For 25 years, Progressive Computing has adapted to numerous industry innovations while providing vigilant and cost-effective information technology service to the needs of businesses in the New York City area and across the country.
The company recently commemorated this milestone at its new headquarters near Midland Avenue in Yonkers with a bash attended by several local luminaries. Founded by Robert Cioffi, chief operating officer, and Ugo Chiulli, chief executive officer, who grew up in Yonkers, Progressive Computing has always called the city home.
Jim Cavanaugh, Yonkers deputy mayor, read from a proclamation announcing Progressive Computing Day. “Small businesses are the backbone of any community and for this firm to survive and thrive through so many business cycles is a testament to their success,” said Cavanaugh. “We’d love for them to be here another 25 years.”
Nader J. Sayegh, New York State assemblyman from Yonkers, singled out the achievement along with Progressive Computing’s many years of giving back to the community. Progressive Computing employees work with local educators to teach about careers in technology under the STRIVE program along with many other volunteer educational and community-building endeavors.
“They are part of the fabric of Yonkers,” said Sayegh, who bestowed Progressive Computing with a special citation from the New York State Assembly. “The most important aspect about this is the way they take a real interest in providing Yonkers students with job training and job placement and helping them achieve positive results.”
Bridget Gibbons, Westchester County deputy director of economic development, also singled out the role Progressive Computing plays in the county’s Element 46 incubator initiative and issued a proclamation marking the event.
Progressive Computing is a mainstay of the Business Council of Westchester, the county’s premier professional and business organization. “Progressive Computing proves that it’s possible to grow as an organization when you do good things,” said Marsha Gordon, business council president and CEO. “They’re such a valuable company to have in Westchester because they are serious about their obligation to help others and to provide superior services.”
Cioffi and Chiulli, who graduated from Gorton High School in Yonkers, became friends and informal business associates at Iona College during the early home and business computing revolution in the 1980s.
They began developing software programs for local businesses with the open source DOS interface and then expanded as computer technology evolved. Their first clients included a telemarketing company, an HVAC concern and a wholesale meat delivery business.
At first, businesses required the build out of computer networks that could talk with each other, so they installed servers and desktops. “We worked on the break-fix model with an hourly rate, but this generated the idea of selling maintenance packages with managed services for a flat fee per month,” said Cioffi.
Cioffi and Chiulli began helping their clients gain competitive advantage through budgeting and strategy. They also helped standardize computer systems for clients’ vendors and other businesses with which they interacted.
The cloud, the latest metamorphosis in computing, “changes the nature of what we’re doing and opens up the ability to expand our geographical footprint,” said Cioffi. “When we installed hardware, we had to stay in our own backyard, but now we can connect with anyone.”
In addition to around 80 clients – known as partners – in the New York City metropolitan region, the company now services businesses in San Jose, Dallas and Denver, along with another firm that supports 26 offices nation-wide.
“Ugo and I are two very different people but we share the same core values,” said Cioffi. “We’re fortunate because we’ve been able to surround ourselves with quality people who can live up to those values. The feedback we always get from customers is that we have a great team of people who are a pleasure to work with. Everyone has an inner geek here, and we celebrate that, but we care about being human beings first. We’re more than just technology.”
With offices in Westchester County and Manhattan, Progressive Computing, Inc. is a leader in computer network installation, design and maintenance, offering professional, cost-effective IT services, computer consulting, technical support and computer repair to leading edge businesses. Clients regard them as their "on-demand" information technology department, entrusting that their recommendations, services and products will help them save money, become more efficient and grow their businesses. Progressive Computing can support all IT outsourcing needs with customized solutions to meet clients’ exacting needs.