The Silicon Review
We continue to advance and transform our business as well as guide our customers through all the ups and downs of the technology industry by always designing solutions that are customized for the customer and their unique business need: John R. Riconda.
Small companies are proliferating in every industry, from healthcare to hospitality and financial services to technology. But regardless of their industry, all small companies face similar challenges when it comes to their IT networks. Despite a lack of in-house IT resources, small businesses must keep their networks running reliably at top speeds. At the same time, they need to watch their budgets by reining in IT operational costs and limiting IT investments. For an increasing number of small businesses, the answer to these problems is relatively simple: managed services.
Contemporary Computer Services, Inc. (CCSI) provides information technology services. The company offers network operating center services, including fault identification and performance analysis on the core infrastructure and communication lines, as well as analysis on specific network devices and/or appliances; intrusion detection and prevention; detecting unusual network behavior; proactive response services; and audit trail services.
CCSI also provides network services, such as LAN/WAN infrastructure design and support; network monitoring and dispatch; storage area network design and support; voice and unified network communication; wireless networking, including voice/data/video; and network optimization, prioritization, bandwidth shaping, and other services.
In addition, the company offers security services comprising vulnerability testing, penetration testing, firewall support, managed intrusion prevention, and network audit services; and maintenance services, such as hardware field, mainframe, PC/desktop, server, preventative maintenance, warranty support, and on-site support services. Further, CCSI provides professional services, including supplemental technology consulting, placement, and project management services; and hardware replacement, hardware maintenance, and mainframe support services.
Furthermore, the company offers solution services, including iSCSI storage solution that delivers software features with hardware integrated within a modular chassis design. It serves customers in the areas of finance, education, healthcare, fashion, and the public sectors in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.
CCSI was incorporated in 1974 and is headquartered in Bohemia, New York.
John R. Riconda, Contemporary Computer Services Inc. CEO/President, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.
Why was the company set up? And how did you expand your company and its offerings over the years?
CCSI is a privately held company that was founded almost five decades ago by four former IBM technical support specialists. Our mission at that time was to provide installation and maintenance for IBM mainframe hardware. Today, CCSI provides the highest quality of service in the industry for the full spectrum of technologies—from mainframes to PCs, network infrastructure, managed services, cybersecurity, SD-WAN, cloud solutions, IP security, IP telephony, and storage solutions.
In 1980, CCSI expanded its hardware maintenance offerings to include 24/7 repair/replacement of desktops, printers, and LAN components. The company later formed a networking division to provide full-service LAN/WAN design and support services. Since then, we have continued to adjust to market shifts and to structure our offerings accordingly to better serve our customers like our new cloud solutions and cybersecurity services.
After years of commitment to technology in education, I became one of the twelve founding members of Microsoft’s Education Advisory Committee in 1996. Next, CCSI expanded its organization to provide Application Development Services. This led to the release in 2001 of eSchoolData, our peerless student management system. We are now one of the largest providers of Software-as-a-Service (SAAS) in the educational market.
CCSI also maintains one of the most comprehensive Network Operation Centers (NOC) and Security Operation Centers (SOC) in the United States. This state-of-the-art facility resides within our 30,000 square foot corporate offices in Bohemia, NY.
What challenges did you face in your initial years? What can your peers learn from it?
During our 40+ years of providing IT services starting with the IBM mainframe world, we have seen many challenges. Many of these challenges are around adapting to new technology and continually transforming your business. As an organization, we continue to advance and transform our business as well as guide our customers through all the ups and downs of the technology industry by always designing solutions that are customized for the customer and their unique business need. Today, we are able to offer our customers a complete menu of services from security and compliance to the latest in cloud and container technologies and even the more mundane network and server.
“Earning trust and respect of consumers all around the world is through consistent focus on delivering high quality in all of our actions.” How do you interpret this statement?
We believe we embody this statement. We provide the highest quality customer service from Pre-sales, Sales, Engineering, Implementation, Help Desk, and Continuing Support afterward. We believe in hiring the highest quality employees and providing a safe and comfortable work place to insure people continue to grow their career within the company. We believe with satisfied, successful employees will provide high-quality service to our customers continuing to grow trust and respect.
About adaptability, how do you stay relevant to the consumer interests and needs in this high volatile market?
Staying at the forefront of the industry allows us to carefully integrate current trends that we’ve thoroughly tested before putting into production. With everything we do, security is built into every layer of every design. With that in mind, we have been seeing a real interest in both cloud and Infrastructure as Code (SD-WAN, SDN, CloudFormation, etc.) and of course how to integrate security into those solutions. We are also reviewing and utilizing artificial intelligence into our service offerings.
How often do you innovate? Is it only when there is a need in the market?
We don’t chase the latest trends, but carefully watch where the industry grows before making a move. Our strategic vision is one of steady and careful growth to give our clients a strong and carefully planned full-service offering. Our roadmap is built off basics, which creates a strong foundational layer to support more advanced technologies.
How does your company contribute to the competitive global IT platform at large?
Business transformation as a whole can be done no matter where the customer resides and no matter where their data exists. CCSI can service the needs of our customers anywhere in the world by using appropriate tools for the job.
Do you have any new products ready to be launched?
We have recently launched Cost Containment as a Service, Cloud Migration as a Service, Disaster Recovery as a Service, Security Awareness, Compliance and Security Assessments, and Vulnerability Management. New services that will be launched by end of Q3 of 2018 is Cloud Visibility and Security Monitoring.
As a question on sustainability, where do you see your company a couple of years from now?
We expect to consistently grow our business year over year by double digit growth numbers for 3-5 years. This is achieved by the investments made in people-process- product while at the same time adding new areas of revenue growth. For example a partner program that will allow CCSI to add partners that will promote our services.
John R. Riconda: A Promising Leader
John R. Riconda serves as the Chief Executive Officer and President of Contemporary Computer Services, Inc., since 1996 where he began his career as an IBM Mainframe trainee in 1979. He became a Technical Specialist in 1981 and was its Partner since 1985. Since then, Mr. Riconda was responsible for creating and building two new CCSI business units: Networking Division and the Application Development Division.
Mr. Riconda serves as a Trustee of Northwell Health System at Huntington Hospital, Inc. He has been a Member of Cisco Systems’ VAR Council. John was a Founding Member of Microsoft's Educational Partner Advisory Council. He has received numerous leadership awards and was honored by the Suffolk County Organization of Public Educators, the New York State Council of School Superintendents, and the National Leadership Council for his commitment to public education.
Mr. Riconda co-founded eSchoolData, LLC in 2008 and served as its Chief Executive Officer.