Yuri Aberfield’s IT Support LA is a community-focused company that has been supporting businesses with crucial computer and information technology services in the San Fernando Valley area since 2002. The company, which has been honored with several industry awards, also recently started a non-profit organization, Capabil-IT, offering programs for people seeking IT guidance and careers.
We asked CEO Yuri Aberfield to tell us more about IT Support LA and his longtime connection to the San Fernando Valley:
What does IT Support LA do and how did you come up with the idea for your business?
IT Support LA provides affordable and customizable IT Services focusing on Attorneys, Engineering/Architectural firms and professional services. We came up with the idea in 2002 but really changed our business model in 2015 to provide a full IT coverage at a fixed monthly price, thus allowing customers to know exactly how much they spend on IT and to budget properly.
IT is the backbone for every running business but there is no clear ROI when investing in IT so our company made it easy and simple to allocate a certain percentage of their budget to IT and we customize a plan to keep the customers secure, efficient and productive without breaking their budget. We do not have set plans and we do not have contracts so we have to perform every month of every year. There are many IT companies and our strength is in delivering our promise at an affordable price.
You’re based in Tarzana, is there a reason for being a Valley-based company?
All of our employees live in the Valley, I live in the Valley, my kid was born in the Valley so it made sense to establish a business where we all live in the community we care about.
What type of clients do you have and what are one or two success stories?
We serve mainly small businesses with focus on 10 to 75 employees. Usually these type of companies are not able to afford internal IT so they look to outsource this task and it is a smart idea since for a fraction of the price of an internal IT director, they get a whole company behind them. We are very involved with our customers and our mission is to a partner rather than a vendor. We provide quick support with very personalized approach. Some of our clients to name are Liberty Hill Foundation, Menchies Frozen Yogurt, Hawaiian Host Chocolate, The Reape Rickett Law Firm (biggest law firm in Santa Clarita) and more.
Describe the non-profit you’ve developed to provide free IT guidance to people who can’t afford IT support. Is it up and running? What type of interaction have you had in the community?
The organization’s name is Capabil-IT (word play of capability). It is up and running but in very early stages. I came up with this idea after being on the advisory board for UEI College. As part of our efforts to give back to the community, IT Support LA trains interns who graduate in the computer science field from UEI.
We noticed that there is a huge gap between the educational system and the real world IT requirements. This has put many with college degrees in a tough position as they have student loans to pay off yet they cannot find a proper job to fit their professional because the schooling system is inadequately preparing them.
They have no focus in specific field (they learn very broad spectrum of subjects), they have no experience and they are not pushed to achieve any certificates that would at least show they have the knowledge to support an IT environment.
Therefore, we have decided to provide after-hours programs, training and guidance to help these individuals understand what they want to excel in, help them with gaining the certificates, gain the experience, prepare them for an interview, and in general giving them the boost they need to properly apply and be accepted in the workplace. We focus on the Los Angeles area because this is where we all live and work.
In addition to this, we are an active member of the Woodland Hills-Tarzana chamber of commerce, we are part of the AIA (American institute of Architects), San Fernando Valley Bar Association and the Santa Clarita Valley Bar Association for attorneys.
We also provide FREE services of user training for companies that are worried about cybersecurity and recently started a Go Green service, offering free pick up and recycling of old IT equipment as people do not understand that these computers can be a risk to their organization if not disposed of properly.
What’s the best thing about living and working in Valley? Are there any particular spots you’d recommend for fun, food or shopping?
The traffic! Joking. The best thing to me are the options. Everything anyone wants to do, we have plenty of. Restaurants, evening activities, sports activities and more. Everything is open every day and late. Most of the places do not even require a far commute as there are options pretty much anywhere you stand. I personally love meeting and interacting with new people so I usually hang out in different hookah lounges in the Valley for the atmosphere.