Nearly everyone has had that stomach-dropping moment when the computer screen goes blank. At Syntegrity Networks, they’re working to keep those dreadful experiences from happening.
Nearly everyone has had that stomach-dropping moment when the computer screen goes blank and the hard drive’s data goes into the ether. At Fairfax, Va.-based Syntegrity Networks, they’re working to keep those dreadful experiences from happening. President Dan Coffing chats about genies, backup, and keeping things up and running.
How did the company get started?
My brother Nathaneal and I started out buying and selling surplus computers from federal government auctions. Before long, we were doing repairs and network installations for friends and gradually our business grew through referrals. Our first client had five people sharing one AOL account. They’d shout across the hall to see if anyone was online. High-speed Internet had just opened up and we helped them make the transition from a dial-up modem to DSL. Now we’re putting in their second server.
After we had been in the business for a few years, we put together the AccessGenie package. It’s a disaster recovery program for small and home-based businesses and telecommuters. It’s a combination of software and service, offering users a complete backup system, with recovery capabilities for all their systems programs, key registry settings, applications, and data, as well as the availability of remote support.
Why do you think there’s a need for such a disaster recovery package?
Well, the most obvious answer is that there are lots of people who depend on computers for their living. Unless they’ve been trained and work with technology all the time, they’re going to waste a lot of time trying to fix hardware and software problems themselves. And time is money. We believe there will always be a need for friendly, knowledgeable people to fix technical problems. The need for the AccessGenie is even more obvious, especially the automatic backup. As much as people rely on their equipment, they need a safety net to keep the data protected and the system up and running.
How is the company faring in the current economic climate?
Not too bad, I’d say. Technology is not something that can be neglected for too long. Most users understand this. And with the recent terrorist attacks, computer hackers and computer viruses, people have become more concerned with back-up systems and security. The nice thing is, we’re almost always a cost-saver; so it’s easy for customers to appreciate the return on their investment.
What are the largest challenges that you see in providing your service?
The largest challenge is probably the attitude of “getting by” with old or outdated software. We often see people losing data, dealing with machines and systems infected with viruses, or just putting up with business inefficiencies because they don’t have a reliable technology consultant. We want people to succeed; we’re happy to work with existing support relationships. We just worry when companies go months and months without any expert help.
Do you have anything in the works for the future?
Oh, yes, of course. AccessGenie is going to grow in some unbelievable ways. The other big highlight is continuing to expand our helpdesk support hours. More and more people are working off-hours from home or on the road and we want to make sure they’re covered. Our mission is to save our customers as much downtime as possible.
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