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Computronix Overhauls Its Tech Support Services - Fairfield County Business Journal

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"IT Support Stamford" | "Tech Support"

Computronix Overhauls Its Tech Support Services - Fairfield County Business Journal

As Recently Published in the Westchester/Fairfield County Business Journals

May 1, 2014

President and CEO Barry Moniês has been refining his company’s managed services model since the dot-com boom, restructuring Computronix’s business strategy, customer service methods and workforce to capture more dollars.

“The parts and material model for technical support has died over the years,” Moniês said. “Then there are the big guys like IBM who will always provide technical support, but what’s missing is a managed service model that serves small to midsize companies that are too big for mom and pops and too small for IBM’s enterprise-level services.”

Barry Moniês, president and CEO of Stamford-based Computronix.

Barry Moniês, president and CEO of Stamford-based Computronix.

When Moniês bought the Stamford Technology Center at 441 Summer St. to start Computronix in 1997, most small software service companies didn’t survive long. He said he noticed companies like his quickly went out of business because they didn’t have the technology and manpower to adapt to the changing needs of their clients.

Computronix started out selling millions of dollars worth of hardware, but the company was merely churning dollars and not making a profit, Moniês said. Over the past two years, Computronix has evolved into a consulting company that mainly focuses on providing a toolkit of software programs. Once the kit is installed on a client’s computer, Computronix can easily monitor and address any technical issues.

As needs changed over the years, Moniês shaped his business so clients no longer have to commit to yearly contracts, instead paying for monthly subscriptions.

“Total growth has gone down but profitability has gone up,” Moniês said. “We used to be a business that focused 70 percent on hardware and 30 percent on services. Now, we’re 90 percent services and 10 percent hardware. That’s how we had to change to survive.”

Under Computronix’s old system, clients would pay for a fixed number of hours of on-site service per year to be used as needed. The company couldn’t provide help if a client encountered a technical issue that demanded more hours of work than were left on its contract. As a result, clients were forced to spend more money in hiring other technicians to fix major server problems and other computer crises.

Computronix no longer requires its clients to purchase technical support hours. Under the new model, each time clients pay their monthly bills early, one hour automatically gets added into their account that they can freely spend throughout the next month.

The company has streamlined its technical support services onto a single platform: Netcare2, which includes built-in system alerts and software that provides automated disk backup, antivirus and spam protection, and patch management. The platform bundles a variety of software programs together, and each client pays a flat fee to purchase what Moniês calls the “essentials” for keeping computers secure in a monthly package. The platform monitors clients’ computers through a server and reports technical issues to its engineers. Based on algorithms, a virtual agent either fixes the problems or alerts an engineer who is ready to provide technical support.

“Now I don’t have deferred liability except for the one hour a month that goes in the company’s loyalty bank when they pay early,” Moniês said. “This monthly subscription has equalized our cash flow, and we don’t owe these big chunks of hours anymore.”

Although Moniês owns the 12,000-square-foot building, he leases out half of the space to other small technology businesses that complement Computronix. Since Moniês cut one-third of his staff and doubled his revenue, he said he can keep his company space small.

His clients come from a diverse background of expertise ranging from legal to financial. But all across the board, Computronix serves mostly midsize Connecticut companies.

“We’ve had world-class hedge funds down to small, five-person law firms,” Moniês said. “We have clients in just about every professional service. Our sweet spot is companies with 10 to 150 employees. That’s where our services really provide value to our clients.”

As Computronix looks at its growth trajectory, Moniês said most of his profits come from clients who incrementally add services to their software package.

“It’s the ‘You want fries with that?’ model that brings us business,” he said. “We’ve bundled our models and added more services into the bundle. Our latest offering, which we feel fits right in, is clients want to know how to use technology to not only support their businesses from an infrastructure standpoint but also to be more competitive.”

Although buying software packages doesn’t necessarily help Computronix’s customers gain more business or clients, Moniês said his company helps boost their online presence through social media. As mobile devices become an increasingly important business tool, Computronix has added a social media management component to its packages.

“That’s our latest offering,” Moniês said. “It’s a monthly fee that allows us to create your online presence on places such as Facebook, Yelp, Google, provide generically relevant content on an ongoing basis, and manage your online reputation.”

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