Posted 3/08/16 (Tue)
By Cecile Wehrman
Anna and Chad Benson don’t mind being called geeks. They’ve both loved computers and technology their whole lives.
“We’re well-rounded geeks,” said Anna.
Both obtained college degrees related to technology that serves businesses, from computers to servers and every component in between.
This week they’re opening Edge Technology in Crosby, located in the former Crosby Optometric Clinic.
The venture will primarily be Anna’s, offering computer hardware and software solutions for businesses and the general public. Chad’s full time job is doing IT (Information Technology) work at New Century Ag (NCA).
Having grown up in Divide County -- Chad is a 1999 graduate and the son of Rich and Denise Benson -- the idea of coming home was always in the back of his mind, but never seemed very realistic.
He left Divide County to attend college and it wasn’t until he and Anna came back for the recent wedding of a friend that the idea of coming home suddenly began to take shape.
Very suddenly. At the wedding, multiple people told the couple of the broad need for service in the community.
The couple already had their Fargo home on the market when Chad learned of the position at NCA. Their house sold the same day he was offered a job in Crosby. He’s been working here since December.
With a 10-month-old son at home, Anna was interested in working, but needs some flexibility.
Both Bensons have extensive experience offering computer and technology services.
Anna, originally from the Minneapolis area, remembers playing video games on a Commodore 64 computer as a child. She met Chad about six years ago, when a mutual friend introduced them.
“It was the IT (Information Technology) world that brought us together,” she said, and they’ve been married since 2013. They’ve spent their careers collecting experience it now turns out will be very helpful in launching their own technology service business.
Most recently, while Chad was supporting the huge network of servers for Clay County, Minn., Anna was consulting with small to medium-sized businesses.
“I sold solutions for those customers,” said Anna, which is different than just selling someone a computer.
Because she has the technological background, too, she knows how to integrate pieces so they work well together.
Too often, she said, someone interested in only selling can miss key components that make a system work well together.
And when it comes to the kinds of computer crises everyone gets into from time to time, “I’m going to fix what’s broken,” said Anna, “not fix what your problem is.”
Too often, she said, people are taking unnecessary risks with their technology -- failing to perform backups or keeping failing computers limping along and in danger of crashing simply because it is so hard to get service in the area.
That’s why Anna’s first goal when she meets a client is to get their system stabilized.
Next, she’ll help clients figure out how they can be more efficient.
Throw in some routine maintenance on a scheduled basis and scheduled updating and replacement of machines and there should never be a reason to lose productivity.
As well, Anna would like to offer classes that help educate computer users.
“Our job is to protect people’s data,” she said, whether it’s selling them new tools or teaching people how to avoid getting computer viruses.
Anna will be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and in the shop from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on those days. Mondays and Fridays will be by appointment only.
Anna can be reached by calling 965-EDGE.