Many people know Wiltonian Al Alper as the chair of the Republican Town Committee and a former member of the Board of Finance. While he is very visible in that capacity, Alper is also a longtime Wilton business owner as the founder of Absolute Logic, a successful computer and technology consulting business that he started is 1991. Alper marked Absolute Logic’s 25th anniversary last month with a ceremony at the firm’s Wilton Center office.

Absolute Logic works with businesses throughout Connecticut and New York on all types of information technology services, most predominantly now data protection and cybersecurity. During the company’s quarter century, it has provided services to its clients that include managed IT services and consulting, cloud computing, virtualization, email and spam protection, backup and disaster recovery, VoIP solutions, network security, and more.

Also in those 25 years, Alper has acquired another company, opened a second location in the Buffalo, NY area, presented to many groups on the issue of cybersecurity, and authored several books. His most recent, Revealed! The Secrets to Protecting Yourself from Cyber-Criminals, is described as a business owner’s no-nonsense guide to protecting a business from the “dark side” of the Internet.

To commemorate Absolute Logic’s 25th anniversary, we asked Alper to answer the GOOD Morning Wilton Business Q&A.

What was the inspiration for starting Absolute Logic?

Al Alper:  I had been helping friends and colleagues with technology decisions and deployment, and my calendar quickly filled up – a light bulb went off.

Absolute Logic is a very interesting name…can you explain the meaning behind the business’ name?

AA:  I had tried several names that were turned down by New York State because they were taken. In the ‘80s there was a company called NBI which stood for “Nothing But Initials” and, after asking friends for suggestions, many said to just use my name so I picked a name that implied the objective approach we took toward technology and which had my name as its initials – AL.

When you founded Absolute Logic in 1991, was the original idea tech support and technology consulting? That seems very early in the era of personal computing…

AA:  No, actually we started as a technology consulting business advising business owners on hardware/software and deployment configurations.

How has the company evolved since you started it?

AA:  I personally have always believed that the best tech (whether hardware, software, solutions or advice) is tech that doesn’t just keep the day-to-day running but also fits the businesses vision/strategy that employ it – effectively a driver of growth. That meant that we had to be forward thinking and not just reactive. Because of that our model has always been one of partnership not just vendor; a company that is a visionary on behalf of our clients. This means we have to constantly adapt with the market, both the technology market and our clients’ vertical markets. In a word, we’re ‘cutting-edge’ and, therefore evolve regularly.

Are you surprised with how your industry has exploded in the last 25 years?

AA:  Sometimes, but most times it seems to move slowly. The impression is it moves/changes quickly but most of that is on the consumer side; the business side is far more cautious and contemplative.

How did you get into this field?

AA:  Purely by accident. I went to college with the intention of working on Wall Street. I worked in the computer room for tuition money (I paid for my own college) and fell in love with tech – its promise and possibilities. It also didn’t hurt that a friend asked me to help their doctor get his office “computerized,” and although I had never touched a PC, after a two-plus hour meeting he handed me a check for $5,000.

What do you love most about your job?

AA:  Our clients. I love who they are, where they’re trying to go, how we make their day-to-day life work better and their businesses prosper.

What sets your business apart from any other?

AA:  Partnership – We take an intimate and holistic approach to helping our clients. Intimate in terms of getting to know our clients and their market; and holistic both in terms of what technologies are on the horizon and in other verticals that would benefit our clients businesses, and in terms of leveraging our client base to create relationships between them–encouraging them to mutually provide services/products to each other.

The day-to-day mechanics are not unique–there are hundreds of firms and individuals within 25-plus miles of Wilton that lay claim to being a technology service company; some do a decent job, many do a good job, but very, very, very few excel at it. I believe we are the exception, that we excel at it. If a potential client merely uses price as a barometer of who to work with, there are a lot of choices out there–almost everyone will play that game. But if they want a partner with a vested, personal interest in their success then I can count them on one hand, and we’re among them.

How does your business fit with Wilton?

AA:  Wilton is family. It has been good to my family and me. Our neighbors look out for each other, on every street, in the sub-communities and larger community. It is who Wiltonians are, why it is a special place amongst the Fairfield County towns that we are often compared to.

It is very much like that at Absolute Logic, Inc. It is what we do as a company with and for our clients. We look out for them, wish only the best for them, care about and for them, share in their successes and their time of losses, personally or professionally.

What would people be surprised to learn about you and your business?

AA:  Most Wiltonians only know me from the headlines–as a Town leader or elected official. Those personas demand a posture that may seem less than empathetic, charitable or compassionate. Perhaps they confuse the responsibility of the title, which I take seriously and defend vigorously, with the individual who assumes it. My business is a reflection of who I am, what I stand for and how I execute on my full suite of principles and convictions.

What was the most memorable Wilton work experience you’ve had?

AA:  I hired someone (a former employee who has now gone onto to another firm and continues to work in IT) that no one else would–he was a good man, trying to change his life for the better. He had made mistakes and paid for them. He was earnest and sincere in his wanting for more. He had taken some course work on tech but had no real technical skills. Over the course of several years he grew and learned. I take great pride in knowing that we make a difference, in all aspects of what we do–professionally and personally.

Any funny anecdotes, recollections or stories from your work?

AA:  They are legion; the funniest end-user story happened a long time ago when a client called because their computer wouldn’t come on. The first thing that is always asked is to make sure everything is plugged in – check that all of the power plugs are snug on both ends. She put the phone down for nearly 10 minutes. When she got back on and said that everything was plugged in, we asked if she was sure because she had taken so long and that perhaps the wires were so tangled. She said the power was out and she was looking for a flashlight!

What do you love about doing business?

AA:  Aside from our clients, I love creating something–turning an idea into something material, that matters to people (clients, team members, my family, etc.), that makes a difference in the lives it touches.

What do you hope to teach or give your customers?

AA:  That there is something more to a business relationship than price; the relationship matters.

What’s the best tip you could offer people about cyber security today?

AA:  The number one threat is you. People are creatures of habit. That habit is a hacker’s or cyber criminal’s best friend. Kick the habit.

What other Wilton business do you like and would recommend to GMW readers?

AA:  On the consumer side I love Wire Mill BBQ, Marly’s, Reiki Sushi and Bianco Rosso for dining; for fast food Pinocchio’s Pizza; Ambler Farm, Wilton Library and the Wilton Family Y for ‘social happening;’ and Caraluzzi’s and Village Market.

On the business-to-business side–every business I’ve worked with or know personally have high standards that I would recommend to anyone. I don’t know if it is Wilton that elevates them or they that elevate Wilton but the symbiosis is terrific.

How can people contact you?

AA:  On the web, by phone at 203.936.6680 (my direct line is 203.617.0770), by email or drop by the office at 44 Old Ridgefield Rd., Suite 216.