Alloy’s Vinogradsky: High Health Insurance Costs Hurt Small Tech Businesses
For a series of feature articles about the tech business climate in New Jersey, NJTechWeekly.com interviewed Vladimir Vinogradsky, president and CEO of Alloy Software.
Headquartered in Nutley, Alloy is a privately held provider of service management, asset management and network inventory software solutions that help organizations of all sizes automate IT operations. It is a small business with a big impact.
The company, which recently celebrated its 10thanniversary in the Garden State, has customers and partners in more than 100 countries, with best-in-class products used by more than 5,000 organizations. Its products Alloy Navigator Enterprise, Alloy Navigator Express and Alloy Discovery provide IT staff and support personnel the tools to identify, troubleshoot and resolve technical issues while automating day-to-day operations, reducing costs and improving organizational productivity, the company says.
Alloy came to NJTechWeekly.com’s attention when, as part of celebrating its 10th anniversary, the company pledged to donate 10 percent of its November 2012 sales (up to and not exceeding $10,000) to the Shriners Hospitals for Children.
Alloy has been named one of the fastest-growing private companies in America and has received numerous accolades, including the 2012 Stevie Award for customer service. It was a finalist for the 2011 Golden Bridge Award for Innovations in Information Technology and for the Network Products Guide 2011 Best Products and Services Award.
Why is Alloy Software located in New Jersey?
We originally settled in New York but found moving to New Jersey offered us many of the advantages of New York without the higher costs.
About how many people do you employ here?
Currently we have eight people working in our New Jersey office.
What do you consider to be the positive features of doing business in New Jersey?
New Jersey offers a convenient commute. All of our employees live within 30 to 40 minutes of the office. We also have reliable communication channels here. Our business relies on Internet and phone lines. So far we have had no major disruptions or failures except for the one-week blackout after [Superstorm] Sandy. We also find advantages in being close to a vibrant metropolitan area.
What aspects of doing business here are difficult?
While the cost of operations is lower in New Jersey than [in] New York City, it’s still high as compared to other states. In several polls, New Jersey ranks almost last among states for business due to taxes and regulations: 45th in 2012 and 47th in 2011. Also, we believe healthcare rates in New Jersey are outrageous.
Can you find the right people here? Why or why not, and please explain.
Finding the right people has always been a challenge. I think we face many challenges here, since New York City is so much higher paying. At times it’s hard to hire people for a business our size at a reasonable rate because people — especially younger people — are more likely to take a job in New York. This creates unfair competition. We have had lots of situations where people wanted New York/Wall Street money.
If you could speak to Gov. Christie, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority or anyone else with power, what would you recommend to help the business atmosphere here?
We’d like to see lower taxes and an environment that creates stability for businesses. We’d also like to see the government work to make health insurance more affordable.
What do you think of New Jersey’s colleges and universities? Do they adequately prepare the workforce?
We have not hired students directly from New Jersey colleges and universities, so we’re unable to comment. We are also not against hiring from college, either.
Have you taken advantage of any state programs that help New Jersey businesses? If so, please explain.
Being a small business, we don’t have the time or resources to research state programs. They may exist, but we simply have no way of taking advantage of them.
A recent study said that most New Jersey tech companies don’t hire right out of school. Do you? And why or why not?
We haven’t but are considering an internship program that might facilitate the hiring of students full-time after they graduate.