photo of owners (l-r) Adam Peterson and Matt Kahle
Matt Kahle says much of the work his company does goes unnoticed by their customers, and that’s a good thing.
“Nobody notices when things are going right,” said Kahle, who with Adam Peterson owns Real IT Solutions, a technology services business in Comstock Park. “We’re in business to keep things running.”
Kahle, who is president, founded the company in 2006, locating it in Walker. Peterson, vice-president, bought into the company in 2007. They moved to their current location, 4582 West River Drive in Comstock Park, in 2013.
“I like the convenience of 131 (Expressway) being right there,” Kahle said of the Comstock Park location. “It’s convenient for us for getting to customers.”
Real IT Solutions is an “outsourced IT department for those who can’t afford or don’t want to have their own IT department,” said Kahle. Their web site shows services the company offers include data backup solutions, cloud computing, server support, virtualization, IT project management, applications development, and network security. They also provide disaster recovery planning in case of manmade or natural disasters. Even a short downtime can cause a company a loss of productivity and profit and even damage a company’s reputation.
There are four full-time and two part-time employees at Real IT Solutions. The 1200 square foot rented space includes Kahle’s and Peterson’s offices, a work area for the other employees, and a supply and storage area. Technology is constantly changing, and Kahle said everyone at the company stays current by taking classes and reading industry magazines. Plus, they are “bombarded by vendors” with the most current products, he said.
Most of their customers are small West Michigan businesses and manufacturers. Some of their marketing is done through partnering with industries (insurance for example) at seminars, and they have a company that does cold calls for them. But most of their customers come to them through referrals.
Peterson said there’s a satisfaction in helping other businesses run smoothly. “I enjoy solving problems, both technical and non-technical,” he said. “I enjoy finding solutions for people that have an impact on their business and themselves personally. “I like to make people’s lives better by making their jobs easier.”
Kahle and Peterson are both from Grand Rapids and have been friends since they met at City High School in Grand Rapids. Kahle was a contract project manager at R.L. Polk & Company, a provider of automotive information and marketing solutions to the automotive industry, and related businesses, for a year. He then worked for eight years at Advantage Sales and Marketing in Grand Rapids where he was vice-president, before founding Real IT Solutions. Peterson worked for Oracle Technology in San Francisco before coming back to Grand Rapids to join Kahle at Real IT Solutions.
Kahle attended Grand Valley State University and then graduated from the University of Maryland with a distance education degree in management. He lives in Rockford with his wife Jill and their two daughters, ages 5 and 6. When he’s not working he enjoys family activities and “kid wrangling” as well as biking and reading.
Peterson lives in Grand Rapids with his wife Amy and their three sons, ages 8, 6, and 4. He is an assistant coach for his eight year old son’s hockey team and helps with the Griffins Youth Foundation. He also plays guitar and sings in his band “Brutes.”