Photograph by Porter Loves.
“…The biggest satisfaction to me is when I can solve a problem and allow someone to do their job without worrying about anything,” says Kyle Knapp. As the owner of Viterium, an IT consulting business, Kyle understands all of the technological demands that go into running a small business. With expertise in data backup and reporting, software licensing, hardware procurement, and HIPAA compliance, Kyle helps his clients set up or adapt systems that create a foundation for their own business growth. Viterium primarily services the greater Pittsburgh area, eastern Ohio, and West Virginia.
Over the years, individuals and organizations from a range of industries have resolved their IT challenges with Viterium’s services (including insurance agents, photographers, mortgage originators, behavioral health facilities, and construction company CEOs). Backing up data and creating insightful data reporting systems are some of the most common projects that Kyle works on with his clients. In a collaborative approach, Kyle spends time getting to know how his clients use their data. He doesn’t just acknowledge the technical details; he applies a big picture scope and understands the crucial role that data plays in the decisions that business owners make for their businesses.
“One of my clients is in the furniture retail industry and needed to know what kind of inventory and sales reports he needed to see…Unlike some consultants that may only be technical-oriented, I also have a business orientation. So I can understand their business needs and align them with the technical side,” says Kyle.
Procuring software licenses for cloud solutions, running cables, and ensuring HIPAA compliance are other services that Kyle offers his clients. Many of them either do not have the capacity to tackle these projects themselves or do not understand them. Along with the technical solutions, Kyle’s clients get peace of mind that they are not alone during these projects and emergencies. When a server failed one of his clients, Kyle quickly secured their data, established a cloud server, and migrated their data within hours.
“A lot of my clients bring me in because they don’t understand the technology and don’t want or need to know the details, so they have to have a level of trust that I will do the right thing for them. I’ve had several clients say, ‘Please don’t ever quit. We love having you available and able to call when we have a problem’…” says Kyle.
Whenever Kyle’s clients acquire other companies or add satellite locations, he also helps them consolidate their systems and ensure that employees can access headquarters from anywhere. Having secure, remote access became especially crucial for businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic. At first, Kyle worried about how long Viterium would survive due to the uncertainties in the first month after the lockdown began,; but when companies determined that remote work would remain essential throughout 2020, Kyle saw a steady rise in business. He started assisting more and more organizations with establishing VPNs, shifting data to cloud servers, and moving forward with projects they had put on hold.
As technology quickly evolves, Kyle stays educated on the latest solutions by attending webinars and subscribing to trusted sources. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Kyle also started sharing his knowledge about computer backups, laptop vs. desktop memory, and cybersecurity through Viterium’s Facebook page, podcasts, and webinars.
“Before the pandemic, I didn’t have time to create and share videos. But in April, when I didn’t have any business, I started thinking, What else can I do to help people? So I made a few video podcasts and webinars about some technology basics that are applicable to both businesses and individuals,” says Kyle.
Kyle founded Viterium in March 2018 with the mission to help other businesses move into the 21st century. He had previously owned a LAN gaming center, where he learned how to manage back-office responsibilities and pay small business taxes. But running a B2B company required other skills (like marketing and sales) that Kyle lacked knowledge in. Networking groups and the local Chambers of Commerce became particularly beneficial for Kyle’s outreach and connecting with his first clients.
Kyle joined his Entrepreneurs Forever peer group in New Kensington, PA in 2019. By providing helpful insight, Kyle’s peers actively support him in growing Viterium. The discussions and exercises in the group also help him to continue to improve his marketing and sales skills.
“I’m very logical and tend to focus on one area. So hearing other business owners’ points of view has helped expand how I look at my business and expand my horizons.”