Posted by Justin Rice August 25, 2011 02:04 PM
Photo By Justin A. RiceAnyone who has ever tried to destroy sensitive data from their computer before disposing of it knows it’s not always as simple as smashing the hard drive with a hammer. That problem is multiplied by the millions for large health care and financial service companies looking to replace old data servers and computers without breaching customer data.
“You can migrate [the data] to a new platform but it’s still there,” XTechnology Global CEO Michael J. Saia told a group of state representatives, including House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, yesterday at his Danvers headquarters. “That’s where we come in.
“Because of federal legislation you can’t just throw anything away. We have the tools to [permanently delete data]; software wipes or electromagnetic wipes.”
The environmentally-friendly IT asset management firm hosted the ewaste tour for the group of lawmakers to not only highlight how local businesses can reduce their carbon footprint but also how Saia’s company has grown from one employee to 25 in the last 36 months.
“I’m excited about this, I look at it as being on the cutting edge of businesses that can grow by recycling things I don’t think about every day,” DeLeo said. “What happens with an old computer, what happens with an old screen, what happens with some information we have concerns about?
“Right here in Danvers Massachusetts they are addressing that issue and addressing that very, very well.”
In a large warehouse the company’s employees breakdown hundreds of thousands of computers, Web servers, networking, telecommunications and IT storage devices and other unwanted equipment. Parts such as fans, cords, disk drivers, mother boards and power supplies are separated into large cardboard boxes to either be refurbished and re-marketed or sent to several contracted recycling companies with smelting operations facilities.
Saia said there is no upfront cost to clients and the percentage of the profit he takes from reselling and recycling parts varies from client to client.
“We provide maximum return on investments back to the client of those assets by having the market intelligence to resell that equipment if it’s applicable,” Saia said. “If it’s not applicable we can still return monies back to the client if there’s a huge amount of tonnage in recycling because commodity metal pricing is very high.”
The company also has the only mobile data eradication laboratory in the state that can be deployed to customer sites. They can remove sensitive data from any type of storage media and dispose of it an environmentally safe manner. Hard drives are dissembled before being ground to bits and recycled.
They also have three forms of ISO, or International Standard Organization, and responsible recycling (R2) certifications.
“There are many companies that do what we do, lots of mom and pop shops, but not a lot of them have ISO certifications,” Saia said. “That’s a big competitive differential for us. Financial market and health care companies we deal with want to deal with companies that can be audited.”
They do that by providing a detailed report of the eradicated data to clients, which shifts the burden of data breach from the company to XTechnology. The facility is complete with a state-of-the-art security system that includes audio, visual and infrared monitors and sensors that can alert the Danvers police.
Saia also lives two miles away from his office/warehouse.
“Once they give [data] to us, we’re the custodians of that data,” he told the speaker.
The company also hosts ewaste days for towns so residents can drop off old electronics to be recycled. The service doesn’t cost anything unless the resident is disposing a device such as a TV that has mercury or other hazardous materials in it. There will be two drop-off days for Danvers in September.
“More and more towns want to do it,” said Saia, who launched the company in 2008 and moved to its 16,000 square foot facility in Danvers last year.
DeLeo, who professed that he's not technologically savvy, mostly related to what the company does because he said, “I’m one of those guys with the phone that’s probably three or four years old.”
But he also relates job growth and was thrilled to hear that Saia has taken 12 people off the unemployment roles.
“That’s music to my ears,” DeLeo said. “This small company in Danvers Massachusetts is is going to be a leader in its industry. That’s what I want to hear. I dream big.”
Justin A. Rice can be reached at email@example.com.