Reprinted with Permission from Behind the Counter, a Community Journals Publishing Group
EDTS has been operating as a world-class, full-service technology consulting firm since 1999, focusing on designing, installing, optimizing and supporting networks. The company takes on clients’ most complex IT business challenges and applies innovative solutions designed to improve profitability – growing each client’s business while reducing costs.
In short order, the company became known for its immersive approach to IT solutions and for its unmatched focus on security. “Our managed service operation is foundationally based on security,” said Charles Johnson, founder and CEO. “Security was our passion and was always our big differentiator.”
The company grew rapidly to five offices and more than 80 employees, and was named one of the fastest-growing companies in the nation by Inc. Magazine for eight consecutive years. Clients run the gamut from municipalities and 20-person doctor’s offices to companies with a billion dollar topline.
As security became increasingly complex and clients clamored for help, Johnson knew EDTS needed a separate offering that would focus on all aspects of security, and EDTS Cyber opened with its own security operations center in February of 2017.
Within the first six months of opening, EDTS Cyber was named one of the top 100 managed service security providers nationwide. “We have a dedicated team with all of the top certifications, serving clients around the country,” he said.
While high-tech tools are beneficial, Johnson said EDTS and EDTS Cyber set themselves apart with their people. “We have the reputation and the tools, but also the skill set,” he said. “Just because I have a hammer doesn’t make me a carpenter. Other companies have tools, but it’s about the talent running those tools.”
He takes pride in having a team of employees who are the best in their field. From threat hunters to the incident response team, “when disaster strikes, you don’t want someone at their first dance.” Hackers cost the U.S. economy more than $445 billion annually, with 5.9 million cyber attacks happening each day, and the experts at EDTS Cyber have the proven solutions that safeguard clients’ valuable assets.
Johnson graduated from Georgia Southern with a degree in finance, but had always been fascinated by technology and gravitated to the field. He founded EDTS because he loves solving problems for clients. “I always wanted to be a top tech resource,” he said. “I thought, if we’re the best, we’ll be successful.”
Always on the lookout for the best ways to serve clients, he collected numerous technology and security credentials (CISSP, CISA, CISM, CCFP, CBCP) and keeps them up-to-date. He wants to make sure he and his team understand the latest updates and security far beyond basic firewalls and anti-virus software. “Of our more than 80 people, we have more than 500 designations and certifications,” he said.
While many companies outsource their security to other countries, he prides himself on allowing customers to visit EDTS’ new 35,000-square-foot facility and meet the team in person. “That’s where the rubber meets the road,” he said.
While his rapidly paced work consumes much of his time, and he often travels between their five offices, he does make time to enjoy the outdoors, especially hunting and saltwater fishing. He is grateful that his wife and two teenagers supported his efforts as the company expanded.
Johnson is looking to expand even further this year, and is planning offices in Charleston and Atlanta. While EDTS and its IT services still make up the majority of the company’s business, he expects Cyber to surpass it in the next couple of years. “We’ve got some huge prospects,” he said.