Antigua Computer Technology – Advancing Antigua

Established over three decades ago, Antigua Computer Technology (ACT) is a second-generation family business that has grown to become Antigua’s largest single-source IT solutions provider today. Key amongst the multi-faceted firm’s recent forays has been e-commerce. Its new platform, AllMart, has upended the conventional concept of online shopping to better serve both customer and retailer. Mr Andrew Doumith, Business Development Manager, describes AllMart’s mission “to be the retailer’s best friend”. Alongside this, other highly prospective activities in the areas of corporate IT solutions, cyber security, and renewable energy continue the firm’s mission to enable Antigua’s advancement.

 

Having been in operation for more than 30 years, and largely responsible for many of the IT advances introduced to the island over that time, Antigua Computer Technology (ACT) has found itself extremely well placed to step up and serve the significant demand for computers, printers and Internet solutions at home.

 

Since the onset of the pandemic in early-2020, the need to go digital has become a top priority for every business. Having reliable computers and high-speed Internet at home is today as crucial on the East Caribbean island of Antigua as it is in any area of the world, with remote working no longer seen as merely a temporary measure.

 

Naturally, the shift to remote working has also led to an unprecedented demand for cyber security solutions. The shift of retail activity online – inevitably accelerated in light of Covid-19-related disruptions – has led to an e-commerce boom across the globe. In Antigua, ACT can be seen as a key conduit for accessing all such advancements, having moved early to provide an array of innovative and oft inter-related services and solutions to local businesses, institutions and individuals alike.  

 

From software provider to ‘one-stop-shop’

 

ACT was established in 1989 by Salomon Doumith – who remains Managing Director of the company today. He developed accounting software to assist various industries across Antigua, predominantly the island’s numerous hotels, in their bookkeeping activities. Shortly thereafter, Mr Doumith also observed strong demand for physical computers, emanating from government departments and major businesses alike, and thus began importing such hardware for sale across Antigua and other Caribbean islands. 

 

In the years that followed, as computers became more of a commodity worldwide, this led to a dramatic drop in unit price, which, in turn, led ACT to resume computer imports in the early 2000s. “By that time, with computers becoming more ubiquitous in businesses and across the population of Antigua more broadly, it was effective Internet capability that was then found to be lacking. In response, ACT introduced the first wireless Wi-Fi Internet connection to the island,” Salomon Doumith reports. “That’s how we first became a licensed Internet provider – we saw it as a golden opportunity to bring the Antiguan population into the future.”

 

In late-2005–early-2006, ACT’s next major leap forward was in its participation in the landing of an undersea fibre optic cable. “That really revolutionised Internet capabilities on the island. Thereafter, we began honing in on data centre solutions – designing and building data centres for other businesses, including banks. A few years later, we launched a private cloud, allowing companies to back up their data remotely. We’re now able to offer unmatched colocation services from our data centre, which is not only the most cutting-edge in Antigua but also one of the most advanced facilities of its kind across the Caribbean.”

 

Connecting the dots

 

Over the years, ACT has demonstrated impressive agility and an ability to ‘connect the dots’ in technology, as Mr Doumith puts it, to cover an entire spectrum of services. ACT currently holds four brands in its portfolio: ACT (Internet and technology solutions); RadioShack (consumer and enterprise goods commerce); AllMart – Local Marketplace (Antigua’s first online shopping platform); and GreenTech Solar ACT (battery storage and renewable energy solutions).

 

Each brand in its portfolio has brought about recent advancements in highly prospective areas like cyber security and data centre solutions, the renewable energy sector – and of course e-commerce, via ACT’s much-vaunted AllMart platform. 

 

“In successfully connecting the dots over the decades, we’ve developed a highly diverse mindset that has enabled us to launch in new areas and to add more value,” Mr Doumith points out. “My children – Aziz, Andrew, Alex and Allison Doumith – have picked up the mantle and ran with it. Their continued dedication will allow ACT to grow well into the future.”

 

Unmatched consumer & corporate IT solutions

 

For over 30 years, ACT has built a reputation for consistent top quality technology products and services. ACT began operations with the mission of ‘Bringing our community into the future through technology’ – and has since grown into the largest technology enterprise in the Caribbean. The company provides a wide range of B2B and B2C IT-related products and services through close business relationships with world-renowned partners.

 

ACT provides local and regional customers with the design, sale, installation, and maintenance of enterprise and consumer solutions, including, but not limited to: Enterprise hardware and software; HR Performance evaluations software; Network infrastructure; Enterprise power solutions; Cyber security solutions; Data centre facility solutions; Cloud computing solutions; Internet access services; Professional services and maintenance; Electronic repair and maintenance services; Consumer electronics; Renewable energy; Internet of Things (IoT) solutions; and e-commerce solutions. 

 

ACT has been working closely with the Government in the automation of Central Government and Statutory Bodies, and is heavily involved in the research, planning and installation of major computer systems in the country.

