• Saratoga Business Report
Monday, 06 June 2022 18:09

Tech II Business Services: The IT Health ‘Doctor’ Featured

Written by Mike Piekarski
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Information technology is not sexy, but without it, businesses nowadays would be in dire straits. Managing these systems is where Dan Bardin thinks his company shines brightest.

“IT used to be viewed as a necessary evil,” says Bardin, CEO of Tech II Business Services of Saratoga Springs. “We’re now viewed more like your attorney’s office, your accounting office, or your health care provider. We’re a professional services organization, and just like with your doctor, once you’re online and working with them, they’ll probably be your doctor for a long time. So, in a lot of ways, we have become the doctor of technology. We’re watching your health, only in this case, it’s your IT health. We’re making recommendations, and when problems arise, we’re prescribing what you need to get better.”     

Bardin, 51, would know: He’s been involved in the information technology field all his adult life and has worked at Tech II Business Services for 22 years. The company itself has been around nearly twice as long -- under founder Eric Guby, it came into existence in 1983. This year marks its 40thh year of operation.

Tech II, whose name is derived from Guby and a technician partner (the two techs), originally focused on telecommunications services (telephony), but four decades later, “we’re a convenience store of technology,” says Bardin, a former Eastman Kodak technician and Apple Field Engineer in the 1990s. Over the years, the technology provider has added infrastructure, cabling, video surveillance, networking, wireless services, managed IT services and more to its offerings.

Though Tech II, which currently employs 25, can help clients with generic information technology issues, “we bring the most value to those customers that need a full IT services company, including the ability to do the engineering and design of a company’s network,” says Bardin, a resident of Queensbury.

“Our goal isn’t to do one-off technology installations. We do not support or provide proprietary software. What we do is make sure your technology -- your Microsoft, your Cisco, your networking, your IT infrastructure systems -- is set up and functioning the way it should be so that your software suites that are supported by other players will function the way they should.”

Typically, Tech II works with a company’s decision-makers at the start of the process.

“We’re helping them decide what the infrastructure needs to be -- the technology that the client has to provide their users so that they can perform their jobs and take care of their customers. We’re involved in all the designs. We source it, we install it, and we manage it.”

Tech II’s primary customers are small- to medium-sized businesses -- professional offices such as accounting and legal concerns, as well as manufacturing companies and financial institutions. Most of those customers are located within an hour’s radius of Tech II’s headquarters -- in Albany, Schenectady, Troy, Glens Falls, Queensbury, and Clifton Park – though the company also provides IT services remotely to other countries. 

No matter the location, “we work alongside our clients and help them make decisions related to technology that instill confidence in their systems and position them to grow,” Bardin says. “We help them navigate their technology decisions in such a way that puts them ahead of their competition, and we show them a way to do things more efficiently.”

Speaking of efficient, Tech II’s main software tool, referred to in the industry as an RMM (remote management and monitoring), is certainly that. 

“With it,” Bardin says, “we’re able to streamline day-to-day operations, combat threats, and improve efficiency, as well as remotely resolve many of the service requests we receive daily. We’re monitoring their system’s health. If it’s kicking out hardware errors, we’ll know. Our job is to stay on top of the housekeeping of those assets so that they don’t fail and cause a production problem, or we stay out in front of it, and we can make refresh recommendations to the clients for improving their technology.”

Over the years, Tech II has provided service for thousands of customers and currently manages more than 10,000 devices, such as phones, cameras, workstations, servers, firewalls, laptops and networking gear. “It’s our responsibility to maintain them and make sure they stay online,” Bardin says. 

To help offset the diminished flow of technicians to the company, Tech II worked with New York state and the Capital Region’s Center for Economic Growth to establish an apprenticeship program in 2019.

“We supply candidates with training via the program that is a combination of training sessions for industry, complemented by SUNY Adirondack classes or other technology classes to meet the criteria. It allows us to build a successful systems engineer. It’s been very helpful for us.” Bardin says.  

The sponsorship makes the candidates eligible for economic aid. “At the end, they get a formal certificate from the state saying they completed the program,” says Bardin, who adds that two candidates are currently in the program, while two others are now full-time Tech II employees.

“The company has been here on Route 50 in Saratoga for over 20 years,” says Bardin, who designed and sold computers and the accompanying networking for his first business, Power Solutions, acquired by Tech II in 2000. “We love the area. For our customers who take their information technology seriously, we want to do a good job for them. We’re very focused on delivering quality managed services solutions.”

That commitment has paid off: In the managed services provider industry, Tech II has been named an N-ABLE Super Elite Partner. There are more than 25,000 managed services provider members in the program, of which Tech II is rated in the top 1%. As an active member, the firm helps steer the direction of products, tools, and services utilized by the MSP-partner community.

Bardin is proud of this achievement and the fact that his company has been around so long. The secrets to Tech II’s success, he says, are manifold.

“A strong team with a passion for the business, hard work, putting your time in, staying on top of the trends, patience, willingness to deal with challenges and face them head-on, looking at a challenge as an opportunity to learn and become better -- proving you can handle it. You have to be willing to step up and deal with challenges. Technology has become so critical that businesses need to align themselves with quality IT firms and can’t take chances with subpar service or trust their IT systems to somebody who has another job (referred to in the industry as ‘trunkers’). If customers take IT seriously, then we’re the company they want to align with.”

The company’s website is www.tech-ii.com. Tech II Services can be reached by phone at 518-587-1565 or through Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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