The History of Continental Resources (ConRes) -50 Years in 90 Seconds

Some history on how Continental Resources (ConRes) became one of the largest high technology providers in the United States

A blessing from a curse

Just over 50 years ago, in the early 1960’s, the federal government declared that it would no longer fund test equipment purchases by its contractors. Test equipment was very expensive at the time and contractors would now need to spend tens of thousands of dollars (1960’s dollars) for each piece of test gear needed for a project.

Jim McCann, Sr. recognized the opportunity to provide electronic test instruments to government contractors on a rental basis. This led to the founding of Instrument Associates in 1962. The company’s charter was to sell, rent and lease new and used electronic test equipment.

Birth of Computers

In the early 70’s, the influx of computers into everyday business life created a rental opportunity for a variety of computer peripherals (terminals, huge tape drives, for example). As the business grew, the company name was changed to Continental Resources in 1974. The name change was prompted by the ever widening range of solutions offered and customers served – from test equipment to computer solutions…from government contractors to large investment firms.

And then Came the Internet (aka Moore’s Law at Work)

As time progressed, technology continued to evolve (Moore’s Law). In the late 70’s and early 80’s the computer manufacturers created smaller, more powerful and more affordable computers. Jim McCann saw another burgeoning opportunity in PC and printer sales.

ConRes rode this trend through the early 90’s when technology for businesses trended toward the ultra powerful, mid-size computers from companies like Sun Microsystems (now Oracle). During the 90’s, ConRes became more heavily involved in servers, networking, and storage solutions. And then came the Internet. One of the most significant transformations in the history of technology and in the way business is conducted.

“As a private company, Continental Resources is agile and able to evolve with the trends in technology. As a family run business, there are no outside shareholders. This makes it easier for strategic short- and long-term decisions to be made based upon what’s best for both the company and our customers.”

-Ken Simon, VP of ConRes IBM Sales

All this time Continental Resources (ConRes) had built a reputation as a provider that works closely with each customer to identify their specific business challenges and to develop unique ways to resolve those challenges.

Whether it’s finding financing, solving kinks in business processes, or streamlining time-to-implementation using configuration and integration services… or whether it’s creating completely new services, like providing birth certificates for configured computer products.

Birth of Integration and Configuration Services

Even the creation of the Integration and Configuration center came about because of a customer need-over-worked IT staff. This customer’s IT staff was unexpectedly and significantly reduced, but the implementation deadline for their new servers and storage systems couldn’t change. The IT Director wasn’t sure how he was going to make deadline. ConRes suggested that we use our engineering skills to integrate all the various components and pre-configure the systems. This meant that the customer not only met deadline, but also received their servers and storage plug-in ready..

Another of our customers ordered 1000 notebook computers. To configure and install the software on each notebook took the customer’s IT personnel 2 hours per system. Outsourcing the software imaging to ConRes saved our customer 2000 man hours and enabled the customer to put the notebooks into the field immediately.

Some of the services available from our 48,000 sq. ft. Integration and Configuration Facility include pre-configuration and component integration, software imaging, server and storage racking, and more – services that save our customers IT man-hours and which enable customers to put the IT gear to work upon receipt.

Birth of OEM/Embedded Computing Production

At the height of the desktop computing revolution, ConRes started manufacturing their own line of ‘white box’ computers called XPRO Systems. This required creating the engineering and production capabilities required to produce desktops, servers and storage devices.

The development of engineering, assembly and production capabilities gave birth to what is now the ConRes OEM and Embedded Computing Group which custom builds PC-based and embedded computing medical devices, scientific instruments, software and hardware appliances, video and image capture devices (and more) for small and large companies across the U.S.

Today, as technologies change, ConRes continues to evolve, staying in the forefront of technology trends and helping customers like you maximize the returns on their investments in technology – whether it’s providing general purpose test equipment or financing options; whether it’s stretching or repurposing existing infrastructure, building or moving data centers; or whether it’s assisting with virtualization, telephony/VoIP, data security, BYOD, or cloud computing challenges.

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