By Tracy Shevlin
It’s no secret that information technology (IT) has changed the way businesses operate. It’s changed everything from operations and workforce development to marketing and managing relationships. Small businesses sometimes struggle to keep up with rapid changes in technology. While the digital economy has become essential for today’s small businesses, that doesn’t mean they can afford their own IT departments or that they need to have one in-house. Managed IT service providers, like the Computer Doctor, are a cost-effective option.
The Computer Doctor, owned by Bryanna Altman, has been offering managed IT services to the community since 1999. Prince William Living spoke to Altman to learn more about her business and how it has adapted to the fast pace of changing technology. According to Altman, “Today’s workforce expects
to be able to work from anywhere, whether from home or the local coffee shop. They need to communicate and collaborate with office co-workers or clients, making IT an essential part of the workflow process. While many companies will continue to maintain brick and mortar headquarters with robust network infrastructure for security, decentralized employees, contractors and freelancers can work anywhere with internet connectivity.”
About the Computer Doctor
The Computer Doctor is dedicated to helping businesses accomplish more by meeting the demands of sharing information in a real-time environment and focuses on the delivery of the communication platforms, which include locally hosted and cloud-based solutions for email, document sharing, line-of-business software support on local networks or hosted cloud-based technology. Altman added, “All client networks are managed and monitored to ensure workers are able to communicate and access information securely 24/7.”
The Computer Doctor works with a broad range of clients, including government entities, government contractors, professional services, medical providers, and construction companies, and scales the level of service to meet their needs. While individual needs may vary, many businesses require ongoing support to ensure their computer and networking infrastructures are optimized for productivity, software and hardware upgrades, protection for data and intellectual property, and the safety and security of information and networks. The company can also help businesses establish an online presence by securing a domain for email, building the website, and offering digital marketing services to help attract more customers.
As an award-winning Microsoft Certified Partner, the Computer Doctor has received more than a dozen recognition awards from Microsoft for a “high level of technological proficiency and skilled delivery of valued services to technology customers.” Altman told Prince William Living that it’s very rewarding to
help their clients succeed in business, and many customers have been with the company from the beginning, which is unusual for some managed IT companies. “It’s a testament to our mission, which is to provide quality IT solutions, services and support. As a solution provider, it’s critical that we take time for ongoing education and maintaining industry certifications. We have to be at the top of our game,” said Altman.
Altman is especially proud of the work they have done in the medical field and having established a longstanding niche with medical practices, dentists, veterinary hospitals and chiropractic centers. “The medical community was very late to adopt technology,” Altman explained. The Computer Doctor has helped clients transition from paper to electronic medical records, which allows patients to view their medical records through an online patient portal. This improved patient access helps patients and their caregivers better manage their healthcare.
Marketing and the Experts
Almost every business today has a web presence, and many have social network profiles as well, but not everyone is a social media expert. However, Bryanna and her husband Ralph Altman are experts. Social media marketing has become an essential part of all marketing strategies because it helps businesses reach their targeted audience while growing name recognition through search engine marketing. Ms. Altman, who’s been dubbed the “Social Media Maven,” manages 25 business Facebook pages to
help clients establish their brands through content management, targeted ads and increasing “likes” and “followers.”
Ralph Altman is a certified Google AdWords expert. He uses organic and paid advertising to increase traffic to websites. Campaigns can include retargeting visitors with ads that follow them after they have left the website and ensuring that a client’s business is easily found on Google, LinkedIn, Bing and Yahoo. His success in digital marketing prompted him to start another company called SmartWeb Marketing, which is a Google AdWords consulting services firm. Businesses found the Computer Doctor at the top of the Google listings and wanted the same for their business.
Ms. Altman shared a couple of examples of how effective a Google AdWords campaign can be. In 2013, Mr. Altman took over the Google AdWords campaign for the eCommerce site of the Heritage Foundation, which operated the gift shop at the Marine Corps Museum. Over the course of five years, sales revenue grew from $300,000 to $3 million. Additionally, Mr. Altman teamed up with the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton to win a $120,000 annual grant from Google to build online awareness for the center. SmartWeb Marketing manages the grant through a $10,000 per month, in-kind advertising donation used to promote the Workhouse’s mission and initiatives on Google.com using Google AdWords.
About the Altmans
Bryanna and Ralph Altman have lived in the Greater Prince William area since 1993 and are both actively involved in the community. Mr. Altman is the president of the Lake Ridge Rotary Club. Ms. Altman serves as the president of the Prince William Library Foundation.
Tracy Shevlin ([email protected]) is a native Virginian and long-time Manassas area resident. She is a graduate of George Mason University where she is also an office manager. Follow her on Twitter @nvalady1.