We had a chance to sit down with Patrick Vardeman, CEO of Accudata Systems, to talk about software and the future of the software industry.
Below is a hasty transcript, please forgive any typos.
Matt Register: Hey guys, welcome to the show. Texas Business Radio. We have an exciting show for you today. As more… as the workplace gets more and more complex, we have a need to have a I.T. infrastructure that keeps up with it. So Information Technology is a big business, it’s only getting bigger. And it’s something that it may not be what you do for a living but if you don’t understand it and you don’t have people that do understand it working for you, you’re wrong and you’re missing out on some things. So we’re going to get to that here in just a second. Go and get your calls in at 844-814-8144. It’s our 24 hour call in line, call in now, call in later, 3 o’clock in the morning. Really doesn’t matter to us, we’re going to get the experts on the air to get those questions answered. We also monitor #TBR on Twitter, TBR. Or go to the Web site, Texasbusinessradio.com. We got a wealth of information there. Get your questions in there. We got the entire thing in beautiful, high definition video and a wealth of information. If you haven’t been there, do yourself a favor and get there. I’m your host Matt Register, here as always with Jake Curry over in the cohost chair. Jay what’s going on?
Jay Curry: Well, as you know, this is not only just about I.T. but every good business person should outsource things that are not critical, path relevant to revenues. In other words, if they build buildings they don’t need to be doing I.T.. And this is an example here that every CEO and I don’t care what size you are, you need to be paying close attention to how to outsource I.T. services. And Patrick is going to give us a great option for that.
Matt Register: No doubt. We’re going to jump right into it. Accudata Systems they’re in Houston, they’re in Dallas, they’re all over the state. Big company, very good company at what they do. CEO Patrick Vardeman is here in the studio to tell us all about it. Patrick welcome to the show sir.
Patrick Vardeman: Matt, Jay thanks for having me.
Matt Register: Accudata Systems, tell me what do you do and who do you do it to?
Patrick Vardeman: So, Accudata is a full service I.T. consulting firm. We were found in 1982 here in Houston.
Jay Curry: So been around for a while.
Patrick Vardeman: Been around for 30-35 years. That’s right. I’ve been with the firm myself for 19. OK. So we’ve… in terms of you know, what we do, we help organizations really secure, modernizing and grow their I.T. infrastructure assets. So we work with them to… whether it’s you know, whether they’re going through a merger and acquisition, whether they’re divesting an organization, whether they’re looking to enhance the security, maybe they’ve had a breach. We kind of cover all facets of I.T.
Matt Register: So, if I’m looking to purchase a company, you’re the folks I call to come in and assess what the company I’m buying and let me know what their deficiencies are perhaps in the I.T. space.
Patrick Vardeman: Yeah, exactly. I mean we work with organizations on the business side very often to help with the due diligence as they go in and they do the due diligence for an acquisition. We’ll come in and do a lot of the assessments to help understand what that platform looks like, what that infrastructure looks like. And then help the organization decide, OK what’s the next steps should they take, as they acquire that business.
Matt Register: Well, I’ll tell you what in the life cycle of a company at some point you get to the size where you realize that you need major systems in place, right? Well beyond the way that it had been run in the past. You guys can come in and assist that CEO or that company in identifying what it is they need. Because I’m telling you a lot of these guys have no idea about I.T. they know they need it. That’s about the extent of it right.
Patrick Vardeman: Well that, and also… I think it’s interesting to keep in mind that a lot of I.T. organizations they’re in the business of supporting not one company.
Matt Register: Sure.
Patrick Vardeman: As we’re working with companies every day. Different companies with different needs. And so for a lot of organizations when they sit down and say “well gee, you know, should we put this application in the cloud” as an example. You know they may have never done that before. They may not have the experience or they may not have really done the research and understand what the marketplace looks like. Whereas, we do that just consistently month and month out. We’re constantly evaluating the market, we’re constantly keeping pace with the technology. And I think that’s really important. I mean the… you know, the wave of development that’s occurred in our industry in the last five years is unlike anything we’ve seen.
Matt Register: So, you’re telling me the I.T. industry has changed over the last 15 years? Slightly?
Jay Curry: How about the last 15 months?
Patrick Vardeman: Yes, slightly.
Matt Register: Well and it’s only accelerating the pace of change, right?
Patrick Vardeman: Absolutely.
Matt Register: And I would imagine that you get a lot of guys that have messed this up, because this is something that’s… we were talking during the break. Right? And right before the show. And the cost associated with not getting this right is pretty extensive. Walk me through a little bit, because some of these guys they mess it up and then they come to you to help fix it. Right?
Patrick Vardeman: Yeah, I’ll give you a great example right now. The… you know,… if you’ve gone to like your banking website, as an example, you know that that’s encrypted traffic. Right, that’s encrypted. One of the things that’s changed just in the last year is most… the majority of Internet traffic is encrypted. So, if you go to Google, that’s encrypted.
