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Datamaxx: Florida’s Best Kept Secret

What do the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Federal Aviation Administration and the New York Police Department all have in common? They all share a commitment to protect and serve - and they all rely on the Datamaxx Group for the essential technology to honor that commitment.

Florida’s Best Kept Secret

Led by President and CEO, and co-founder Kay Stephenson, the Florida-based company provides state-of-the-art, mission-critical information- sharing tools to law enforcement, public safety and homeland security professionals around the world. Datamaxx develops sophisticated, cloud- based solutions that enable secure communication and intelligent data tracking and analysis, harnessing the power of information to give security agencies what might be the most important weapon in their arsenals. Today, Datamaxx serves more than 70 percent of the law enforcement market with more than 750,000 end users.

Humble Beginnings

Along with co-founder Jonathan Waters, Stephenson started the Datamaxx Group in 1991. They set up shop in a small, 600-square-foot office. “We bought out the government division of a large corporation (our employer at the time) with royalties. So, cost very much played a factor in our decision to locate in Tallahassee,” said Stephenson.

Equipped with only minimal starting capital, Stephenson and Waters knew the success of their company depended on finding a location that provided the right balance of high-tech assets and affordability. Stephenson said, “With our location in Florida, we are not required to pay state income taxes, which, obviously, is beneficial for a number of reasons, such as allowing us to maintain competitive pricing.”

With no state income tax and a low corporate tax rate of 5.5 percent, Florida’s business-friendly tax climate gave Datamaxx the financial breathing room to grow. The state’s streamlined regulatory environment and relatively low cost of doing business sharpened their competitive edge.

The Datamaxx global switch and platform utilized by all embassies located throughout the world provides mission- critical services to protect our homeland.

Tim Longanacre
Bureau of Diplomatic Security Services U.S. Department of State

No Room For Error

With clients like the FBI and U.S. Department of State, it’s no surprise that security is Datamaxx’s top concern. The majority of Datamaxx’s applications are deployed through the Datamaxx Secure Cloud – the first of its kind to achieve compliance under the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) division. Sensitive hardware is housed in a biometrically access-controlled area powered by uninterruptible power supplies. Every employee must pass an FBI, finger-print-based background check.

“Considering the security protocols that must remain in place at all times and the critical nature of the information accessed by our customers, we had to be strategic about our facility location,” Stephenson explained. She chose Datamaxx’s current location in order to utilize the state-of-the-art communication infrastructure already in place to support Tallahassee’s Capital Circle Office Complex, which also houses the Florida Emergency Operations Center. In addition to a power grid, they also share a SONET Ring (a robust, fault-tolerant fiber-optic network) as well as direct fiber access furnished by two different communications providers.

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Smart Partnerships

Stephenson also credits much of her company’s success to the strategic partnerships it has formed – even at the local level. “The relationships forged by serving on the Board of Trustees of the Florida State University (FSU) Research Foundation and Advisory Board to the FSU Computer Science Department have been extremely beneficial in recruiting talent and having access to a wealth of ideas,” said Stephenson.

Datamaxx isn’t the only tech company benefitting from the skilled workforce cultivated by Florida’s top-tier institutions. More than 26,000 IT companies are taking advantage of Florida’s strong talent pipeline, employing close to a quarter of a million workers. The state’s universities, colleges and technical schools continue to fill the workforce with qualified and diverse professionals, proficient in computer science and technology, providing the talent needed for companies to stay competitive. It’s clear why Florida ranks at the top for high-tech employment.

Over the last three years, we have worked to cut taxes, pay down debt and reduce regulations.

Rick Scott
Florida Governor

Where Businesses Grow

Datamaxx is just one of many companies that have written their success story in the Sunshine State – with good reason. “We have set a clear vision for our state to become the global destination for jobs,” said Florida Governor Rick Scott. “Florida has added more than 865,000 private-sector jobs since December 2010 and our statewide unemployment rate has dropped to 5.6 percent. By cutting taxes and creating an environment where job creators can succeed, companies are continuing to look to Florida to start and grow their business.” Offering more than just beautiful weather, Florida has the right environment for your business to thrive.