David S. Wolf, VP
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- Website: www.justinc.com
- Top Executive: Tracy S. Wolf, President & CEO
- Local Employees: 20
- Headquarters: Fairport, NY
- Founded: 1997
- Total Employees: 21
- Years on List: 3
- Last Year’s Rank: 76
Just Solutions serves as an IT department for small biz
With a love of photography, David Wolf came to Rochester to attend Rochester Institute of Technology and study imaging.
But life doesn’t always take you where you think it will. First, Wolf got hooked on computers and opened a store to sell them. Now, he’s mainly in the computer service end of the industry as vice president of Just Solutions.
Wolf runs the Perinton-based business with his wife, Tracy, who is company president and CEO. Just Solutions offers information-technology consulting, IT support, computer repairs, network support and more for smaller businesses. The company’s success landed it on the 2018 Rochester Chamber Top 100 list.
“Over the years, we’ve moved into more general technical support for offices — copiers, new phones that are network based, cameras and Wi-Fi,” said David Wolf, a self-professed computer geek. “If it plugs into your network, we can handle it. It’s not just computers anymore. It’s mind-boggling.”
Just Solutions still has its store, per se, where customers can drop off a computer that needs work, but retail now makes up just a tiny part of the overall business. The clients are mainly small-to-medium-sized companies in the Rochester area.
“I tell people we’re not working for Fortune 1000 companies, but for the unfortunate million,” Wolf said with a laugh. “If they have 10 to 100 employees, that’s a great fit for us. If it’s not cost-effective to have in-house IT people, hire us to do it. We’ll be your IT department, your tech partner — all things technological, we help clients. If you’re a small business, handle what you do and we’ll be your IT side.”
Wolf, who is originally from Philadelphia, met his future wife while both were attending RIT. He worked in a variety of tech-related fields before they decided to start Just Solutions, as a home-based business, in 1997.
Tracy handles finances, human resources and “behind-the-scenes” stuff. David oversees the tech work for the company, which has 24 employees.
The first big boom for Just Solutions came at the time the centuries changed, from 1999 to 2000. It was Y2K, and people were freaking out that all the world’s computers would stop running. That didn’t happen, of course, but a lot of people had computer questions and concerns, and that meant lots of business for companies like Just Solutions.
“Y2K was huge for us,” Wolf said. “We did really well with Y2K, doubled down and bought this building. I wanted to open a computer-service center on the east side of Monroe County. Everybody else was in Henrietta. I thought, if I create one on the east side, that will give people alternatives.”
The business office opened in 2001: “four months before 9/11,” Wolf notes. After the terrorist attacks that changed the world, Wolf saw the need to also change Just Solutions.
“In the beginning, when we were selling computers, it was a bit of a luxury item,” he said. “Now, you have to have one … It’s become a necessity. But it hit me after 9/11. We saw a downturn in retail. I thought, if I focus more on service, support and maintaining the equipment, my business would be steadier.”
Besides, Wolf said, small retailers couldn’t compete with the Big Box stores when it comes to sales. So, service became the mantra, the mission.
Just Solutions is authorized to service any computer brand but Apple, Wolf said. The biggest issue nowadays, not surprisingly, is cyber security. All of Just Solutions’ technicians are security certified, Wolf said, adding that he has advanced security compliance certification.
“Cyber warfare won’t go away — it is a huge issue,” Wolf said. “Ransomware attacks, identity theft — it’s happening all the time. A lot of companies don’t want to talk about it. Some want to put their heads in the sand and ignore it. But the reality is, it’s a matter of when, not if.”
Many of the hackers are in places like Russia, China and other parts of the Far East, he said, and some of the activity is state-sponsored and some is not. But all of it is scary if you’re running a business.
One quite simple way to combat it is through passwords, Wolf said — having different passwords, changing them frequently, not revealing them. That can be a hassle, Wolf admits, but think of the alternative, of what happens if you get hacked.
“People hate to have long, complicated passwords. But a good defense requires a strong offense,” he explains. “Our goal is to make you less of a target, to lock things down better, to make you less risky as a target. The idea is to stay below the radar and tighten up your defenses.”
In the computer-based world in which we live, where cyber warfare runs rampant, companies like Just Solutions have become vital parts of the solution, which helps explain the company’s ongoing growth.