IT-trailblazer Computech opens facility in Galis Bay

POSTED: 01/30/13 2:09 PM

GALIS BAY, St. Martin – Computech opened its doors for business yesterday at a location right next to the building of the Port Authority in Galis Bay. Managing partners Jean Arnell and Alain Roper gave journalists a tour of their $3 million-facility designed to “revolutionize the way local and regional businesses access information technology opportunities.”

Computech partners with IT-giants like Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, APC and EMC2 to enable businesses and governments in the Northeastern Caribbean to align their technology investments with their business objectives.”

Alain Roper said that Computech is first and foremost a service provider that helps clients to identify their IT-needs and to help them build the architecture that fits their needs. The company’s proof of concept workshops are a key part of the business plan. In these workshops clients work with IT-experts on the solution they have in mind. The objective of these workshops is to show clients that a certain solution will work. “We have visited many Microsoft Partner centers in different parts of the world to see how they work,” Roper said. “”We found that 90 percent of the clients make the investment in their IT-solution after they have gone through the proof of concept workshop.”

The heart of the building in Galisbay is a server built by APC. And while the building is characterized by a lot of glass, the information stored on the server unit is secure, because the system makes a daily backup on servers that are located elsewhere in the world – in the United States and Europe.

Arnell, a native of St. Martin, said that the Computech business plan was written in 2005 and further developed in 2007 and the years beyond. “There was a reason to build the company,” Roper said. “There is a need for our services among public institutions and private companies. At the moment, a great deal of customers is under-served.”

Roper and Arnell said that both sides of the island are lagging in internet connectivity. “We will push for the best possible connectivity,” they said.

Roper noted that the fiber optic highway is there, but that there is no use having such a highway if businesses, private homes and institutions are not directly connected to them.

Computech employs currently eleven highly skilled and trained people. The real power comes however from the company’s position as a Microsoft partner. When clients come to St. Maarten to discuss their IT-needs, Computech is able to fly in the additional experts it needs for any given project.

“We want to immerse our clients in technology,” Roper said. “Sure, St. Maarten is a nice place to visit, but for the executive who wants to come here for one day, we have an apartment in the building available, and we are able to feed him to. It’s a pure business-like approach.

“For the first time you will be able to find technologies from major vendors all in one place. That is unique for businesses in the region that now have to travel to the United States and Europe to get things done. Our idea is to bring the services of industry leaders like APC, Dell, EMC, HP and Microsoft to the region.”

Clients will not necessarily have to invest in their own servers, because Computech is able to host solutions on its own server-network. The company has access to more than 50 servers, more than one hundred 64-bit processor cores, and more than 60 terabytes of storage from Dell, EMC and HP.

Roper and Arnell have plenty of confidence e in their IT-venture: “Through this elaborate facility, Saint Martin is positioning itself to be the trailblazer in IT in the Leeward Islands and much of the Caribbean.”

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