By Susan E. Campbell
Technology is central to every company and organization in this 21st century. Even if the only hardware on site is a telephone, not much business will be conducted without it. And if it breaks, somebody needs to fix it or replace it.
But what if a team of IT professionals were already on the pulse on all the business systems in a company, monitoring networks and anticipating what might go wrong next? What if instead of calling an IT consultant, your IT consultant were calling the company?
This is the premise that drives Queensbury-based StoredTech and its new service, CloudCare. StoredTech was founded in 2010 by Mark Shaw to “provide a significantly different approach to IT consulting.”
“In the 1980s and 1990s, if you had a computer problem you would call the IT guy to come fix it,” Shaw said. “It should be the polar opposite.”
StoredTech’s approach is to get ahead of a problem and propose early solutions before the emergency call needs to be made. In some cases problems are fixed remotely before the customer even notices it, he said.
“We see some things that look bad, maybe with the network or servers, so let’s fix them before they get very bad,” said Shaw. “Don’t wait for failure.”
By actively managing customer relationships in such a way, StoredTech becomes a proactive partner invested in the success of that client company. It has tools that monitor all kinds of hardware: firewalls, computers, servers, data storage, telephones, security cameras and access control systems. Its product line is being expanded all the time, so rather than sending clients to a different third party firm for resolution, the firm continually becomes an expert in additional areas of need.
“In the past if everything went down, a company could be contacting five or 10 different vendors to fix the phones, the security and other systems,” he said. “Now there’s a holistic approach, the ‘one-throat-to-choke’ model. If it’s broken, StoredTech is there to take care of it all and at a higher skill level.”
Shaw said he believes technology is a vehicle, a means to get a company from one place to another and solve problems along the way. What technology can do for businesses now will change soon, as it always has. So StoredTech is evolving as well.
“As technology changes, companies get tired of buying computers and throwing them out in three years. It’s a huge capital expenditure for them,” he said.
If a company has 50 computers to replace, for example, the CEO gets the new one and hands down their computer to the administrative assistant, whose computer is then handed down to someone else until “theoretically the company has a basement full of unused computers,” said Shaw.
The problem with this model is that someone always has an old computer, he noted.
StoredTech came up with an idea where every employee can have new equipment. Moreover the client company, instead of spending money up front replacing, reloading and readying equipment for use, actually improves its financial status.
CloudCare’s concept that can be employed not just on computers but also with phones, monitors, cameras and any kind of hardware, said Shaw. It allows the customer to rent new equipment for everyone for a period of three to four years, after which time StoredTech takes it all back, destroys the hard drives, recycles responsibly, and replaces all with new equipment.
Customers pay a monthly fee that is budgeted as an operating expense similar to a telephone bill or any other steady expenditure, rather that purchasing up front and depreciating over a required schedule, said Shaw.
StoredTech brings in the hardware, sets it up, and provides a warranty service on every piece. The customer has no up-front financial obligation, but neither does StoredTech. The manufacturer gets paid from the finance company.
The “clients love it,” Shaw said. Some CloudCare users are existing customers who transferred from the replacement model to the rental model. When prospective customers are told about it, they recognize it as unique, he said.
Staff feedback has been excellent, according to Shaw. Many had never had a new computer in all the years they worked for their employers.
“Customer delight is our goal, what we strive for,” Shaw said.
StoredTech is hiring as fast as they can to meet the demand for their expanding services, she said. Staff doubled in the past two years and in the seventh year of operation there are now 40 people among Queensbury headquarters and the Albany and Plattsburgh offices.
Learn more at www.StoredTech.com.