NEOS Technologies Sees Technology-Driven Future for Albany
Tuesday, October 30th, 2012
Robert Collins, president of NEOS Technologies, believes with long-term investment and a new mindset that Albany can become a hotbed for leading-edge technology companies. He cites the "great technology infrastructure" already in place that provides access to high-speed bandwidths throughout the city.
"With an increase in work force skill sets and investment from taxpayers and businesses, we could attract app developers, support centers and other technology firms to the area," Collins said.
"The focus has been on manufacturing jobs for so long. I think we need a different mindset."
Other cities in the region have taken steps to attract technology jobs. For example in Columbus, the Regional Technology Incubator at Columbus State University is a nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing new technology start-ups. It is a 22,000 square foot facility that can accommodate 33 tenant companies with permanent office space. The economic goal is to develop skilled, relatively high-paying technology jobs for the region. Collins has visited technology incubators in Greenville, S.C. and Columbus and sees potential in the same type of facility in Albany.
"It won't happen overnight but I think we need to educate business leaders and community leaders on the potential and start building a larger high-tech community in Albany," Collins said.
Collins is a member of various business and technology advisory committees at local high schools and colleges. Developing and mentoring the next generation is "part of who we are at NEOS Technologies," Collins explained. It is also vital to developing an IT-proficient local work force.
Not Your Standard Technology Company
NEOS Technologies helps its clients leverage technology to grow their business and be more efficient. It serves clients in health care, local government and professional services as well as nonprofits and small businesses in retail and manufacturing. Collins founded the firm in 2003.
"We are not a standard technology company in that we don't consider ourselves wrench turners. We really do want to help our clients grow revenues, reduce costs and improve their margins," Collins said.
"We bring the whole package to the table. We help companies leverage their websites, social media, servers and network and we educate people about what developments like cloud computing can offer."
This year, NEOS Technologies is on pace to record their highest revenues ever. The company's focus is on helping clients maximize their IT investments, which has driven higher sales in 2012 to existing clients.
"We help clients with all the different aspects of IT such as mobile device management – what do you do if a smart phone with proprietary information is stolen? Or understanding how a business email address and website address should connect. Or implementing collaborative tools that can help redefine a workplace."
"While 2012 has been really good, we haven't grown as fast as we have in other years. But we've positioned ourselves to add new clients and new business in the future," Collins said.
Psychological and Physical Barriers
According to Collins, businesses and professionals can face both psychological and physical barriers in trying to maximize an IT investment. Identifying those barriers and helping clients address them is part of the value that NEOS Technologies can add.
"I grew out of the health care industry so I know physicians can face a psychological barrier when it comes to using a laptop during patient exams. And there are physical barriers such as having enough laptops available, logging into a system and entering information," Collins said.
With the help of IT consultants, health care professionals will have to overcome those barriers in order to realize the productivity and quality-of-care benefits of electronic health records (EHR). The federally mandated transition to EHR is under way.
"The transition to electronic health records is estimated to be 35 to 40 percent along nationally, but stage two rules have just been finalized so there is a ways to go," Collins said.
More information on NEOS Technologies is available at neostechnologies.com