CETech Focuses On Cybersecurity And Compliance To Fuel Growth

Fred and Sue Brumm have always had several things in common: They have strong work ethics, enjoy supporting their local community, and possess a mutual passion for technology. So it’s no surprise that together they’ve grown CETech to be a premier provider of cybersecurity and IT solutions for manufacturing, engineering, and technology businesses across Rochester, Buffalo, and Syracuse, New York.

Hooked On Computers

Both Fred and Sue were first exposed to computers by their fathers. Fred’s father repaired mainframes. “He always carried a pager everywhere and was the IT guy in the household,” he says. Sue’s father was a chemistry teacher. “I still remember him bringing home the school’s first computer for us to play with,” she recalls. “From that point on, I was hooked.”

But it wasn’t just their fathers’ involvement in technology that prepared them for their destinies. “While it was my father who got me excited about the engineering aspect, my mother was an entrepreneur at heart,” Fred explains. “She always wanted us to start our own companies, so it was important for them to teach us the fundamentals. These values included punctuality, honesty, persistence, and, of course, hard work.”

Sue’s upbringing was similar. “Things weren’t just handed to us,” she says. “If we wanted something, we had to figure it out ourselves, look it up—usually in an encyclopedia—and work for it. My mom, who was also a teacher, instilled in us a love of learning and reading.” And thus, their separate (and soon-to-be intertwined) entrepreneurial paths were laid at an early age.

IT Career Path

After this initial technological exposure, Fred and Sue both pursued careers in IT.

“I was fascinated to explore how computers worked,” Sue says. “I took every computer class in high school before starting my undergrad. Business also interested me, so I got a Management Information Technology degree, bridging the gap between the two worlds.” Upon graduating in 1991, Sue got a job as a computer programmer before eventually attending the Rochester Institute of Technology [RIT] and receiving her masters in IT and e-commerce.

Fred took a similar yet different approach. “My first job after high school was working for the University of Rochester. I landed myself into what was considered the mainframe group at the time and advanced through the different levels of the department pretty quickly, since I was so eager to learn,” he says. “I decided to go to RIT and get my undergrad while still working full-time, meaning it took me longer since I was doing it on evenings and weekends. But that goes back to the work ethic my parents instilled.”

When Paths Cross

Sue and Fred crossed paths “working on a big project for the Eastman Kodak Company in the manufacturing and engineering environment in 1998,” say Fred. “Looking at our business today, it makes perfect sense that this is how we were first introduced.”

Though the pair both had blossoming technology careers, it wasn’t until Fred attended a seminar in 1988 about the growth of Windows that they got the idea to start their own IT side hustle. “I remember coming home, getting some business cards, and then dedicating every spare minute to trying to build the business,” says Fred. “By 2006, we saw the demand pick up, so I left my job to pursue this full-time.”

Sue left her full-time job a year later. “Looking back, it was a bit crazy,” Fred says. “We were in a recession, and our first son was born that year. But we’re both used to juggling many different things.”

Going The Extra Mile With Cybersecurity And Compliance

Although the business began in 1998, CETech was officially incorporated in 2006 and has been operating ever since.

By combining their backgrounds in technology with the core values they learned in childhood, Sue and Fred have taken their company from a basement-run operation to one of the top IT companies in New York State. “Our goal is not to be the biggest but to be the best,” says Fred. “Our industry has no rules or regulations, meaning anybody can say they’re an MSP. But there is one certification—the SOC 2 compliance—which we’ve held for the last three years. It’s our way of showing our customers that we’re going the extra mile to ensure their data is safe.”

Their focus on cybersecurity and compliance has certainly paid off. “We’ve won best outsourced IT company and the best cybersecurity company in Rochester for the last four years,” notes Sue. “These accolades remind us that we are making headway toward our ultimate goal.”

And their goal of “being the best” can be seen throughout every corner of their company culture. “One of our core values is, ‘Our customer’s challenges are our own,’ so this involves taking complete ownership over our customers’ services and always striving to brainstorm creative solutions to meet their needs,” explains Fred. “Another one of our values is ‘Unquestionable integrity,’ so, taken together, we promise to treat their business like our business.”

Thanks to these core values and their persistence, CETech has experienced massive growth since their inception. “We now have 28 employees,” Sue grins. “We just moved into a new office last year, and we’ve already maxed out the space and had to start looking at new options.”

Giving Back

But it’s not just about growth for Sue and Fred; it’s also about giving back to the community that helped shape them. “One of the RIT alumni created a program called Shift2 that refurbishes computers to help provide access to technology for underprivileged kids,” says Fred. Sue chimes in, “It’s not lost on us that we were once kids who got bit by the IT bug, so this one is close to our hearts.”

She continues, “I’ve also been active with the Salvation Army recently, and it’s been amazing to see all the wonderful services they offer.” Fred adds, “Giving back to the community wasn’t always something we’ve been able to do, but as we’ve become more established, we’ve prioritized it within CETech.”

Ultimately, it’s clear how Sue and Fred’s childhood core values, coupled with their love of technology and community initiatives, have culminated in CETech as it stands today. Looking ahead, they plan to continue pursuing their mission of being the best (not the biggest) provider of cybersecurity and IT services throughout the Rochester, Buffalo, and Syracuse, New York areas.

For more information about CETech, go here

MSP Success Magazine is a print and digital publication dedicated to helping the CEOs and owners of managed IT services businesses build strong, profitable, growth-oriented businesses. Written and published by Robin Robins, founder of Technology Marketing Toolkit, this magazine is uniquely focused on the topics of marketing, client-acquisition, sales, profitability, leadership and personal development.



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