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IPR International

As computers become ubiquitous, the need to keep data safe grows ever larger. IPR International has a big goal: to make the process simple.

As computers become ubiquitous, the need to keep data safe grows ever larger. Conshohocken-based data storage and document management firm IPR International aims to make the process painless. Founder Mike Emmi talks about time bombs, dependency, and being lousy at retirement.

What got you interested in doing this work?

Believe it or not, my 23 year-old daughter got me interested. She was working for a PR firm that had been asked to develop a business plan to help sell the company.

She thought I might be able to help the existing management team and asked me to read the plan and then meet the team. I left the meeting and thought to myself that this company could be a homerun, if it had enough funding, more technical expertise, and a stronger management team.

Since the company was for sale, and I had just retired from SCT Corporation, I decided to buy it. My daughter likes to joke about how I “failed retirement.” I have to admit that it’s exhilarating being in a small company where every person, every decision, every client really counts.

Why do you think there’s a need for your service?

Whether we like it or not, the world has changed dramatically in the past few years, and we all have a sense of vulnerability that we didn’t have just a decade ago.

There are over 70,000 known computer viruses out there right now and, over the past July 4th holiday, there was a “hacker challenge” going on to see if the hackers could disrupt or take down 6,000 sites over the weekend. Beyond that, we’ve all read about the damage one disgruntled employee can do, or the cost of paying off a greedy employee who implanted a time bomb in your system.

As dependency on computers grows, the need to protect the information on those computers grows. But the current tape technology coupled with the huge growth in corporate data means the really bright IT people are turned into tape jockeys to manage the backup process. What a waste of talent.

What are the largest challenges that you see in providing your service?

Time. Since the dot-com bubble burst, companies have cut back and we have seen IT staffs that are under-budgeted, understaffed and overworked. They are afraid to trust tape backups anymore because they know all the flaws in that technology.

They don’t have the time to do all the research to learn about their options and they are afraid that the migration will take too long. When they see that our solutions will free up tons of time that they are now spending on the backup process and that, over time, our solutions will save them money, they find the time to learn more.

What kinds of companies do you serve?

We decided that the mid-size to large enterprise tier of clients was not being served by our competition because they had not developed multiple, scalable solutions.

So we’ve spent a considerable amount of time and resources developing a series of processes and methodologies that we can use to help demystify electronic backup and recovery solutions no matter how large or small client, and no matter how many remote locations they may have to backup.

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