Technology as much as I am!

 

CEOCFO: What are you surprised we can do with technology today? What are you surprised we have not figured out yet? 

I am still surprised we can sit on an airplane and connect to the internet, or that we can send a drone to Mars to assist a rover on its exploration journey. Every day we use wireless technology but it still amazes me that information is zipping through the air and that we have put that technology in the hands of most people around the world. Just recently Engineers just broke a new record for data transmission speed over fiber at 178 terabits per second. At that speed you could download the entire Netflix library in less than 1 second. Yet the fast technology seems to operate the less patient people seem to be. Meanwhile there are over 3 billion people that do not have access to Broadband internet. 

 

CEOCFO: What is next for Decypher? 

My father liked to remind me as I grew up that the speed of light is not the fastest speed, it’s only the fastest we can measure. The team of researchers that set a new record with fiber speed transmissions did so by using a new approach. Decypher is in an ever-evolving industry and we must continue to adapt and reinvent ourselves and our company. As the speed of connectivity improves at our homes, I am excited to see the true shift to Cloud because our experience will no longer be limited by the speed of our internet connection. The impact the COVID Pandemic is having on our lives has and will continue to change the way we work. Decypher and other trend setting Managed Service Providers are working hard to keep the workforce of tomorrow securely connected and productive as the evolution of how business will be conducted in the future changes before our very eyes.


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“We were pleased to find out that we were awarded the project due to having the most detailed and thorough submittal at significant savings compared to our national competitors that bid against us.” Farr Shepherd


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“Decypher and other trend setting Managed Service Providers are working hard to keep the workforce of tomorrow securely connected and productive as the evolution of how business will be conducted in the future changes before our very eyes.” Farr Shepherd