When business owners need help understanding technology, and seeing the potential pitfalls of a system, they need a trusted consultant. For many small businesses, that function is performed by an outside company.
Braver Technology Solutions LLC, founded in the pre-internet era, has managed to grow and adapt as tech needs have become more complex. In part, it does this by establishing trust with a client’s leadership that their needs are going to be met.
For example, the company employs a “success matrix” to help owners evaluate whether a new software program is going to meet their needs. “Our whole job is to act as their [chief information officer or information technology] department,” said Kenny Rounds, Braver CEO.
Its sales staff are not paid on commission and earn bonuses not through sales targets but external reviews.
“It makes them focused on solving the right problem,” Rounds said.
And sometimes, in consulting with new clients, he finds that previous companies have oversold tech needs. One of the most frequent problems is having too much capacity – an overabundance of either hardware, storage or computing power.
“You might buy computers that are too powerful for what you’re trying to do. If you are trying to do word processing, you’re going to get the same benefit from a $700 computer as you would a $2,000 computer. It’s not going to be any faster.”
And it happens on a larger scale, when a business invests in servers that are too big for its needs. “And now, instead of a $7,000 server, they have a $20,000 server.”
More than 300 companies representing a variety of industries have contracted with Braver, he said. One of the common problems they all face is cybertheft and intrusion.
The emergence of the massive bitcoin industry has enabled the problem, he said, because it’s provided an untraceable method for collecting payments. Companies may find their systems locked down, or encrypted, once an employee clicks on the wrong thing.
Many companies lack sufficient backups, in safe, off-site locations, which can allow them to restore their information without having to pay a hacker’s ransom demand.
That storage needs to be off-site – off the local network – and tested regularly to make sure it works.
“If your business is in Rhode Island, you want a copy of your backups in Texas,” he said.
And business owners need to be aware that the cloud-based applications and storage may not be any safer from intrusion.
“People who are hosting the data, off-site, on the cloud, who thought they were safe from attack? They’re not,” Rounds said.
Education is key to thwarting the damage of cybercrime, he said. Phishing attacks can target the human resources department, impersonating a CEO or another high-level person at a company, and instructing the person to change bank accounts for payroll.
For these reasons, the engineers at Braver will not change a password for someone who says they forgot it, unless they get voice confirmation from the main contact.
“The biggest way we can fight cybercrime is through user education,” he said.
OWNER: Kenny Rounds, CEO
TYPE OF BUSINESS: Computer support for business clients
LOCATION: 705 Myles Standish Blvd., Taunton
YEAR ESTABLISHED: 1989
ANNUAL SALES: WND
Mary MacDonald is a PBN staff writer. Contact her at Macdonald@PBN.com.