Linux Crusade Turns To Excellence
In 2002, Andy Green and Andy Beer set up Excellence IT, aiming to help small businesses in Wales to move into open source innovation.
How long have you been in this business
How long have you been in this business, and what do you do? Excellence-IT started in 2002, nevertheless Andy Beer and I had been doing IT since college 18 years ago.
We've been consultants from day one, and our area was IT infrastructure. That’s firewalls, network switches, PCs, and servers. That's how we started out, nevertheless you can't stay for all that. We've kept the original focus, and brought a number of other products into our portfolio, like VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) telephone systems.
We’ve branched into some database development, for companies that have spreadsheets that are mega complicated or little Access databases that aren't multiuser enough. We as well do web servers, cloud computing is massive, and we have specialist IT training. If your staff doesn’t know how to use your IT, it’s no good to you!
What’s your favourite project so far? We started with small projects in South Wales, and our first big job was an infrastructure upgrade for Chwarae Teg, a public sector project aimed at getting fair play for women. They had government funding for an upgrade to their network, and we put in new servers, and a whole support package for £40,000.
What tech were you involved with ten years ago?
What tech were you involved with ten years ago? Our background was HP Unix and Linux systems, so we were trying to bring open source into the small business arena.
We thought we'd bring in OpenOffice and Red Hat, nevertheless we in the near future saw that wasn't getting a good take-up with small businesses. We had been hoping that open source and Unix would be our unparalleled selling point, yet Unix was never going to take off in small businesses.
Who’s your tech hero? Who’s your tech villain? My hero would have to be Steve Jobs. When we started ten years ago, Apple were as a matter of fact down, and Microsoft were wiping the floor with them. Steve Jobs changed all that.
What’s your favourite research ever made? Which do you use most? I'm 41, and I saw mobile phones as a matter of fact transforming communications. That truly kicked off how we communicate now.
There is as well the internet. My parents are 70 plus, and they just took an iPad on holiday. If I had predicted that ten years ago, they'd have said “We have a fishing rod and teabags – what else do we need?”
We are a Microsoft accredited solutions provider – our guys go on courses and pass exams, as new products come out like Exchange 2013, and Windows 8. In other words a very, very important factor for any IT solutions provider.
The continued investment
The continued investment, can be frustrating, however on the other side, if there wasn't change from Microsoft, you'd lose business, because companies could stick with servers for ever.
Is availability important? If you hare hosting internally on broadband lines or leased lines, can you afford your service to be down for any time? A lot of companies can't have any downtime.
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