The purpose of Client Tell is to spotlight the groundbreaking work of our clients, and to help businesses learn from and connect with each other. This time we talked with Raleigh entrepreneur Van Murray to hear how his business, AppSmart, is leading the industry and providing best-in-class tailored IT solutions for small to medium-sized businesses.
Entrepreneur Van Murray may have launched a new company this fall, but he’s no stranger to providing management services to small businesses. The Raleigh born and raised CEO has started and run rapidly growing IT companies around the Triangle for years. As a North Carolina State University graduate, Van chose Raleigh as his business’ home because of the vast talent pool from surrounding universities and tech companies and the reasonable cost of living. “When folks move here, they want to stay,” said Van. “Attending NC State gave me the opportunity to explore different IT opportunities around the Triangle, and the experience really shaped my path and helped me figure out what I wanted to do.”
Passion in Practice
AppSmart was conceived out of Van’s passion for IT and his desire to help small and medium sized businesses compete and win in the marketplace. “We work with more than 60 providers to help companies figure out which apps and services would be most beneficial to their business, and then we give them a marketplace to buy and sell them online,” he explained. “Think Amazon for Business Cloud.”
Solid partnerships are foundational to AppSmart’s operations. A big focus is put toward training and recruiting new partners who can offer the cloud and its apps to their customers, making it easier to sell software and technology. “We offer on-boarding, support services and consolidated billing along with our products, and of course we handle all the migrations for our customers,” Van said.
AppSmart’s target partners are small to medium-sized technology firms selling anything from internet bandwidth to cabling, marketing and consulting services. Today the company serves about 1,500 organizations in the United States and around 150,000 people under management. It’s quickly becoming the world’s leading marketplace in powering the digital economy.
Taking the Plunge
Van says that for him, the biggest risk in starting a company is leaving the security and stability of a full-time job. “Overcoming that fear is the biggest step,” he explained. “My wife was pregnant with our first child when I made the decision to step out on my own nearly 10 years ago, and that drove me even more. I encourage and challenge entrepreneurs to think about what they want to build or what problems they want to solve, and then take the risk to go out and make it happen.”
A Strong Alliance
When it comes to the legal aspects of starting and running a business, Van encourages other entrepreneurs to bring in a trusted partner, rather than just hiring someone to come in and do the work for you. He recalled:
“I partnered with the Fourscore Business Law team because they understand startups, their challenges and how they work. Fourscore provides me with valuable counsel and resources, so I can make the smartest and most efficient decisions for the good of the company.”
To learn more about AppSmart, visit appsmart.com.