Successful entrepreneurs must be creative, competent and hard working to succeed. They also must be quick and nimble — able to recognize new opportunities and adjust their business plans and systems to capitalize on emerging markets.
Alphonso Rivera demonstrated these qualities as he guided Bakersfield-based Advanced Micro Resource through the exciting, challenging and ever-changing technology industry.
Like other local company owners who have been clients of the Small Business Development Center at California State University, Bakersfield, the key to Rivera’s success is having a strong, but flexible business plan, marketing strategy and business systems that not only accommodate growth, but encourage it.
Rivera’s company, which is located at 3434 Truxtun Ave., Suite 180, in Bakersfield, focuses on computer education and forensics.
Growing up in Bakersfield, Rivera began tinkering with electronics as a young child. His interest led to his completion of courses at Bakersfield and Taft colleges and then at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he studied systems management and information technology. He continued his studies at Western Governors University.
His work experience includes jobs with the technology giant Tandy Corp. and with Henkel’s & McCoy, a utility construction company. He worked as the Bakersfield and Rosamond training director for New Horizons Computer Learning Service before organizing his own company in 2000.
The company’s initial focus was on providing computer training and augmenting STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – programs in area schools. Advanced Micro Resource provides instructors and training equipment to enhance student computer skills.
Earlier this year, Advanced Micro Resource was honored by Assemblywoman Shannon Grove as a 34th Assembly District Business of the Year in recognition of its outstanding service to Bakersfield.
The firm was one of only 85 recipients to receive the award for bringing technology-focused after-school programs to culturally diverse students in 35 Bakersfield-area schools.
The state Legislature created California Small Business Day in 2000, with Assembly and Senate members selecting outstanding local business leaders in their districts for recognition. California Small Business Association’s annual ceremony honoring Advanced Micro Resource was held in May at the Sacramento Convention Center.
After establishing Advanced Micro Resource to meet area computer training needs, Rivera noted that local companies also needed unique, specialized forensics services.
“I started getting requests from local attorneys to perform digital forensics work,” Rivera recalled.
This work ranges from scanning and indexing large case files, which allows content to be searched and organized, to accessing information files stored in electronic devices. Even content people believe they have deleted from an electronic device often can be retrieved and used as evidence.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys have used Advanced Micro Resource’s services. The company’s Digital Forensics Division also is frequently added to a civil litigation team.
Although Advanced Micro Resource’s forensics work is confidential, Rivera said investigations generally involve computer and cell phone evidence. Cases have ranged from high-profile sexual harassment complaints to murder investigations. Rivera conducts seminars for local attorneys to explain the potential uses of digital forensics.
The need for digital forensics services is not limited to the courtroom, however. Often when companies “lose” critical files or passwords, they turn to Advanced Micro Resource for data recovery help.
Rivera notes that his team of experienced analysts and technical professionals has a nearly 20-year record of delivering results for Advanced Micro Resource’s business clients. Plus, he always keeps an eye out for talented teachers and new security information technology program graduates.
Although Advanced Micro Resource is an established technology firm with a proven track record, the Bakersfield company is constantly updating and improving its business systems. Advanced Micro Resource is just one of many local professionals and entrepreneurs who are being helped by the Small Business Development Center at CSUB. The service center is one of five within the University of California, Merced, SBDC Regional Network, which is a partnership between the university and the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The center at CSUB assists entrepreneurs and small business owners in Kern, Mono and Inyo counties by providing free one-on-one consulting, small-business training and research. For more information, go to csub.edu/sbdc.
— Kelly Bearden is the director of the Small Business Development Center at Cal State Bakersfield.