Solution Provider Sees Katrina Damage Firsthand

Chuck Vincent, president and CEO of Global Data Systems, a Lafayette, La-based solution provider headquartered about two hours north of New Orleans, got a bird&s eye view of New Orleans to assess damage to the city, where several of his largest customers are located.

“It&s as to be expected. It was pretty bad. It was a very big hit,” Vincent told CRN Tuesday afternoon via telephone. The fact that Vincent even had a phone is noteworthy. Calls to more than a dozen other Gulf Coast solution providers could not be completed as the region struggles to recover from rampant flooding and power outages caused by the hurricane.

“Our network operations center in Lafayette kept going," vincent said. "Our customers in New Orleans of course got interrupted. We rerouted our long distance service to get that back up.”

With its headquarters operational, Global Data Systems immediately started providing its services to the Louisiana state government and the City of New Orleans, Vincent said.

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“We&re trying to get their services up and running as much as we can. We helped the city set up an interim command post,” he said.

The solution provider has an office in New Orleans, but Vincent is unsure how much damage has been done there.

“We just don&t know. We haven&t seen it. We do significant business in New Orleans. That has come to a screeching halt. We have a major bank as a customer based in New Orleans. They had to move their entire banking operations out of New Orleans,” he said.

“We&re helping out as much as we can,” Vincent added.