Cyclone continues to strengthen

Recent acquisition of network architecture and planning company Cyclone Computers allows HQ to move from Camas to Vancouver

Cyclone Computer Systems is relocating its headquarters from its 2,600-square-foot Camas office to an 11,000-sqaure-foot location in Vancouver to accommodate adding to its 14 employees and growing its client base that has doubled in each of the past two years. It marks the fourth move for the company that has continually expanded in size and services since it began as a small operation by two Washougal brothers about 15 years ago.

Cyclone Computers began as a computer hardware sales and service company, first located in Portland, with Kyle Eakins selling the skills of his older brother Thad Eakins. The brothers moved the company to Camas in 1995 when they thought the market would support them. They soon outgrew the 720-square-foot location and in 1997 purchased a three-story, 15,000-square-foot location on Dallas Street and Fourth Avenue in Camas. Cyclone operated out of just 2,600 square feet of that building until this move to Vancouver.

The business has moved from selling and servicing computers to local businesses to become a network services and administration company serving clients throughout the west.

Six months ago, Portland-based Hepieric Inc. acquired Cyclone Computers for an undisclosed sum, retaining Kyle Eakins as president. Previously, Thad sold his share of the business to Kyle to pursue his dream of becoming a police officer and now works for the Washougal Police Department.

"It’s been a very good ride," said Eakins. But sometimes a scary one. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, "everyone stopped IT spending," said Eakins. The company hunkered down and made it through the downturn with the help of a loyal customer base.

Hepieric had been a customer of Cyclone’s for about two years and talks regarding bringing it under the Hepieric umbrella began in late 2004.

Hepieric Vice President of Business Development and Marketing Phil Keisling said the acquisition gives Cyclone the ability to market its name and product lines more effectively.

In turn, Cyclone complements Hepieric’s other business divisions, ProDX and Agilis Solutions, technical staffing and software development firms, respectively.

Keisling said Cyclone, which provides services ranging from network architecture and planning to maintenance and long-term support, allows Hepieric to expand services offered to existing clients and create relationships with new customers.

"We want to leverage the synergy between Hepieric and its divisions," said Eakins.

Cyclone is expected to continue its explosive growth under its new owners. "We are very bullish on Cyclone’s potential to grow significantly," said Keisling. "The move (to the new location) is part of a long-term strategy to grow Cyclone."

Cyclone relocated to the second floor of a two-story building on Grand Boulevard owned by JH Kelly LLC. Cyclone has the option to double the amount of space it is leasing in the building. And it may need it — soon. Eakins expects Cyclone to double its employee and client base in the next 12 to 18 months. Eakins said the company plans to invest more in marketing and advertising to spur growth expected in new clients. Cyclone expects immediate growth from a number of clients they have had to turn away because the company is running at capacity.

In addition to accommodating the increase in employees, the Vancouver office provides Cyclone with a more central location relative to its client base, said Keisling.

Cyclone will maintain the Camas office as a satellite location. The building remains privately owned by the Eakins family.

Hepieric was represented by Brandon Frank of Grubb and Ellis in the lease transaction and JH Kelly was represented by Doug Bartocci and Tamara Fuller of Norris Beggs and Simpson.