Back in the 1980s, there were already signs that young Jeff Wilhelm might someday build a successful, forward-thinking, outside-the-box innovation company. His dad had a computer at home—a new thing back then—that sparked Jeff’s curiosity. When his elementary school teacher gave a creative writing assignment, other classmates wrote various fictional stories. Jeff turned in a coding instruction manual. In a high school history contest, when students presented biographies on poster boards, he built a touch-screen computer monitor into his board with video and audio samples of Louis Armstrong’s work. Judges didn’t even know how to compare it with other entries because its multimedia capabilities were unprecedented.
After more competitions, computer club and self-taught coding, Jeff eventually realized that pairing these skills with the right vision could fill a niche and lead to a rewarding and successful career.
Passion Meets Work
It was clear that he wanted to work in this field, but it would still be a while before Infused Innovations would come about and take off. Jeff’s university studies in business and technology began to prepare him with the knowledge he’d need to one day build a company. In the meantime he did consulting work and began at a small startup, which quickly grew into a much bigger organization.
Over time, he noticed that interactions with customers were very transactional and formulaic. Customers had questions and providers had cookie-cutter answers to sell to them. The style of these interactions just didn’t feel right. There had to be a better way to engage with clients—something more holistic, more collaborative, more infused.
The Birth of a Company
With this idea of “infusing” innovations into the context and broader goals of clients’ journeys, he started his own company in 2012, becoming CEO of Infused Innovations. It was one of the first companies to adopt this integrated mindset, as well as the comprehensive Zero Trust security stance that has now become widespread. The central philosophy was to work collaboratively and strategically with customers, getting to know their situation and needs before even thinking about any specific technologies to suggest to them. Once a better understanding was established, the right solutions could then be tailored to fit each organization.
But for several years, Jeff was still working for another managed service provider—so Infused Innovations stayed small, in a somewhat dormant state with just a couple staff members. Around late 2018/early 2019, though, he began to add new employees, and that created a path toward the thriving organization that it is now.
Strategic and Surprise Growth
Much of Infused Innovations’ success has been from putting the right people in the right places, where their unique strengths contribute to the evolution of the company. From the start, it’s been 100% remote—which means that its members are in an excellent position to assist other organizations with cloud and remote environments, since they’re already familiar and set up for it themselves.
This was important to Jeff and his team before the pandemic, because adaptability, security, and productivity were already central elements of what they wanted to deliver to clients. But when Covid required businesses to suddenly shift away from the office, there was an unexpected surge in demand for what Infused Innovations was able to offer. Jeff remembers a Friday phone call when a client said, “We’ve got 1800 employees and they’re not coming into the office on Monday. Can we have a remote setup ready for them?” Such moments can be stressful, but Infused Innovations has delivered under pressure and taken pride in its role filling that need for customers.
Core Values at Infused Innovations
Providing excellent service and quality solutions goes without saying. But there’s more than that to this company: strong relationships with clients and partners make Infused Innovations unique in the industry, and the positive company culture singles it out for those who work within it.
Jeff believes in letting people work however they work best: flexible scheduling, autonomy in their positions, and a value of work/life balance keep team members feeling well. That, in turn, brings their best work forward. It’s also a high priority to find people who align with these values and support each other and the goals of the organization. (And, every so often, the group likes to celebrate those good vibes with a virtual happy hour or party game.)
Making a Meaningful Impact
Over the last few years, the excitement and expertise of this growing team have led to many achievements and awards, including the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies, the Microsoft U.S. Partner Award for Modern Work & Security, and the Silicon Review 50 Best Workplaces of the Year. These are great honors that stand out as milestone accomplishments. But the less visible, everyday work is equally rewarding, because team members know they’re helping other organizations do really meaningful things—like combating dementia, fighting climate change, and making a difference in the lives of those around them.
Knowing you’re contributing to the broader good goes beyond great metrics and awards—it’s a satisfaction that gets you up in the morning and keeps you excited for what’s next. What comes to fruition is up to the innovative thinkers and organizations who will make it happen, and we want to be the ones to help them get there.