is a company originally formed to meet a need for customized software specific to the needs of PC users, initially with school districts and soon expanding to include businesses and industries. The staff of MicroSPED has experience in the field of education combined with extensive programming experience. Our backgrounds have uniquely prepared us to develop software to fit the specific needs of end-users. MicroSPED produces application specific software accompanied by easy-to-understand manuals and help routines. We provide special training and support as necessary to ensure that our clients are able to use any software developed to its maximum potential. Operating via the Internet, we are now able to further provide immediate on-line support to clients regardless of their location. Currently MicroSPED provides support to approximately 300 school districts located in four states.
With over twenty years of operation in the hardware/software business, MicroSPED has developed many programming tools that make it possible to produce customized software quickly and efficiently. In addition, we are continually upgrading and expanding our routines to incorporate the latest advances in programming technology. We take pride in having developed state-of-the-art software for a wide variety of applications.
Due to our location, MicroSPED naturally expanded into the area of hardware sales and service primarily in response to local requests. Thus shortly after the company was established we began selling and supporting a variety of computer systems, including servers, microcomputers and peripherals. MicroSPED currently is an authorized dealer for A-open Systems, Hewlett-Packard (Compaq) and is an established hardware vendor through Tech Data Corporation, Ingram-Micro, and Concentric Systems Incorporated (CSI). In addition, we are an authorized service and support center, servicing and maintaining all units that we sell to include warranty service. As a result of these service offerings, we have extensive experience in installing system upgrades and peripherals.
For many years MicroSPED was an authorized reseller of Novell Netware products. Since that time, we have installed many types of LAN and WAN operating systems. Most networks now installed and supported are Windows NT or 2003. The vast majority of network installations have been Novell and Windows networking products utilizing CAT-5 Ethernet topology. We have also installed many LAN/WAN systems utilizing routers (Cisco and Linksys), wireless, ADSL, T1, Fiber and various Internet protocols.
In 1998 MicroSPED established a local Internet service. Initially MicroSPED was the sole Internet provider (ISP) for Greenwood and the surrounding area. As an ISP MicroSPED provided local access Internet services and supported over 2000 users. During that time, MicroSPED developed and maintained many websites for local businesses, government agencies, etc. The Internet service was eventually sold with MicroSPED retaining a working relationship and now operates under the name of I-55 Internet Services. MicroSPED retained some ownership and continues to provide Internet Services for the Greenwood area through that company. I-55 Internet Services currently provides a full range of Internet products including website design and management, DSL and high-speed connections, and dial-up services. The customer base for this company is approximately 80,000 users with established sites throughout Mississippi and Louisiana. MicroSPED continues to support the Internet users in the local area in our relationship with I-55 Internet Services.
In 2006, I-55 Internet Services was purchased by Xfone, Inc. of Jackson, MS. Xfone is a publicly traded company with headquarters in England. Xfone’s Mississippi base is a fully integrated communications company providing residential and business customers with high quality local, long distance and data/Internet solutions throughout the Southeastern United States. Combined with telephony services, Xfone also provides CATV and high speed Internet services to planned communities and multi-dwelling apartment communities, utilizing integrated multi-media offerings - combining digital voice, data and video services over broadband technologies. MicroSPED is currently partnering with Xfone for the provision of services in Greenwood and the surrounding area.
Recently MicroSPED, Inc. worked with a local Utility company providing technical and on-site support for the establishment of a wide-area network utilizing automated utility meters. The network covers several counties and district headquarters. All communication from the utility meters is coordinated through multiple high-speed connections controlled via Cisco routers.
With regard to specific software applications, MicroSPED began as a producer of software for special education administration and psychoeducational assessment report writing. MicroSPED currently has four software products on the market for use in these areas. More than 300 school districts in Mississippi, Texas, Missouri and Ohio are now using one or more of our products as a vital part of their record keeping and assessment reporting systems for Special Education. In addition, we currently serve a wide range of businesses and agencies with diverse programming needs. Our clients have included law firms, an eight-site cottonseed oil mill, farmers' cooperatives, cotton gins, printing companies, a public library, an energy agency, a local Utility Company, and numerous other establishments. We offer ongoing support for each client to ensure that their software responds to changing needs. Recently this support has expanded to include distributions of updates via the internet through the establishment of a download page for our users. Micro-SPED has supported users via the internet for approximately seven years. Test revisions, new assessment instruments, wording and programming changes are posted on the website for our users to download thus allowing our users to maintain current software in the area of assessment and database management.
From the beginning, MicroSPED has been located in Greenwood, Mississippi. There are positive and negative aspects to being a computer company in a small rural community. Specialization in any specific area of expertise becomes difficult, if not impossible, as the technological needs of any given community typically requires the full range of technological services available. In a large community or city, companies such as ours would typically specialize and work only on business networks or applications, home computers, or simply focus on one aspect of the range of technological applications. This is not practicable in a small community. Thus our goal as the designated local service provider has been to establish a network of support contacts throughout the United States that can be utilized when their specific expertise is needed. Experience has taught our staff that there is no such thing as an expert. No one employed by MicroSPED makes that claim. The field is too broad and too dynamic. An expert on today’s technology is lost on tomorrow’s. However, there are those people out there who have more knowledge than most for a specific circumstance. Much of the success of MicroSPED can be attributed to our ability to know who those people are and not hesitate to utilize their services. In our community, as companies in most small communities, it would not be unusual to work on a 486 DOS computer, check a UNIX system for problems, install a high-speed internet connection, run some CAT-5 cables, configure a Cisco router, and trouble shoot a wireless system all in the same day. Obviously, a good general knowledge of hardware, software, and operating systems is a requisite of our staff with the innate ability to recognize limitations and seek appropriate solutions.