Blue Sphere focuses on high-tech responses

Patricia Bathurst
Special for the ABG
Oct. 4, 2007 12:00 AM

Technology-consulting businesses often focus on providing businesses with networking, software and security solutions.

Steve Fullmer had been thinking of a different approach for almost 20 years when he finally started his own company, Blue Sphere Solutions, about two years ago.

"Corporate technology offices always felt to me like a disconnect from the business," Fullmer said.

That's because he had quickly begun to evolve a perspective that views technology as a means to further business strategies through tactical responses and applications.

"I see it as implementing what amounts to a paradigm shift in delivering technology to and for companies," he said. "We look at the wide variety of options available in technological applications and solutions, and assume the risk of narrowing those options to help our clients achieve the most strategic decisions in their use of technology."

For instance, he said, one of his clients operates four retail centers at Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport. This client needs to be able to develop fast responses to current events, price the product, create inventory, and get it to the stores ready to sell.

For this client, Fullmer has worked with an array of vendors to develop a unified response and solutions to their common client's needs.

"We've been able to take advantage of some innovations in technology," Fullmer said, "so that we have a custom response and approach for this client, and for our other clients, as well."

Fullmer credits his work with George Fleming's small-business group with helping him develop tactics and strategies to grow his business.

"It probably took six or seven months for me to get my first three clients. What I've learned is that every small-business owner needs to develop a 'board of directors,' " Fullmer said. "It complements and supplements your own skills.

"The weekly meetings are really about strategy, not tactics. The opportunity to share stories and exchange information with people who listen with an open mind and with a passion for business is priceless. George provides an environment and connects the people who can do that for each other."

A critical element of the weekly sessions is that they provide a framework for accountability, so that small-business owners become invested in developing plans and strategies.

"If I didn't (work with the group), I wouldn't spend time to develop the vision. So it helps create a balance," Fullmer said.

Blue Sphere's logo shows a chess piece within a blue circular field. "The knight can always move in any direction. It's not about linear thinking and winning is all about strategy. That's what the company is about," he added.

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