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  • Rojoli Provides Cloud and Managed IT Services with Strong Local Commitment

    David Huseonica, Brad Allen, Stan Allen, Gentry Ganote

    From his desk in the Rojoli Services, Inc. offices at the Curiosity Lab, Rojoli CEO Gentry Ganote can watch construction progress on more buildings to house self-driving cars.

    To anyone familiar with Peachtree Corners and Technology Park — the city’s sprawling 500-acre center for engineering and technology companies — the sight of an autonomous shuttle going down the road still sparks interest.

    Along with Tech Park’s 5G infrastructure and numerous prototypes for smart city devices, the shuttle is a symbol of the area’s commitment to innovation and advancements in high-tech.

    High-tech can improve people’s lives and continue pushing the limits of what was previously thought possible.

    And while Rojoli’s work may not be as visible to someone walking down the street, it’s no less impactful or important. A large number of small businesses in Peachtree Corners and beyond rely on it for cloud and IT services.

    From burgeoning tech to established provider

    In 2008, cloud computing was just beginning to take off. Amazon had only launched its cloud computing division, Amazon Web Services (AWS), two years earlier. Microsoft followed close behind in October 2008 with the launch of Azure.

    Now, multibillion-dollar companies are responsible for the IT infrastructure powering large swathes of the internet.

    Many industry experts were unsure if the services that companies like AWS and Azure sold — known as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) in tech-speak — would catch on in the mainstream. But to Ganote, this emerging market seemed like a good opportunity.

    Ganote worked as the chief information officer (CIO) at the PGA Tour Superstore before getting into cloud computing.

    During his time there, he and his team began implementing some infrastructure virtualization — one of the main technologies that makes cloud computing possible.

    “I really felt that [cloud computing] was going to be big and take off. I had some colleagues that were in the IT field looking to host stuff, and I just thought that it was an opportunity,” Ganote said. “I ended up starting with a couple of customers and started the hosting company in 2008. I was just one man for a year, year and a half.”

    Over the next two years, Ganote steadily grew the business, going on to merge in 2010 with another local small business founded by Stan and Brad Allen.

    Stan and Brad had some customers in need of IaaS and managed services, a type of outsourcing where a company hires a vendor like Rojoli to manage and monitor its IT network.

    With the merger, Rojoli became a managed IT service provider (MSP) and cloud hosting company. The company took on bigger clients while continuing to serve the small business communities of Metro Atlanta and the state of Georgia.

    In 2019, the company merged again. This time with a fellow Peachtree Corners-based company called Cloud AG, founded in 2013 by David Huseonica.

    Today, Rojoli offers several services, from its original cloud hosting service to managed IT services to data backup and recovery as well as Microsoft 365 and Exchange implementation.

    The company operates data centers in New York and Georgia, providing cloud and IT services to national companies in addition to many small businesses in the Peach State.

    Local roots run deep

    Rojoli originally started in downtown Norcross before moving to Technology Park’s Curiosity Lab around 2015, but the company has deep ties to the area. Ganote himself went to Norcross High School before earning his bachelor’s in computer science from the University of Georgia.

    While a student at UGA, he got his first job as a software developer for a company based in Technology Park. Now, nearly 40 years later, Ganote is still happy to call Peachtree Corners home — both for him, his family and the business.

    “I’ve had an affinity for this location,” he said. “I grew up here, I went to Norcross High School. So for me, it’s personal… I’ve been here for a long time, and I really appreciate the vibe and the whole area.”

    For Rojoli, it’s especially important to be part of the Technology Park business community. Local real estate developer Paul Duke initially envisioned Peachtree Corners and Technology Park in the late 1960s as a close-knit community where people could live, work and play.

    He also pictured it as a place to host technology companies to employ new engineering, technology and business graduates from Georgia Tech and UGA.

    GE and Scientific Atlanta (now part of Cisco Systems) were some of the first businesses in the office park. It’s only grown since then and includes a number of technology companies, not to mention one of the country’s only roadways for autonomous vehicles.

    There is also Curiosity Labs, a business accelerator for companies developing smart city technology. Tech Park has a rich history of technological innovation, and Ganote says it continues to change today.

    “It’s got a good atmosphere,” he said. “There’s always something going on.”

    Aside from participation in a culture of progress and innovation, being in the area also helps Rojoli provide excellent service to its customers.

    Ganote described Rojoli’s cloud hosting business as “high-touch boutique hosting.” He said it provides value to local businesses that need help removing some of the complexity of large cloud service providers like Microsoft Azure and AWS.

    Having a local presence makes it easier for Rojoli to help local businesses that may be facing challenges associated with aging on-premises IT infrastructure.

    Tech help and peace of mind

    As systems age and become outdated, maintaining them can become increasingly difficult and costly for the businesses that rely on them.

    Rojoli helps alleviate these pain points for small businesses by either managing on-premises systems or by providing cloud hosting, which generally offers lower costs and better reliability.

    This is especially important, Ganote said, for companies with large remote workforces who rely on collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams and Zoom to stay connected.

    “It makes a lot more sense to put [IT systems] into the cloud,” Ganote said. “It’s up 24/7, 365. The network connectivity is always on, so it provides a much more solid, secure and redundant system.”

    This is Rojoli’s niche, and it’s where Ganote sees the company continuing to expand in the years ahead.

    Because of its unique relationship with the local business community, Rojoli can provide more of a boutique experience than might be found elsewhere or with more nationally focused MSPs and cloud providers.

    Like buying from a local shop versus a big box retail chain, the difference for Rojoli is about relationships and providing a personalized touch.

    This approach makes it a unique member of the local business community in Peachtree Corners and across the state.

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