Matt Register: And if you go to a Texasbusinessradio.com, that encrypted, right? I mean the vast majority of it is.
Patrick Vardeman: So, as an example where many organizations for the last five, six, seven years have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to protect the infrastructure of that organization. They haven’t really paid attention to encrypted traffic because you typically just let that through.
Jay Curry: Yeah, they think that’s protected.
Patrick Vardeman: All right, well, today it’s not. And so what many… what we know is an example of the pace of change. You also remember that the bad guys have changed too.
Jay Curry: Right.
Patrick Vardeman: So things like malware and things like that those are encrypted. Those are encrypted sessions oftentimes. So what that means is you know, you may have a CEO saying well we spent all this money in I.T. we’re protected. But the pace of change also occurs with the bad guys. So now you’ve got bad guys that are writing things like malware encrypting it. It’s coming straight in your environment. You don’t know. And then it… you know. And we’ve seen that, we’ve seen disastrous impacts.
Matt Register: We’ll tell you what it is as a former infantry officer, I realize it doesn’t matter how great of a plan I come up with the enemy gets a vote, right? And in this case you have a constantly evolving enemy or a threat into your environment. You guys got to be on top of it because… But that scale of your company buys you the ability to see a whole lot of examples of this right?
Patrick Vardeman: Exactly, I mean not only the scale and just the size of the organizations we work with but also just the different technologies we work with. So you know we’re very fortunate to work with some really great partners,some manufacturing partners. But we see a lot of the technology changing and when you look at things like cloud. You know clouds is another example of you know,… I think a lot of organizations may view that it’s just “well, hey, we’ll put it in the cloud, that’s an easy transition for us”.
Jay Curry: Sure.
Patrick Vardeman: But the challenge is the closet or somebody else’s computer. And so when you think about security or you think about even access you know, how easy it is for the user. You know a lot of things have to be taken into account. You know where’s the database. You know what kind of latency would we have. You know to make sure that it’s.
Matt Register: A kind of security does it have? And how do we ensure that only our guys have it?
Patrick Vardeman: Exactly. Exactly.
Jay Curry: So one of the times it comes out in my mind though is you can’t wait. I mean you set this up three years ago and you haven’t done anything since. I need to get you guys in because you cannot wait until you know, the next chance you want to look at it. You need to be looking at this thing every year or every 18 months or what?
Patrick Vardeman: So many… well we help organizations with as you know, through assessments and through different engagements working with them on a quarterly basis, often times.
Jay Curry: There you go.
Patrick Vardeman: To your point earlier about you know, you’re leveraging firms that are… that do this, you know, as their core business verses like if you’re a construction firm.
Jay Curry: Sure.
Patrick Vardeman: You know we have a lot of organizations we work with where we’ll take that kind of level one stuff; the keeping the lights on, the I.T. operations off their plate. Because oftentimes the I.T. organization needs to focus on the projects. They need to focus on how do we strategize to try to grow the firm, grow at the organization. But a lot of times that operational stuff keeps him.
Matt Register: You know, that sucks up all our time and sucks up all the oxygen in the room, right?
Patrick Vardeman: Exactly.
Matt Register: Well, there’s a whole lot of things… and I’m glad we had a chance talk right before the show. And guys you need learn more, there’s a whole lot of terms that are being thrown around today you know, hardware as a server, software as service, cloud. All you guys can help a company make sense of all of this and figure out what they need when they need it and what they what is the appropriate level of security and infrastructure for exactly what it is they do. Is that correct?
Patrick Vardeman: Absolutely, absolutely.
Matt Register: So, Patrick Vardeman, CEO of Accudata Systems here in Texas or headquartered here in Houston but they are all over the state. Large organization. What is the easiest way for somebody to get in touch with you should somebody want to.
Patrick Vardeman: I would say feel free to go to our Web site. It’s www.accudatasystems.com they can find more information about us. They can certainly fill out a contact us form or they can call us to a 281-897-5000. We’re happy to help them.
Matt Register: Wonderful, AccudataSystems.com. Guys, if you’re driving, can’t take notes that will be on Texasbusinessradio.com. We’re going have links to all of these guests. Patrick Vardeman CEO Acudata System. Patrick thank you very much for joining us.
Patrick Vardeman: Thanks Matt. Thanks Jay.
Jay Curry: Very informative.
Matt Register: And absolutely very informative and guys if you don’t get this right it’s going to cost you a lot of money, don’t do it. Right? So we are just getting warmed up. We got a whole lot more I.T. to talk about. Don’t go anywhere. You really don’t even have time to go anywhere. We’re going to be right back. Right after we pay a couple of bills. Don’t go anywhere. This is Texas Business Radio.
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In addition to hosting "Texas Business Radio," Matt is an investment banker and serial entrepreneur from Montgomery, Texas. He is the owner of RREA Media and Register Real Estate Advisors and a Managing Director and Principal at Corporate Finance Associates. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Rice University in Houston. You can read more about Matt HERE.