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A business model born of the millennium bug

Rochester Business Journal
May 17, 2013

Nowadays, the Y2K phenomenon at the start of the millennium may seem like an overhyped moment in the history of information technology. However, it was the foundation for IT services firm ComTec Solutions.
 
President Rob Moyer founded the company in 1995 as a website design and hosting firm. As the year 2000 approached, business picked up.
 
"Everyone was buying new servers, new hardware, new software because of the concerns with limitations of old equipment going forward," Moyer recalled. "All of a sudden my customers were looking at me as an IT guy that could help them. We were really able to start gaining some customer share and selling quite a bit of hardware and software after that."
 
ComTec continued to add to its suite of IT services, which now includes consulting, Web design and hosting, networking, disaster recovery, security, desktop repair and on-site training.
 
Growth in all of ComTec's service segments helped the company's revenues increase 40 percent in 2010, 40 percent more in 2011 and 5 percent in 2012. The company is on pace for revenue growth of 20 percent to 25 percent in 2013.
 
ComTec ranked No. 73 on the 2012 Rochester Top 100 list of the fastest-growing privately held companies, presented by KPMG LLP and the Rochester Business Alliance Inc. ComTec was No. 88 in 2011.
 
ComTec also has increased its workforce from 17 employees in 2010 to 26, with room to grow more by the end of 2013. The company has three open positions it is looking to fill, Moyer said.
 
ComTec's employment numbers include two workers at an office in East Berlin, Conn. The company opened the office in 2009 as its client base in the area grew significantly.
 
"We got our first client in Connecticut about eight or nine years ago," Moyer said. "Now we have about 20 customers in Connecticut and downstate New York, all built through word of mouth."
 
Mary Cronin, vice president of operations, said the company's recent growth has been due in part to the introduction of new services. One that has generated significant growth has been ComTec's cloud backup offering, which gives customers a secure way to store their data off-site.
 
"Clients have customers and even accounting firms that are urging them to take a look at disaster recovery," she said. "You can't just have a backup tape or disc in your office anymore. If something happens, you have to be able to pull your data in from somewhere else."
 
ComTec also recently added a second Epicor Enterprise Resource Planning software system to its offerings. ComTec established a partnership in 2002 with Epicor Software Corp., a California company that provides integrated software for midsize companies.
 
ComTec provides sales, implementation, training and support services for its manufacturing clients that use Epicor's software. The partnership with Epicor has given ComTec a strong presence in the manufacturing industry, Moyer said. ComTec also has had recent growth in other industries, such as financial services.
 
Moyer said the amount of competition in IT services, especially for newer services such as data storage and backup, has been a challenge. However, ComTec continues to do well because of its experience in IT and its understanding that clients need flexibility, he said.
 
"You're going to have customers that never want to have their data outside their walls, and then you're going to have clients who want everything outside their walls," he said. "Where our bread and butter has been is with the majority of customers wanting their data in-house and their backups off-site. Being able to have a hybrid approach has been essential to our growth."

The Rochester Top 100 program is presented by the Rochester Business Alliance Inc. and KPMG LLP. Launched in 1987, it recognizes the fastest-growing private companies in Greater Rochester. This year's Rochester Top 100 event will be held Nov. 6. For more information, go to rochesterbusinessalliance.com.

ComTec Solutions
2012 ranking: 73
Founded: 1995
Location: Gates
Top executive: Rob Moyer
Employees: 26
Website: comtecsolutions.com

5/17/13 (c) 2013 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email service@rbj.net.


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