Sunday, 21 July, 2024

|

Passion for IT grows into computer solutions for the Lowveld

Pronto Computer Solutions, a testament to the expertise and dedication of its three founding partners, was established in April 2010 in the Lowveld. Their visionary approach identified a market need for IT skills, paving the way for the company’s growth.

Barry Herbst, a key figure in the establishment of Pronto Computer Solutions, started his journey as the technical director. His passion for IT, nurtured from his school days and family background, led him to become the managing director in 2018.

Barry matriculated from Hoër Tegniese Skool Tuine in Pretoria. He had always been interested in IT since school, grew up with a computer shop in the family, and did some work there while still at school.

Barry Herbst, managing director of Pronto Computer Solutions, welcoming guests to the recent opening of Pronto’s new premises.

He did not want to go and study, and his first job was washing floors at Ackermans. His second job was as a filing clerk at a medical logistics company. He became a courier for the company, but the HR department knew he had been helping people with computer issues. It offered him a job in the filing department, where he helped the company transition to a digital environment. He then became a systems controller responsible for three warehouses in three provinces, supporting 3 500 users remotely.

“I have just always understood IT,” he says. “It just came naturally.”

His career took him to Afrox Healthcare (now Life Healthcare), where he did IT support for the hospitals in the group.

“I was a member of a team contracted to the British National Health Service (NHS) that flew to the UK to implement the hospital-management system we had developed in three of the NHS hospitals.”

He learned during his time overseas that he did not want to travel anymore. His first child had just been born, and he did not want to spend time away from his family.

“Then I set up an IT call centre for Life Healthcare. I started with a call centre with three staff members and quickly grew that to 18. In the first year, we saved the group more than a million rand in unnecessary IT expenses.”

In the meantime, he completed a diploma in project management at Damelin and was appointed by a large IT company contracted by a large truck manufacturer. At first, he provided IT support to the group and then became the service-level agreement (SLA) manager for the same company. Later, he was promoted to national IT architect for the IT firm’s national network, where he oversaw large projects.

After a year, he was transferred to Malalane, where he worked as an SLA manager for a large client until he and his partners established Pronto Computer Solutions.

“Pronto’s unwavering commitment is to provide customers with top-notch IT skills, eliminating the need for dedicated IT staff,” says Barry. “We understand that our customers’ focus should be on their business, so we take care of their IT needs. Our call centre and help desk are always available, and our staff are constantly upskilling to stay ahead of the ever-evolving IT landscape.

“In 2018, we expanded our services to include voice-over-internet (VOIP) telephone services and cloud hosting. We are proud of the growth in our server-hosting services, which offer a cost-effective alternative. A file server can easily cost a company R300 000, but outsourcing to us will only cost between R2 000 and R5 000 monthly. Companies can avoid power or connectivity issues with us, and we even take care of software licensing.”

Pronto Computer Solutions has been on a steady growth trajectory since its inception, with a significant surge in 2018 when it diversified into other IT services, marking a new phase of expansion.

“Although the Covid pandemic was very bad for the country’s economy, our business grew during this time, mainly due to people working from home. After the Covid pandemic, we saw a slight revival of boardroom solutions. Office automation and printing solutions such as scanning, email, and copying are still a constant in our business.

“Since 2021, our new services have included fibre and wireless internet service provision. We also design, supply, install and maintain CCTV systems for security companies,” he says.

Pronto Computer Solutions serves clients from its new head office in Nelspruit and Malalane, Komatipoort and Pongola, with a staff complement of 32.

Contact Pronto Computer Solutions on 013 752 5007 or go to www.prontocs.co.za.

Leave a Reply