Fighting for the Right to Pro IT Services

When nonprofit activist organization Free Press tired of its former IT service provider’s less-than-stellar service, it turned to Owia Technology to fix what ails.


Lee Feldscher was grappling with an IT-related problem that most small or startup businesses can relate to: his in-house tech team was a party of one — himself.

Feldscher is the IT Director for Free Press, an eight-year-old nonprofit activist organization employing about 30 people. Free Press’s mandate is to fight to ensure the freedom of speech and freedom of the press online is protected, and that the Federal Communications Commission has the authority to oversee and govern the country’s Internet service providers.

In need of experienced, qualified help to assist with implementing new, complex projects in order to scale the nonprofit’s IT needs, he turned to Washington, D.C.-based Owia Technology for help after one of Owia Tech’s clients referred the managed service provider to Feldscher.

“Having an in-house IT guy is a big deal and we do: it’s me. But I can’t be in two places at once. I can fly to our D.C. office to work on IT-related issues but obviously that gets expensive and time-consuming,” he said. “So we like having a local IT support team in place to back me up both in D.C. and in Massachusetts.”

That was Free Press’s initial motivation. Feldscher explained Free Press was using a company in D.C. for those very purposes, but the services that firm provided were less than satisfactory.

“My staff started telling me when this former company visited our offices, for every problem they fixed, they created two more. It got to a stage where some people in our offices wouldn’t allow them to touch their machines at all,” he said. ” One of our allies in the media reform business referred us to Owia Technology. I spoke and met with CEO Darryl Anderson and we hit it off immediately. We’re both IT guys and we speak the same language. I have a lot of respect for him and his IT knowledge.”

The situation: With offices in Massachusetts and D.C., Free Press needed professional IT support in both locations, and among other things, its interoffice virtual private network (VPN) connection to be upgraded and enhanced.

Feldscher compared the relationship between an IT vendor and a customer to that of the doctor-patient or auto mechanic-car owner relationship.

“You really have to have a lot of faith in the person you’re working with,” he said. “If they make a mistake or send you down the wrong path, it can be devastating.”

The Owia Technology solution: Establish a new interoffice link between both offices to include file replication, voice-over-IP (VoIP), and an advanced router configuration.

Owia Technology deployed a Fortinet Router in Free Press’s D.C. office, set up an IPsec link to its office in Massachusetts to safeguard the transmission of data via encryption, and established an Asterisk-based VoIP with a session initiation protocol (SIP) trunk system for seamless unified communications.

Owia Tech is Free Press’s go-to team for onsite IT support, local helpdesk, strategic consulting and all new technology implementations for five years and counting.

“They’re very nice people, they communicate well, and they do excellent work. In the five years we’ve been working with Owia we’ve never had a negative experience or a problem with their services,” Feldscher said. ” From a return-on-investment perspective, we’re only billed for what we use, and their prices are fair.

“Darryl and the Owia the team are reliable and trustworthy. I’m never nervous or concerned about the work they do.”

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