Celebrate Technology: Rising Star

Filed under: News |

Configuresoft sells security, solutions

Alex Goldstein said he admires Mike O’Dell.

O’Dell, the vice president of research and development at UUNET Technologies Inc., a national-scale IP network operator, is also known as a UNIX luminary.

O’Dell has been an Internet pioneer of sorts since 1980, when he worked on ARPAnet-the precursor to the Internet-at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. UNIX is considered by many as the most stable computer operating system in existence.

“He’s the person who I believe has the most impressive track record. He grew his company to an extraordinary size and scope against strong competitors.” Goldstein, president and CEO of Configuresoft Inc., is on his way to accomplishing the same feat. The winner of the Rising Star Award for Celebrate Technology 2004, Configuresoft Inc. is among the largest and most profitable of companies that sell software designed to meet the ever-expanding needs of the IT industry.

According to its Web site, Configuresoft develops software that centralizes, automates and dramatically lowers the cost of desktop, notebook and server configuration management for Microsoft Windows NT, 2000, XP, 2003 and .Net-based networks and Web sites. Nearly 80 percent of downtime in the industry is associated with unexpected misconfigurations, along with more than 90 percent of security breeches, Goldstein said.

“There’s nobody who comes close to what we do,” he said. “No one else collects nearly as much information into a centralized database, nor do they reach across the enterprise to make changes quickly and efficiently. We provide those tools. It’s a powerful and compelling solution for the enterprise.”

With 135 employees, 110 of whom work in Colorado Springs, Configuresoft was created in 1999 by Goldstein and three other founders. All but one of those founders was associated with another company, Mission Critical Software, which started in 1995, went public in 1999 and merged with netIQ for a value of $1.6 billion in 2000.

“There was a product developed by a company in Europe, in the [United Kingdom] actually, and we were attempting to get Mission Critical to buy it,” Goldstein said. When Mission Critical did not buy the product, and the next most likely vendor happened to be a direct competitor of Mission Critical, the foursome elected instead to start another company.

Their background in IT-worthy software applications has worked toward Configuresoft’s benefit. The depth and scale of its applications alone sets Goldstein’s firm apart.

“There are people who can do a smaller number of things,” he said. “But when you start talking about thousands of machines, those applications do things much more slowly, much more haphazardly, in order to be effective.”

Whereas Configuresoft’s proprietary software solution, ECM, actually works better on a larger scale. Enterprise Configuration Manager, or ECM, ensures agreement to standards and guidelines throughout a computer infrastructure. ECM collects data from servers and workstations on the network in question, and stores that information in a centralized database. This allows immediate access, analysis and reporting. The product enables IT organizations to “optimize their expectations,” Goldstein said, while also ensuring their security compliance with regulatory mandates such as HIPAA, GLBA, Sarbanes-Oxley and FISMA. All in one nice, neat package.

Some of Configuresoft’s most recognizable customers include Citigroup, ExxonMobil, Intel and Qwest Communications, as well as several governmental agencies in the United Kingdom, including the Ministry of Defense, the Department for Education and Science and the Department of Work and Pensions.

The most interesting thing about his work? “I think it’s a combination of solving customer problems, watching people and helping them do extraordinary things.”

Goldstein, 53, lives with his wife, Iris Greene, in Coral Gables, Fla., and spends most of his time en route to or from Colorado Springs. He has one son, Ben Goldstein, who turns 24 this month, and one daughter, Chelsea Greene, who turns 17 this month.

He earned his master’s in business administration from Harvard. Before his work at Mission Critical Software, Goldstein was senior vice president for consumer credit at Bank One until it merged with First Chicago in 1999.

Configuresoft Inc. earned Celebrate Technology’s Rising Star Award for showing the greatest possibility of continued revenue growth-a contention that Goldstein does not shy away from.

“I suspect it’s the fact that of the companies involved, we’re the largest and most profitable,” Goldstein said. “We have over 100 employees in Colorado Springs, and others located around the world involved in field sales and support.”

The company is privately held, and moved its headquarters from Woodland Park to Colorado Springs in early April.