Making tech work for you
IT IS 20 years this month since Michael Munt commenced Biztopia, in a time when computer technology was just entering our working world.
It is hard to imagine working today without computer technologies being such an integral part of the workplace.
Mr Munt was involved in the early introduction of of personal computer technology in the 1980s.
"I was working for local accounting firm RW Ramsey in accountancy and IT systems and over that time I was on the receiving end of some bad support from IT businesses," he said.
"It was all new and frankly the support businesses would use jargon to confuse. When they knew I understood it, well their attitude changed.
"I was running the IT systems at Ramsey's when I left to start Biztopia in 1997.
"It was a big leap as I had been there eight years."
Starting in a spare room in his house, Mr Munt made $9,000 in what was a tough first year in business.
"I can tell you I learnt how to live on nothing and had lots of meals out at friends," he said.
Biztopia seeks to bring the human touch to a technology-based business.
Mr Munt has been determined to avoid using computer jargon and try to educate clients, unlike his IT people did in the early days.
"I come into a business, listen to what the client is wanting to achieve and then I find a solution that will achieve this. We provide managed services, sales, installation and maintenance. It is literally from computers, cables, servers, networking and the important back-up," Mr Munt said.
"People get confused over setting up a network system but I like to think that I act as an IT advocate. I interpret what a client is looking to achieve, my role is to identify how a computer can help them do that. It is really satisfying and rewarding. I have sat in boardrooms and given advice at that level, it's great."
Testament to his abilities, Mr Munt was awarded the 2007 Ipswich Chamber of Commerce and Industry Young Business Person of the Year Award and in 2008 won the Mayor's Future Focused Award.
He has been active in the business community and is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, where he was vice-president and president.
Today, the 'cloud' is a major player in supporting business services. Biztopia trials hardware and software before they put it into clients businesses, something that Mr Munt believes is vital so that they can fully understand, from personal experience, before it goes into the field.
Currently, Biztopia serves a large number of clients across the Ipswich region.
Mr Munt paid tribute to his staff and clients who have supported him over the years.
"Just like the last 20 years, I have to keep pace with the changes and new ideas and possibilities that computer based technologies bring to the business world," he said.