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07/30/2003 - Technology Pioneers Start New Company

Spokane technology pioneers and serial entrepreneurs Jim and Barbara Barry have launched a new company. Their latest venture is 360 Services Group, Inc. A regional business, 360 is a business and information technology consulting services company. Established just since April, the company employs six people.


As a principal in the WindStar Group, Barry helped launch the Technology Alliance Portal (TAP) with Contineo and DataPro. Subsequently WindStar sold some assets to DataPro, and the Barrys went on to establish 360 Services Group. The new company is still working with the Portal consortium, which allows the customer to have a large number of solutions under one umbrella by broadening the services of each partner.


360 Services focuses on the small to medium size companies that form the majority of the businesses in this region, according to Barry. 360 will help business principals apply technology in a cost effective manner in order to improve business and profitability. The Barry's considerable experience in strategic planning, project management, procurement, and security has much value for the small business person. "We're very well positioned," says Jim Barry, CEO and Chief Consulting Officer, "no one else is focusing on these services."


Among their services, 360 provides strategic application of information technology (IT). This service is for those who can't afford to hire in-house IT personnel, particularly at the CIO or Director level. To help the business owner find the best value using technology, Barry starts with the company's strategic plan. The first determination is if technology can help carry out the plan, and if so what technologies fit the company's needs. The next step is to determine the most cost effective technology.


If, after an IT assessment, it is determined that a client's current applications are meeting their business needs, 360 will help the client optimize that infrastructure, thereby saving money. The cost of supporting IT in the organization will be assessed and recommendations made on how to most cost effectively perform support.


An additional follow-up service is tactical planning for design and implementation of the IT solution. If the business chooses to accept and implement the technology assessment, 360 will do the plan, put the ideas together, and point the business to the best place to buy the necessary tools. 360 is vendor neutral, and has no vested interest in any specific technology provider.


In helping with procurement of the technology, 360 will, for example, do a software assessment and recommend the package that best fits the needs of the clients. Or, if no off the shelf solution exists, 360 will recommend if development is needed. They can also do requirement definitions and manage the project. However, they do not do custom software development, but will help connect with a developer that can do the required work.


360 Services are "project managers for hire," according to Barry. The project may be something the client has designed or something 360 has designed, but service is provided on a project by project basis.


360 understands security issues and can lead a company through business and IT security, planning for disaster recovery, and business resumption. The first step is to put security policy in place. 360 helps develop the policy and shows a business where to get the protection needed based on the policy.


The same procedure is followed with disaster planning and recovery. 360 leads through a business impact analysis, finds where the "pinch point" comes, and when it comes. "This will be different for every business," says Barry. The disaster planning analysis helps the business determine data storage priority, and what is most needed for business resumption. 360 has formed a partnership with IT Lifeline. 360 does the front end business needs assessment analysis, and IT Lifeline does the data management, data backup, and data recovery services.


For more information about 360 Services Group Inc., call (509) 220-7911, or e-mail .


Billie Moreland
 
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