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Meet Robert Castro of Marloe Group in Humble

Today we’d like to introduce you to Robert Castro.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Robert. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started with my education in the United States Marine Corps. I was trained on component level repair of radio equipment and cryptographic equipment that went on jeeps and tanks and other track vehicles. Was reprimanded for improving a basic radio’s transmission and inadvertently knocking out local TV stations.

Once I left the Marines, I found those skills useful in repairing computers to component level. I serviced Apple, Compaq Corvus and IBM computers to component level, back then you could actually see the components. I was able to develop a service department where I could single handedly service 11 machines simultaneously making the Houston office more productive than all the other company service centers put together. It took six people to replace my manager and myself. That was a fun time, and I met a lot of interesting people.

With the development of networked computers, I was trained by IBM and other manufacturers on their cable transmission technologies as well as networking operating systems. Was certified on all of them at one time.

Troubleshooting computer networks came easy because all the different cabling protocols had to run on the same technologies that radios used but with their antennas.

Helped develop the technologies to deliver movies streamed to the theater by working with movie companies, internet service providers and a local Houston computer manufacturer. That was fun too I met some really cool and interesting people.

Was sent to Russia by the state department to service the networks at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. Was there during the freedom revolution and was even caught up in a demonstration at the Russian White House across from the U.S. Embassy. I met some awesome people there, and even hung out with the U.S. Marines stationed at the embassy. Sadly, they considered me an old salt.

I worked with security products that protected computer networks from the endpoint workstations to the perimeter interface with the internet which developed into firewalls and antivirus products.

I now work with firewalls and security products to protect company networks from global threats to their data from the internet. My Twitter feed is @MarloeGroup where I keep a running list of global threats and security vulnerabilities for all kinds of networks and applications.

Has it been a smooth road?
The computer industry makes for a real she devil of a career path. She will lure you in with all kinds of glory and money, only to chop off your ambitions at the roots.

I abandoned everything in California during the 80’s boom to come to Houston and start my own business. I packed up the family, uprooted my kids and headed east, only to arrive the day the bottom fell out of the oil industry. 90 percent of our customers disappeared overnight it seemed. Consequently, I lost everything including my family.

So, I built everything back up and almost lost it all again in the 90’s when the .COM industry tanked. It would have been curtains for me if it wasn’t for my friends.

Luckily, I have been drawn more to relationships than money, and I have met some of the most interesting and talented people that I have had the good fortune to work with.

That is what can make the tough times easier to survive.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Marloe Group, Inc. story. Tell us more about the business.
The Marloe Group manages computer networks. We are like outsourced IT. We handle everything like hiring a CIO. We have policies and procedures for those who need it and we apply governance rules and regulations to all our work.

Our documentation is what we are known for. I developed a way to apply rules to IT that minimize risk, reduce failures and ensure a more predictable service that does not increase cost.

My specialty is computer network security. I am involved in protecting company data and minimizing risk, and I consult on all aspects of IT for small to medium sized businesses, and I do this because I think this is the niche that needs it the most. Unless you can hire a CIO, it is difficult to know what rules and regulations affect your business and where the risks are.

That is usually where people get into the most trouble, just being completely unaware.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I think the future is going to see some big changes in our perceptions of data and our own responsibilities to it. Technology is like a toll road. No one is ever going to pay a dollar to drive on a road until they do it and once you have done it you can’t remember what it was like not to have it.

It is costly to house your own data. I think that will drive the importance of it down for the next generation who will really just see the need for access to it rather than the gathering and hoarding of it.

Soon your data will all be in the cloud, and you will be paying for just an interface to get to it. That interface will be what changes, in the future I can see that interface being a kiosk at the mall, a computer on a wall at a hotel, a desk in your office.

Your cell phone will become a tattoo or chip that you have with you, that will become a key to the interface.

The system will identify you by your face or voice and with a simple gesture or password you can call someone, text or video tape something, start working on a project with other at your office or pull up recipes. You will no longer have to carry all your data with you.

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