Trade Office In Brazil Poised To Help St. Louis Firm Expand Business

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- The first Missouri company to make use of the state's new international trade office in Brazil is planning a marketing trip there early in May.

"They want to look at your face and shake your hand before they do business with you," said David Pollard, Regional Director for Connectria Hosting Corp. of Creve Coeur.  The data service center company stores business records, financial transactions and health care information for hundreds of companies in thirty countries in its data service centers around the U.S.

The IT (information technology) business is now calling this service "cloud computing."  Firms like IBM Global Services and 3M hire Connectria to store and back up data for them.  "We  manage customer data, we provide  secure and reliable  environments  for customers to house their data  and basically  get it out in the cloud, get it out wherever in the world they want to have their customer base."

The firm's Vice President of Engineering Rusty Putzler said the firm backs up the data for customers in multiple locations.  "If a primary site were to be impacted in some way  there's the ability to roll over to one of our secondary sites and not miss a beat.   All your data is protected."

Pollard praised Missouri's Department of Economic Development for providing a trade representative in Brazil to help with language interpreting and making business connections. We already have customers in Brazil Pollard said Wednesday, but we have never traveled there.   As a small business in Missouri, Connectria qualifies for federal grant money to help finance the trip.

"Brazil has leaped over the UK in the top five fastest growing economies in the world," said Pollard explaining Connectria's interest in doing business there.  "Brazil does not have the bandwidth available that we do," he noted.

The Missouri international trade office in Sao Paulo will be the state's fourth such office.  There are two in China and one in India.  Brazil is among the top ten export markets for Missouri products ranging from minerals and transportation equipment to agricultural products and "cloud computing."

The firm, founded by Richard Waidmann,  grew from a St. Louis based consulting business that helped companies design their own data centers.  Deutsche Bank of Germany first asked the company to offer a "hosting" or data service center product. Now the company has data centers in four locations around the U.S. including St. Louis.

Connectria has about 125 employees and hopes to add more as it gains more customers.  A strong work ethic among its staff members and reasonably priced power available in St. Louis help improve the firm's bottom line.  Some of the company's computer equipment is housed in a former steel foundry in downtown St. Louis.  "Every where you go.. 12 feet in any direction are large 36 inch pillars so it's seismically enforced," said Pollard.