 

With the launch of its Internet services, ACT-Online, the company consolidated its position as the leading single-source technology provider in Antigua, and as a builder of the new information society in the Caribbean region. ACT is committed to providing customers with the highest quality products and services expediently and courteously. Customers can count on ACT for support and services of their computer and Internet networking needs, and the confidence of a fully integrated team. 

 

Since its inception, ACT has shared a commitment to helping the community; introducing technology into classrooms; donating equipment to non-profit organisations; supporting cultural Events; and assisting sportsmen and sportswomen.

 

Partnering with the best

 

Mr Doumith is keen to highlight the important role that ACT’s network of partners has played over the years: “We have a huge international partnership base, including APC by Schneider Electric, HP, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Aruba Networks, Webroot, Newgen, Cisco, IBM, GreenTech Solar, RadioShack, Lenovo, HID Global and Microsoft.”

 

Partnering with these brands has allowed the company to gain recognition as a top IT retailer in Antigua, as its citizens seek technology they can trust. ACT’s retail department is multi-faceted as its products are sold under ACT Retail and RadioShack – a long-standing partner of ACT. The company currently has three retail locations, with RadioShack dominating sales in consumer electronics. “I’ve known ACT and RadioShack’s retail customers since I was a young boy. I now nurture those business relationships as we continue to expand our retail presence,” advises Alex Doumith, Retail Manager.

 

“We partner with the very best,” he adds, “and we know that we would not be where we are today were it not for our partners.” Indeed, the calibre of ACT’s partners is somewhat testament to the prestigious status that ACT has itself achieved over the years.

 

World-class data centre solutions

 

The ACT TeleDome facility hosts a world-class data centre equipped with high-capacity fibre, redundant power, redundant data communications connections, carrier-class hardware, and superior environmental controls. “Our data centre infrastructure will ensure 99.999-per-cent uptime of our clients’ information systems; allowing full business continuity, even during unexpected outages,” asserts Aziz Doumith, Operations Manager. “In addition to our state-of-the-art data centre, we provide our clients with a facility that is Free-Trade Zone approved. Major offshore Internet gaming clients have enjoyed the benefits of this for over two decades.”

 

It is clear that ACT’s technological infrastructure, coupled with its technical knowledge and global partnerships, allows the business to offer its clients a world-class data centre that can satisfy their colocation and hosting needs.

 

Digital diligence

 

Naturally, digitalisation will usher forth myriad benefits to businesses and individuals. It also presents its challenges with cyber security ranking most highly in the minds of many as the world increasingly shifts online. “With many of today’s transactions occurring digitally and with most people logged in online for work and personal activities, a prime opportunity has emerged for hackers,” observes Aziz Doumith. Indeed, the world has experienced an unprecedented number of security breaches over the past year – from hacks of individual social media accounts right up to the very high-profile data breaches experienced by some of the world’s corporate heavyweights. 

 

Businesses are keen to tighten up their cyber security provisions, and in response, ACT has offered a suite of next-gen firewalls, endpoint protection and management, and other customised cyber security solutions for enterprises. “One of our key security partners is Cisco, which offers end-to-end cyber security; ranging from the perimeter to end-user devices. Their Cisco Meraki solution leverages the always-on cloud, meaning it is continuously patched with security updates and learns about international threats in real-time. We’re able to monitor what all of the endpoints are doing at any one time, as the solution continuously scans for intrusions and suspicious activity – and it’s all done over the cloud,” he advises.

 

“Anyone can get hacked – be they a business or an individual – so you need to have the right protection in place,” he summarises. “The world has effectively turned digital overnight, so the measures must be in place to facilitate safety and security within that new working environment. And ACT has many solutions across the board to accommodate that shift.”

 

AllMart – ‘a shopping mall in your pocket’

 

After brainstorming ways to improve the business climate in Antigua and Barbuda for the benefit of local businesses, ACT has launched AllMart – Antigua’s first local online marketplace. AllMart is an all-commodities e-commerce platform that hosts many of the island’s local retail stores, restaurants, and artisan products made by local talent.

 

“AllMart represents an infinite number of storefronts, each offering their unique brand,” describes Andrew Doumith, Business Development Manager. “Customers can appreciate the transparency of knowing exactly where their products are coming from, they always know that they can visit their seller locally should they have any issues, and most importantly, they know that their purchases support the local business community,” he tells us.

 

“AllMart’s platform adds value for all parties involved: the merchants, the drivers, and the customers,” Mr Doumith highlights. “It was created to empower and enable the local community by revolutionising shopping, to help local merchants to get their stores online to compete with their global competitors and to give local drivers earning opportunities.”

For ACT, the most rewarding aspects of AllMart are the employment opportunities it creates for both drivers and merchants, as Mr Doumith explains: “As demand for local online shopping continues to rise, merchants are going to need to employ more team members to assist in the online sales process. In turn, the more orders there are, the more delivery drivers are needed.”

