Solution providers helping customers get back in business following last week's attack on the World Trade Center in New York said they are providing some services free of charge.
"We're working around the clock for our clients that need help," said John Burke, CEO of Big Apple Technologies, a solution provider headquartered about two miles from the site of the attack.
In many cases, Big Apple is offering its services for free to help customers emerge from the chaos and return to normal business operations, Burke said.
"It's a good opportunity to strengthen relationships with clients and show that we're concerned and that we're there for our customers," Burke said.
The solution provider has put together special teams in four solutions areas to assist customers, including infrastructure design and deployment, desktop deployment, data center design and relocation, and disaster recovery.
"We're scrambling to help relocate a couple thousand people so they have desktops and a place to do business," Burke said.
Many customers already had disaster-recovery facilities set up in New Jersey, so now it's a matter of getting equipment deployed, configured and communicating again, he said.
Big Apple had 25 employees in and around the World Trade Center working at customer sites during the attack, including Deutsche Bank's offices in 4 World Trade Center, but all of the solution provider's employees made it out safely, Burke said.
About 10 of the solution provider's customers have been impacted by the attack, he said.
Solution providers outside of New York are also pitching in to help clients.
Rather than waiting for clients to call in, Professional Consulting Services (PCS) reached out to its New York customers after the attack to offer whatever help or services the consulting firm could provide, said Steve Pazol, president and co-founder of PCS, Chicago. Some customers called and e-mailed back to accept the offer, he said.
At this point, PCS's customers don't need network services; they instead need basic legwork to let them know what systems and what configurations they had in place so they can start to replace them, Pazol said. It's work the solution provider is happy to provide for free, he said.
"We're just trying to help," Pazol said.