Hixardt Technologies, Inc. was founded in May 2001 by Michael E. Hicks Jr., Robert E. Barnet, and Scott T. Luthardt, all retired military veterans with degrees or specialties in Information Technology and telecommunications. The objective of the company was to provide technology services and solutions for small- to medium-sized businesses.
Based in northwest Florida, Hixardt has created several managed services offering to allow customers to outsource their technology support, or augment the capabilities of their current IT staff by using Hixardt’s Management Technology System and consulting team.
Hixardt specializes in helping businesses with 25-35 users, which co-founder Hicks says is an underserved segment of the market. “Small and medium sized businesses are often neglected when it comes to IT since most of the solutions available are either designed for individual consumers or large enterprises,” he says. “It’s very difficult to find IT solutions specifically designed to meet the unique needs of small- to medium-sized businesses.”
Since IT security is an important part of Hixardt’s offering, the company needed a solution that could not only serve the requirements of SMB customers, but could also integrate into Hixardt’s management system. This would allow Hixardt to centrally manage the overall IT needs of its clients on a real-time basis and make it cost-effective and profitable.
Hixardt has been a strong proponent of Check Point Software since their first installation for Tuskegee University in Alabama. The team put a VPN-1 system in place and was impressed at the ease of installation, the intuitive management of the solution and its overall effectiveness in providing essential security for the university’s network. “We were very impressed with the solution to say the least, which made us want to be a complete Check Point shop and able to provide the best solutions for every client,” said Hicks.
To satisfy its SMB customers, Hixardt chose to standardize its offering on Check Point’s Safe@Office appliances, which address the Internet security requirements of businesses ranging from five to 100 concurrent users. Check Point Safe@Office appliances are easy-to-use, highly affordable and deliver the same proven Internet security to small businesses as used by the majority of the Fortune 100.
To further leverage the use of Safe@Office appliances, Hixardt implemented Check Point’s Security Management Portal (SMP), a central management and service provisioning platform that features an intuitive Web-based user interface and a robust and resilient architecture to support the management of up to tens of thousands of Safe@Office gateways.
“Through our experience, we know that the Check Point Safe@Office appliances deliver powerful Internet security features and provide a solid defense against threats that range from hacking attempts and denial-of-service attacks to phishing and viruses,” said Hicks. “Combined with SMP, the Check Point solution arms us with a cost-effective, flexible platform to build our business.”
With Check Point’s Safe@Office and SMP in place, Hixardt integrated the combined solution into its IT management system, dubbed “Hixardt Management Technology System”, providing the ability to manage a customer’s entire network remotely. The process was made easy by using the SMP API to interconnect the two systems.
“We can issue trouble tickets, perform patch management, ensure application compliance, monitor for software and viruses, and keep inventory and support contract information,” said Hicks. “With Check Point’s solution in place, we’re proactively managing our customers’ networks to help ensure constant uptime.”
The Hixardt Management Technology System provides a compelling value proposition for customers that have selected it to replace previously installed solutions. “The ease-of-use and ability to manage Check Point’s appliances make it a no-brainer,” says Hicks. “We’re able to enhance our customer’s onsite IT knowledge, which makes for strong, lasting and trusted partnerships.”
One of Hixardt’s Check Point success stories is from the Catholic Diocese, which needed to manage IT systems installed in multiple locations. “They didn’t have a good understanding of what their network looked like since it was distributed across several locations,” said Hicks. “With Check Point, we were not only able to create a single management platform, but we now have the ability to monitor threats network-wide in order to learn from them and prevent others in the future. There was no way to figure that out before.”