Tech Providers, Inc is a software and consulting firm founded by Claude Estes IV. Its offices are located at 2117 Magnolia Avenue, an address previously shared by Ion Interactive, a provider of surveillance services.
Under the leadership of President Larry Warbington the company secured numerous contracts with the State of Alabama's Department of Human Resources during from the administrations of Fob James and Don Seigelman. Their contracts tripled after the company hired Joe Perkins' Matrix Group, a consulting firm tied to Siegelman. The no-bid contracts came under media scrutiny in 2001, provoking changes in Alabama's bid laws.
In January 2008 the Birmingham City Council approved a $1.3 million contract for Tech Providers to supply accounting software and train city employees in its use over the course of 12 months. The contract was submitted by Mayor Larry Langford as a professional services contract, which does not require open-bidding.
In September 2008 Mayor Langford submitted another $3.2 million contract to the City Council for the company to complete the work begun under the January contract. Estes told the council that unless the contract was approved, that critical functions, such as the city's payroll, could be jeopardized. After discussion of the issue in three separate committee meetings and a special work session, the council approved an amended $2.7 million contract.
- Curran, Eddie (November 29, 2001) "Is politics or quality of service key factor in picking providers?" Mobile Press-Register
- Whitmire, Kyle (September 10, 2008) "Leapin' Larry throws a bone". Birmingham Weekly Mixed Media blog
- Bryant, Joseph D. (September 16, 2008) "Birmingham council approves $2.7 million computer services contract." Birmingham News