I discovered an interesting take on the burgeoning technology industry in New Orleans in an interview with Vince Gremillion of Restech in Metairie and recipient of the 2013 Louisiana Small Business Person of the Year award by the Small Business Administration. He began his tech-based career was an early first-series mac and apple computer adopter, installing networks for MACS and developed proprietary circuits. He then worked for a startup micro-computer company where he effectively solved a problem for the NASA facility at Michoud.
Gremillion is the owner and president of the New Orleans-based IT company. He launched Restech over 20 years ago as a home-based business with 2 people and has since grown to 15 full-time employees, successfully helping a shipping business adopt email to prevent the loss of a client. It’s hard to imagine a business without something as simple as email today. He offered his take on this changing IT landscape and the impact of the cloud.
“When I started my business over 20 years ago, business in New Orleans was just being introduced to the Internet and Email. With the adoption of the Internet, businesses unknowingly entered the world of Internet security and all of what that means. We find that a lot of businesses aren’t as well secured as they should be. We would prefer businesses adopt a layered approach and have each of their points of ingress and egress guarded with a professional grade product that is also managed on a regular basis.”
The cloud has opened up many options for small businesses to adopt technologies that they could in no way afford in the past. Strategies like online backup, cloud based security, software as a service, secure remote access, file sharing and replication are all within easy reach of most businesses. We have embraced the cloud and provide our clients multiple means of accomplishing their goals.”
Regarding workforce and education, Gremillion cited Delgado as an underutilized but potentially valuable resource for training IT professionals. He also points to a new major at LSU that is producing IT talent.
Gremillion also commented on how local businesses see the role of IT as it relates to their everyday business and productivity.
“I have found over the years that businesses here in New Orleans see IT as an expense rather than an asset. We think it’s important for businesses to see the overall value of technology and how it enables a business to grow, not just focus on the cost of it. Technology helps reduce operating costs and increases efficiencies and productivity if a good IT strategy is in place. It all comes down to money vs. strategy. Some businesses who focus only on cost may implement a bad solution with cheap equipment or have a poor install, hindering the business and productivity, rather than implementing the right solution that will help the business grow and keep the users happy. We find most businesses don’t have a technology path, which is vital to the growth of any business.”
Restech provides technology solutions, services and support to small and medium businesses in the Greater New Orleans area and the Gulf South. Services include virtualization, managed services, disaster recovery, and unified communications among others. Restech is also an HP, Cisco, Microsoft and Citrix partner with a team of certified engineers who specialize in these services and solutions. Clients include a variety of industries ranging from legal, medical, finance, engineering and construction.