From a solo operation in a Lakewood garage to sleek high-tech downtown offices where 22 employees provide clients customized IT services and support — and “peace of mind” — Lazorpoint has thrived in its first quarter century.
“How we deliver is different,” said founder David Lazor, a Lakewood native who studied engineering at the University of Michigan and worked at Intel in its heady early days on the West Coast before returning to Cleveland to start a business in 1997.
“We were one of the first around here to be doing IT managed service. For a monthly fee, we provide multiple services for clients. We have developed good, long-standing relationships with clients. That sets us apart.”
Lazorpoint may be turning 25, but David Lazor’s passion for IT — and business — goes back much further.
“When I was really young, in 1981, my dad bought an IBM PC, with DOS 1.0. I was in at the ground level! When I was eight or nine I wrote some software to study my vocabulary homework. I thought about selling it, and I wrote to the Copyright Office. They sent back so much paperwork, I said forget it. But I had been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug.”
Eventually, Lazor would go on to study electrical engineering in college — “in case computers turned out be a fad,” he joked.
He went on to intern for GM in Warren, and work for Ross Perot’s Electronic Data Systems company after college. From there, he moved to Portland to work for Intel.
“It was really exciting working for a Silicon Valley company at that time,” he said. “You don’t leave jobs like that.”
But, he did. In 1997, he got married a fellow Lakewood native, which brings us back to that garage.
“I had been thinking about starting a business for a while, but when we decided to live in Cleveland, those plans sped up,” said Lazor.
Lazor says Cleveland has a healthy climate for technology and innovation.
“We live in a world where every company is a technology company — and business growth just really isn’t possible without engaging new and innovative technologies. That means that there are more opportunities than ever for businesses to innovate and find ways to use technology to reduce costs, better serve their customers, automate tasks, and just generally function more smoothly and efficiently,” he said. “I see Lazorpoint as guide for businesses in helping them discover what innovate solutions can help drive their business to the next level.”
Finding tech talent, however, can be a challenge.
“I don’t think you will find a business out there these days that won’t say it’s a bit of a challenge to hire IT talent. There are just more IT jobs out there than there are people to fill them,” he noted. “That’s why I really like the work you are doing with RITE. That being said, we actively recruit from all local universities and have an active co-op and internship program where we train and eventually hire for full-time positions students from local schools.”
Being in on the internet revolution so early, Lazor Point became an invaluable resource for small and mid-size companies who didn’t want to be left out of this new technology. Soon, he was also working on Y2K issues for his client.
As Lazorpoint became more established, the company began to move its model to managed support, helping clients stay current with security and IT trends and concerns.
“We provide embedded strategic guidance on what to do with IT systems, what to pick, we design it, build it and maintain it,” he said. “Most of our clients are mid-size. We need to keep on top of what they need to be smart, what they should be doing now. What we are doing is the same as 25 years ago: staying on top of trends and what clients need. Success always goes back to the basics of building trust and relationships. It’s about the long haul.”
Building partnership is key, too.
“One of the main reasons we’ve been in business for 25 years is the partnerships and networks that have supported us. It’s that community that has helped drive our growth, introduce us to new ways to do business, and created relationships that have been mutually beneficial,” said Lazor. “ I see GCP as a key part of fostering that community by acting as a focal point in bring together resources, ideas, and connections that make businesses like mine stronger in Cleveland.
Greater Cleveland Partnership’s All In vision for a Great Region on a Great Lake has five key priorities: Dynamic Business, Abundant Talent, Inclusive Opportunity, Appealing Community and Business Confidence. All of our work ties back to these values. This story relates to Dynamic Business and Abundant Talent.