In 1998 Tae Ho Kim watched as dot-com firms became rich overnight with venture capital funding, while he saved his pennies for a rainy day.
Since then, many dot-coms have drowned but the rain still hasn’t fallen on EdgeTech Services Inc., the company Kim and two others founded in 1995.
decided they would work day-to-day on building a sustainable business around security. The three did not quit their high-paying jobs. Instead, they began to build relationships by helping other firms outsource high-end ERP systems.
From there they built a core business and in 1998, at the height of the Internet bubble, quit their jobs and committed themselves full time to EdgeTech.
“”We were investing and researching best solutions out there as advisors to CIOs and CEOs,”” Kim said of the early days.
EdgeTech has turned itself into a US$2 million security VAR, growing 50 per cent since last year. The firm has offices in Toronto and Winnipeg. Its client base consists of federal government departments, Manitoba Tel, and the Bank of Montreal.
EdgeTech is also expanding across Canada and into the U.S. This 16-person outfit has executives in sales and marketing capacities today in Montreal, Calgary, Ottawa and New York.
It has also been noticed by none other than Adam Atlas, the country’s top PIPEDA lawyer, who has joined EdgeTech as a consultant.
“”Adam is here because he is very bright. We know him and we like him. It is all about value add for our clients and we want to share information with them. And, there is no clearer conduit for that in PIPEDA than Adam Atlas,”” Kim said.
The firm may have started by outsourcing high-end ERP systems, but its future is based on security. It approaches the market like a buffet at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, by offering nearly every security solution under the sun.
“”We are in enterprise security and we have 35 partners to maintain and manage our clients. The security space is dotted with new companies and most of these companies are either new or have only one product. And, some are here today and gone tomorrow, while others are fabulous. We wanted to give our customers choices. They all have something unique to offer and one product does not fit all (environments),”” Kim said.
EdgeTech will continue to maintain a diverse portfolio in the future, Kim added.
The firm is one of very few Symantec Enterprise Solution Partners in Canada, which Kim feels gives EdgeTech a competitive advantage over other Symantec resellers in the high-end enterprise market place.
“”We are able to sell certain Symantec products that other resellers can’t, such as intrusion detection,”” he said.
The company received this Symantec certification by acquiring Manhunt Resource Technology.
Aside from Symantec, Kim is high on Top Layer Networks, a security solution that is built onto hardware.
“”We found a bit of a gap in the market and we are trying to address it with this specialized solution device,”” he explained.
While some enterprise organization may have billions of dollars in revenue and many resources, they have only one or two security-focused IT people in-house. These types of organization will look for plug-and- play solutions such as the Top Layer application, he said.
Recently, EdgeTech was appointed the first Canadian-based reseller for System Detection Inc. This companywas the first to develop an IT security solution that harnesses the power of predictive anomaly detection. System Detection’s Antura Vision, its patent-pending network attack detection software, acts as an “”early warning system”” for network-based security threats.
EdgeTech is listed on the over-the-counter exchange, or pink sheets as speculators call it. Kim’s future plan has both customers and shareholders in mind. He wants to gain critical mass, which will be when the company reaches US$6 to $10 million in revenue. Critical mass will help EdgeTech expand internationally and be aggressive with acquisitions.
“”Our philosophy for business is customer-centric. They are always right. I know that is a very old saying, but people sometimes forget that in a new age economy. A team is built on customers,”” Kim said.