President and CEO
WHY SHE’S A CHAMPION OF THE NEW ECONOMY
Technological changes are happening so fast that by the time someone reaches the cash register to buy an iPad 2, an updated and improved iPad 3 is ready to debut. Lisa Glush, president and CEO of Macprofessionals Inc., a technology integration company in Novi that works primarily with Apple products, says her biggest challenge is staying ahead of a rapidly changing industry. But so far, so good: Revenue has climbed 40 percent annually, on average, since the company’s founding in 2000.
When you started, Apple wasn’t the powerhouse it is today. What was demand like in those early years?
Initially, I started the company because there was a real niche for Apple professional services. At the time, the product was print-focused. We were 100-percent a services company. We didn’t want to sell products. But six months after we started, Apple came out with video, so we became more focused [on] video and broadcast. My background was in graphic design, and I had worked for a few years with another Apple reseller, but then I saw an opportunity to go out on my own.
How do you stay ahead of all the new product introductions today, including MacBooks, iMacs, iPhones, iPads, iPods, and the hundreds of applications?
We actually do some app development around the iPad and iPod. Times really have changed. Apple [has become] much more centered on the enterprise market as it’s evolved from desktops and laptops into iPads, iPods, and iPhones. In fact, we now have a staff of four programmers and developers who focus solely on applications for Fortune 500 companies and other clients. We created an app for hospitality integration and created specialized apps for workflow integration at large companies. They’re all customized products.
Does Apple pull you in before they introduce products like the iPad 2?
Apple is very tight-lipped about what they do. We watch the same
The company recently opened an office in Canada. Are you looking to grow into other foreign markets?
We’re seeing a lot of growth nationally, and Apple came to us to open an office in Windsor to support the education market. We’ve [also] done some engagements in the Bahamas. But most of our attention today is in the United States. We’re growing rapidly in California and Texas; we have technicians in Texas, Colorado, Florida, and New York; we have salespeople in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois. We’re also growing our office here. We’ll soon move from 17,000 square feet [of space] to 40,000 square feet. We’re going to invest in Michigan, with the support of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. We were awarded an MEGA grant, so we’ll be investing a little over $2 million here. And we’ll try to hire everyone from here.
What’s the biggest challenge you face in expanding the business?
We try to be very conservative. Beyond technology introductions, the big challenge is hiring the right people. Fortunately, Apple is considered a cool product, so we get a lot of interest from college students. We do hire a number of them. We mentor and train them, and we try as best we can to promote from within. It takes a long time to get up to speed on Apple’s platform. It’s not like you can take a class on it. We also hire educators for educational work, as they understand what our clients in that sector are going through.
If Apple CEO Steve Jobs called and asked for advice on improving Apple’s bottom line, what would you tell him?
Keep up with what you’re doing. They have a lot of cash for a large manufacturer. Steve is one of the best when it comes to thinking outside the box, pushing the envelope, and staying on the cutting edge.
What’s the next revolution in IT, or are we at the pinnacle?
Mobile devices are hot. More and more, we’ll all be walking around with iPads and other tablets, along with mobile devices. There will still be a need for desktops and laptops, especially for executives. But students and younger workers are turning more and more to mobile devices and tablets because they’re more flexible and affordable.