Protecting networks

There are few things in this world that must be bulletproof — Presidential State Cars, for one thing.

Bulletproof Infotech president Jeff Anderson.

Bulletproof Infotech president Jeff Anderson.

There are few things in this world that must be bulletproof — Presidential State Cars, for one thing.

And if you talk to one Red Deer businessman, computer service too.

Jeff Anderson, 36, is the president of Bulletproof Infotech, a company offering small businesses a range of network and computer system support.

The former owner of Red Deer’s Bulletproof Networks was keen on a new venture and so was René Sloos of CompuConsult Company of Calgary.

The two men merged their companies and are now building their business together.

On his website recently, Sloos recognized that although he’s not a 100 per cent owner of a business, he’s now a part owner of a larger company that is well positioned to take information technology (IT) services to the next level.

Their game plan is simple — target small businesses between five and 50 employees across Central and South Alberta.

Anderson said it’s been a whirlwind since February’s launching. He travels regularly back and forth from the Red Deer office to the Calgary office.

It’s a job he loves doing. Anderson owned his first computer at eight years old.

“What I’ve always enjoyed about computers and the computer industry is how it changes every day,” Anderson said. “It’s a challenge, but it’s never dull.”

The company has 18 staff, including Anderson, Sloos as vice-president of solutions and Stuart Crawford as vice president of business development.

Crawford, in Red Deer with Anderson recently, said he showed little interest in computers until as a member of the Canadian Forces, he was asked if he owned a computer.

“‘Good, then you’re in the computer department,’” said his superior.

Crawford would eventually own his own IT company.

“When I first got into this business, technology was viewed as a necessary evil,” said Crawford, 40.

“Now a lot of business owners are viewing it as an enabler to their business and it will give them a competitive advantage.”

The world is their market now, Crawford added.

And increasingly small businesses are seeking professional help when it comes to information technology, versus having a family member or a friend working on their computers.

Anderson said Bulletproof Infotech offers advantages over its competitors.

Before any project is done — such as day-to-day computer maintenance or the setup of a new server — the small business is given a fixed fee with clearly defined results.

“That is opposite of paying by the hour for effort,” Anderson said.

Guarantees are attached too.

The executive team also invests time on achieving best practices.

“We all belong to a peer group of professionals, over 220 worldwide of hand-selected companies,” said Crawford. “We share our best practices with each other.”

The Bulletproof Infotech group meets quarterly with IT individuals from Canada. They learn from each other and help each other’s business to improve and expand.

So far, Bulletproof has between 85 and 100 clients and with those contracts, it manages about 1,500 computers daily.

The business sells and installs computer network equipment.

And if there’s any email or other computer problems, businesses can get instant help around-the-clock.

“We can probably do 80 per cent of our service remotely,” Anderson said.

“They can phone us and within 30 seconds, we can see exactly what they are seeing.”

Small businesses may have a fulltime IT employee on staff, but that individual often has weekends off, plus vacations and time for training. Bulletproof Infotech staff are also informed on a range of new technology.

“Our technicians manage in the neighbourhood of 150 servers whereas an internal employee might manage two,” Crawford said.

Clients sometimes seek services, like website development, that the company doesn’t provide.

Crawford said they readily pass them onto companies they know does good work.

“We’re narrow in our focus,” Crawford said.

“We’re happy to say we don’t do everything.”

The team hopes to open a third office in another market, within the next two years.

“The key is to really nail down ways to give our clients consistently high-quality business,” Anderson said.

Bulletproof Infotech is found at 7711 50th Avenue.

For more information, call 340-1011 or go online at www.bulletproofit.ca

ltester@www.reddeeradvocate.com

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