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Ahead in the Cloud

C3 strives to be a technology partner with its customers

By Kevin Gale | Photography by Larry Wood

CEO Rick Mancinelli can talk about the array of services and products that Cloud Computing Concepts offers, but it really boils down to one concept. “I really say we only sell one thing: trust,” he says.

Trust is a critical factor when clients are relying on his company, better known as C3, to provide mission-critical support in cloud data storage, hosted-PBX telephone service, networking, virtual desktops, compliance and security services.

Mancinelli, who has grown C3 to nearly 20 employees, is symbolic of a tech entrepreneur who adapts to the times.

He was running what he calls a standard local computer support company, which helped install and fix computers and servers, when the Great Recession impacted a major customer, he says. The customer had perfect credit and cash in the bank but couldn’t get the financing for a new cycle of equipment replacements. Leasing companies said the secondary market had dried up.

As a favor, Mancinelli told the client his company had room on its equipment. By 2009, his company was actively offering hosting services and half of his clients were moving into the cloud. He rebranded his company as Cloud Computing Concepts. By 2011, he completed the transformation and the original line of business was shut down.

With its head in the cloud, C3 now has data centers in New York, Las Vegas and Miami, where it is located at both the Miami Data Vault and the NAP of the Americas.

However, C3 offers a hybrid approach for customers unlike many cloud companies that want only data in the cloud, he says. “We say there are some things the cloud is good for and some things your equipment is good for.”

Where the line is drawn depends on customers, he says.

At C3’s own office on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach, everything is cloud-based and there are no PCs.

“If you came here and stole everything, there is no data on it. If this office caught fire tomorrow, the only thing we would lose is furniture,” he says. The technology allows users to flip between devices, such as a desktop or mobile phone, but the data always resides in a data center.

In the early days of cloud computing, customers were often hesitant because of security concerns, but that’s totally changed these days, Mancinelli says.

Customers in such fields as health care come to C3 and say they are having issues dealing with federal privacy and security regulations doing it themselves. Cloud data centers provide 24-hour security, Mancinelli says. He uses the analogy of whether a family heirloom would be more secure in a small residential safe or a bank vault.

“We can bring heavier artillery to bear,” he says.

C3 participates in the InfraGard program, an FBI-sponsored partnership with the private sector that shares information and best practices in data security.

The biggest security risk, Mancinelli says, is what he calls the connection between the chair and the keyboard—humans. C3 helps customers educate their employees about security issues, typically training a trainer at the company.

To more effectively help customers put together systems, C3 has become a competitive local exchange carrier, which allows it to provide telecom service right into customers’ locations.

It has wholesale relationships with 40 telecom carriers, so customers need only to deal with C3 instead of an array of telecom vendors.

In August, C3 signed a deal to offer services from China Telecom Americas.

“An increasing number of C3 clients have either opened or are considering offices in China, and we can now provide these clients with the dedicated, private and secure communications facilities back to North America that they require,” Mancinelli says.

A few weeks earlier, Mancinelli launched C3 Cloud Connect, which has an array of global web and audio conferencing capabilities. Audio conferencing provides toll-free access in the United States and regional access numbers globally. It’s flexible enough to allow up to 150 participants in ad-hoc conference calls.

C3 Cloud Connect web conferencing offers customizable invitations and branding and doesn’t require downloads or software installation.

C3 works with an array of customers, Mancinelli says. It has a suite of products geared to the small-office/home-office market. “We call it office in a box,” Mancinelli says.

One of its larger customers is Greenspoon Marder, which is one of the nation’s 200 largest law firms.

C3 has a core customer base in law, finance, insurance and accounting.

In talking about an ideal customer, Mancinelli mentioned being approached by a well-funded medical startup. The COO said he didn’t want to go to Microsoft or Amazon for cloud services.

“I want a team that’s accountable and I can trust. I don’t want to just be a number,” Mancinelli recalls him saying.

That’s just what Mancinelli wanted to hear.

“Those are the types of relationships we like,” he says. “We don’t view customers as customers. We view them as partners.”

Robert Mancinelli, director of finance; Bill Mulcahy, chief operating officer; Kelley Allen, chief technology officer; Lindsay Mancinelli, director of marketing; Rick Mancinelli, CEO; Janet Leigh, vice president business development; and Mike Wolfson, Director of Sales
Robert Mancinelli, director of finance; Bill Mulcahy, chief operating officer; Kelley Allen, chief technology officer; Lindsay Mancinelli, director of marketing; Rick Mancinelli, CEO; Janet Leigh, vice president business development; and Mike Wolfson, Director of Sales

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky

Editor-in-Chief

BIOGRAPHY

Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.