Meet Jake Horn: Helping Others Navigate Tech Solutions
Helping other business owners inspires Jake Horn in his tech advisory and implementation business, Altruas. “Most business owners and executives are not tech people,” he explained. “Some have been taken advantage of and not had success. I am driven to help people by using my skills and tech.”
Jake joined EO last January and was just getting his feet wet in the organization when the pandemic caused widespread U.S. shutdowns. He was recently able to attend a Forum retreat in person, which was a change of pace that went well. Coming into his both his home office and his corporate office every weekday, he also gives employees the choice of where to work daily. That arrangement allows the team to continue to perform at a high level.
Altruas is a tech consulting firm focused on ERP, CRM and software development for enterprise and mid-market businesses. “We focus on the systems that help people run their businesses,” Jake said. “We work with tools to keep track of customer orders, implement digital marketing, anything that helps run business in a more efficient way.”
Jake grew up in Garland. He attended Texas A&M University, on a football scholarship as an offensive lineman. He was in a fraternity, just “the normal college social stuff.” After graduating with a Bachelors of Business in Information and Operational Management, Jake went into the consulting industry. He spent a few years in Phoenix and Denver but always came back to Dallas. “My business network is here, and I feel comfortable here,” he said.
Jake worked for tech consulting firms that grew quickly and were purchased by private equity companies. He went through that several times, helping build each business as it grew and was then sold. “I got to the point where I wanted to do it for myself. So he started his firm, Volitas, in 2014. It merged with Trustantial and then also included a third brand, Stratecha. The three rebranded as one entity, Altruas. It’s wordplay on “altruism,” because the key corporate goal is to benefit clients. “It’s going to be the last rename that I’ll be part of!” Jake said, noting that they did the rebrand during the initial phase of the pandemic. “We decided to just rebrand it all together while we had the time.”
Today, Altruas has eight employees, and five partners that grew by combining companies. Altruas’ typical clients need help with systems architecture and implementation. Jake and his team set up systems so they can correctly “talk” to each other, aid in implementation and training, and allow companies to maximize their tech investment. “Mostly it’s tailored to the customer,” said Jake. “A lot of it is a combination of analysis design and implementation. We can also help people choose systems.”
The market of 2021 looks very different from 2019. “Right now, we’re adapting to the changing business landscape of Covid,” explained Jake. “We’re still meeting our high standards for ourselves and the organization. A lot of our people are working remotely. We had already started that (before Covid), but it’s different not being able to say we need to come to your office for our clients. And many of our clients are not in their offices either. We have to do analysis remotely. It’s challenging to get the information out of everyone in the meetings when you don’t’ have direct face-to-face meetings. We are relationship driven, so meeting people in person was a big part of our approach. That’s gone away for now.”
While Jake sees that many businesses have put spending on hold, he is sure that when they start again, they will invest in technology right away. “Businesses look to automate first and then bring on resources second. We hope to get to that growth phase.”
On a personal note, Jake lives in Dallas, a bachelor with two cats “They’re the closest thing to kids for me,” he said. He also plays a lot of golf and is into woodworking. He started with small furniture projects like cabinets and wants to do bigger, higher quality furniture projects like media consoles and tables.
The coming year will be an opportunity for Jake and Altruas to share their story, brand, and philosophy with others as they look to re-engage with the business community (hopefully in person).