Five years ago, while working in a shared office space in Mill Valley, California, Bryan Barber and Jeff Taylor realized they had lots of similarities. They were both avid mountain bikers, they had both started their own businesses in the past, and they were both fathers of two—each with one boy and one girl. What ultimately inspired Barber and Taylor to start Advantis Global Services together, though, was the ways in which they differed professionally. At the time, Barber was the director of business development at OnFiber Communications and had about 20 years' worth of sales and development expertise in the technology sector. Taylor, who was running IT staffing company Ascend Quality Partners, was a seasoned operations expert. Over lunch in 2006, they decided to start a business. Their timing was prescient: A year after the company was founded, businesses began responding to the economic crisis by laying off tech workers and outsourcing IT work to staffing services like Advantis.