TechTuesday Blog: From a FEMA trailer to the INC 5000

by john gilroy

Terry Verigan from CompuCure elaborates on living in a FEMA trailer and generating revenue for an  IT company.

ARMATURE‘s John Gilroy interviews Terry Verigan, Vice President of CompuCure on Federal News Radio, WFED 1500 AM.

The Big Easy was a Big Mess after the 2005 hurricane Katrina.  IT companies were departing while federal and commercial organizations needed assistance with expanding programs to cover the relief efforts.  Rather than leave town, Terry Verigan moved to a FEMA trailer, hired technicians, and started solving IT technology problems for CompuCure.

Captain Chaos

In spite of those humble beginnings CompuCure has posted a fantastic increase in sales. In fact, CompuCure has been named to Inc. Magazine’s 500|5000 annual list of the nation’s Fastest Growing Private Companies for 2013.  During today’s interview Terry Verigan, Vice President at CompuCure, talks about lessons learned in dealing with the chaos of after-hurricane New Orleans.

Terry says the key to survival is trusted partners. In the technology world, growing a company means reaching out beyond a company’s core capabilities.  When he gets a contract, Terry does a gap analysis and finds partners with skill sets his company may lack.  He feels sharing revenue makes his company stronger and better able to respond in an agile manner.  These shared experiences gave Terry the ability to make an evidence-based decision on who to trust for future opportunities.

20 terabytes is a lotta bytes

CompuCure’s successes in small projects lead the USDA to inquire about assisting on a slightly larger project, the Integrated Acquisition Services (IAS) and Federal Data Warehouse (FDW) Data Migration.  The project was moving 20 terabytes of data sitting on an IBM platform in Kansas City and sending it to Denver.  This project is detailed in a white paper available at the CompuCure website.  Moving data is not normally a major challenge; the concern in this case was the time frame.  This had to be done in thirty days.  From Terry’s perspective, this was a piece of cake compared to running a company after a hurricane.

Lessons learned in competing with the big companies

He handled the federal challenge the same way he handled post-flood New Orleans.  He took an honest look at his company’s qualifications, found trusted partners to fill in the gaps, and then worked one hundred hour weeks.  Terry was not intimidated the first time he walked into the USDA’s National Finance Center as a small company.  He knew he had a crack team and he would push through to completion.

CompuCure is a success story.  The USDA project was completed on time and $100,000 under budget. They were named the 2009 USDA USDA Woman-Owned Contractor of the year.