 

Beyond this, Mr Doumith asserts that AllMart makes it possible for individuals overseas to purchase for their loved ones in Antigua. He exemplifies this with the case of a young woman based in Pennsylvania who frequently orders for her grandma living in Antigua. “Last week, for instance, she made a purchase of a cake and a fruit basket for her grandma’s birthday,” he reports. “Another customer in Texas purchases groceries for her grandma who has dementia – the customer simply used the AllMart app to have groceries delivered to her grandma’s doorstep, thus easing the considerable hardship typically experienced by the recipient, and alleviating the concerns of the entire family.”

 

As the AllMart website and app enable orders to be made from anywhere in the world, Mr Doumith sees this innovation becoming more and more popular in terms of helping distantly located family and friends to support people with disabilities, senior citizens, and those without transport.

 

Putting local businesses on the map

 

For the first time in history, AllMart is truly making e-commerce a reality within Antigua, and soon to other Caribbean islands. “Any retailer or restaurant, no matter how big or small, can now go online and benefit from our technology and marketing expertise,” assures Allison Doumith, Brand and Marketing Manager. “We handle everything; all they need to do is say ‘Yes’.”

 

AllMart brings added value to businesses in Antigua by catapulting merchants of all kinds into the digital world with ease, with no investment or risk, and without ever having to worry about the complexities of technology. “At AllMart, we enable merchant partners to boost sales and reach new customers by exposing them to thousands of users via our platform. It also allows retailers to offer same-day pickup and delivery, and provides unmatched marketing to them across a wide array of channels, alongside 24-hour support,” Miss Doumith asserts.

 

AllMart aims “to be the retailer’s best friend” and to augment the local economy in so doing, she tells us. “Merchants partner with us to enhance their shopping experience, thereby generating more sales and building a happier, more loyal customer community.”

 

Renewables revolution

 

ACT is also dedicated to helping residential and commercial infrastructures in Antigua & Barbuda and other Caribbean islands achieve economic and environmental sustainability using renewable energy. GreenTech Solar ACT offers three types of renewable energy solutions – Solar, Wind, and Energy Storage Battery Systems. 

 

ACT’s expansion into renewable energy has led it to offer several green-tech products; ranging from premium lines such as Tesla and SunPower; to more affordable brands. One of the most popular products available from GreenTech Solar ACT is Tesla’s renowned Powerwall energy storage solution – predominantly for households, but also for small businesses, schools and other institutions. In September 2019, the Gilbert Agriculture & Rural Development (GARD) Centre became the first institution in the Eastern Caribbean to boast a Powerwall system, as implemented by GreenTech Solar ACT.

 

Salomon Doumith assures us that his organisation’s goal is to offer green energy solutions to all. “We aim to make switching to renewable energy, or even just lessening their reliance on the grid, as easy and cost-efficient as possible,” advises the Director.

 

“The future is in clean, green, renewable energy,” he asserts. “There’s no two ways about it.”

 

Bringing Antigua into the future

 

Looking ahead, Salomon Doumith tells us his company is determined to strengthen its position in an array of fast-emerging fields, with its innovative e-commerce platform undoubtedly a key focus of investment. “We shall continue to expand and develop our AllMart platform so that it becomes a one-stop-shop for everything: from restaurant, grocery and retail delivery to booking services,” he asserts.

 

As governments, businesses and citizens alike strive to decarbonise their operations in the years ahead, the renewable energy field will continue to expand dramatically, with GreenTech Solar ACT undoubtedly on course to benefit from early-mover status in its market as a premier provider of green-tech solutions. 

 

The firm is also set to continue its prominent role in the fields of consumer electronics, cloud solutions, cyber security, data centre solutions and more. Certainly, Mr Doumith sees ACT’s services extending further into more of the nearby islands in the future.

 

After more than three decades of introducing new technologies, ‘connecting the dots’, and ushering forth new advancements for the region, few would bet against ACT’s prospects as a first-mover within so many nascent segments – all with enormous growth potential – as the dynamic home-grown tech powerhouse continues to bring Antigua into the future, and to enhance both lives and livelihoods in so doing.

 

ACT: A second-generation family business

 

With more than 30 staff members, and decades of expertise in the technology field, ACT has grown to become the country’s largest, single-source technology provider, and Salomon Doumith is convinced that the best is yet to come as ACT becomes a second-generation family business. Mr Doumith’s four motivated, intelligent children share the common drive to bring the Antiguan community into the future through technological advancements. Moreover, Aziz, Andrew, Alex and Allison Doumith have pursued and gained experience in various technology and business fields to successfully diversify the company’s offerings. With each offspring managing a company division – Operations, Business Development, Retail, and Brand & Marketing, respectively – such organisation, combined with talent and insight into the market, will undoubtedly serve to ensure success for this dynamic business well into the future. 

 

“Together, we have a lot to offer Antigua,” Salomon Doumith proudly asserts.

Latest issue – Vol 3/21
Lead stories
– Security focus
– Global gas supply risk
– Deepwater dangers – Cyber-security on deepsea drill rigs 
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