Thompson Machinery Chooses Inflow for Complete Line of Managed Services

00:00:00 - 03 February 2003

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Feb 3, 2003 -- InFlow, Inc., a leading provider of managed web hosting and IT services, announced today the signing of a new customer, Thompson Machinery Commerce Corporation.

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Thompson Machinery is an established heavy equipment and diesel generator sales company with headquarters in Nashville, TN. Family-owned since 1944, Thompson serves as the exclusive distributor of Caterpillar construction, forestry and agricultural equipment, truck engines, marine engines and power generation equipment for 99 counties in middle and western Tennessee and northern Mississippi. The company has more than 400 employees.

"We were thrilled to obtain Thompson Machinery's business," said David Klements, general manager for Inflow in Nashville. "Thompson is a prominently established business going back many generations, and has a terrific reputation. The fact that Thompson Machinery chose Inflow as their partner for IT outsourcing reinforces Inflow's value in the Nashville business community."

Thompson Machinery offers complete sales, rental, and leasing options as well as large local parts inventories and complete service facilities to its customer base. Thompson customers have access to a full range of Caterpillar products and support capabilities online, as well as quick response to equipment, parts, and service needs.

As Thompson Machinery evolved from a one-store operation to a 10-branch corporate conglomerate over the years, the company moved further away from paper transactions into a nearly exclusively electronic environment. Along the way, the company incorporated numerous generic, non-business specific applications into their infrastructure that ran on different operating systems and were tasked with making a disparate group of utility programs interface with each other successfully.

"We found ourselves at a point where our underlying data system infrastructure had to be available '24/7' in order for us to sell," said Jim Ezzell, Executive Vice President/CFO for Thompson. "Because of the growth and complexity of our systems, we found ourselves at a critical decision point: do we continue to build an IS staff with specific technological expertise to keep the complex infrastructure going, or do we outsource the management of our hardware, allowing us to free up our IS resources for strategic development? After weighing the options, we chose to outsource."

Also weighing into the decision was the fact that Thompson had outgrown their physical space, which was becoming increasingly unreliable for both data lines and electrical current.

"The roof leaked, we had outgrown our UPS system, the computer room was too small. And access to our data center was like Grand Central Station," said Ezzell.

Once Thompson had made the decision to outsource, the management team began to survey the market of reliable outsourcing partners.

"After thorough evaluation and due diligence, we selected Inflow. We were impressed with their physical location, the local staff, and the depth and breadth of their managed services. And the price was reasonable!" said Ezzell.

"Thompson went through a thorough examination of all the Nashville datacenter options and determined that Inflow was the best choice," said Inflow's Klements. "We focused our message to Thompson on our internal ISO 9001 commitment as well as our off-the-chart customer service. Great people and documented processes have been the ingredients to our success."

Thompson was able to relocate their entire server farm over one weekend and have their system up and running the following Monday morning. "We had eleventh hour issues that came up, but all were handled by Inflow's experts," said Ezzell.

Thompson Machinery receives colocation, Internet access services, managed security, and Application and Infrastructure Management (AIMS) services from Inflow. The company signed on with Inflow in October, 2002, and completed the migration into the Inflow facility by the end of the year.

"I'm as convinced as ever that we made the right decision in selecting Inflow," Ezzell added.

About Thompson Machinery

Thompson Machinery was founded in Nashville, Tennessee in 1944. The acquisition of CAT dealerships in West Tennessee and the Mississippi Delta in the late 1980's created the company as it is today. The owner is De Thompson, IV, whose grandfather founded the company.

Thompson serves as the exclusive distributor of Caterpillar construction, forestry and agricultural equipment, truck engines, marine engines and power generation equipment for 99 counties in middle and western Tennessee and northern Mississippi. The company has over 400 employees.

There are currently 10 Thompson branch locations, including the headquarters store in LaVergne (Nashville), TN and regional headquarters in Memphis, TN.

Thompson carries the full line of CAT construction equipment for all applications. In addition to the traditional markets, Thompson offers the growing Agco agricultural product line -- the Mississippi Delta is one of the highest-opportunity markets for this type of equipment in the U.S.

About Inflow-Nashville

In operation since October 2000, Inflow-Nashville has service contracts with more than 45 Tennessee-based businesses. Inflow-Nashville's new contract revenue for 2002 exceeded $2,000,000. Inflow-Nashville offers 24 x 7 local staffing and consistently receives higher customer satisfaction scores than the industry average, as rated by an independent auditor.

About Inflow

Inflow provides facilities-based IT solutions to companies with critical business and network applications. Founded in 1997, Inflow opened its first Internet Data Center (IDC) in June 1998 and currently serves more than 680 customers from its IDCs in 12 markets throughout the U.S. The Company offers customers a cost-effective outsourced alternative that is secure, redundant and fully managed. Core services include colocation, network management, managed security services, application management, data storage and InflowNet(TM) -- a proprietary Internet access service that guarantees 100% availability. Additional services include business continuity, Intelligent Routing for Internet access, content distribution, load balancing and remote enterprise data center management.

In June 2002, Inflow completed an equity financing of $35 million, bringing total capital raised to more than $300 million. Investors include Meritage Private Equity Funds, Centennial Ventures, Telecom Partners, Spire Capital Partners, The Halyard Capital Fund, GE Capital and PNC Equity.


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