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New Hampshire technology company helps USS Constitution Museum with upgrade

New Hampshire Union Leader

July 01. 2014 8:02PM


MANCHESTER — Thanks to a New Hampshire startup company, the USS Constitution Museum in Boston is upgrading its technology with plans to digitize museum archives and give visitors a chance to follow the repairs scheduled to start on the USS Constitution next year.

Plans include providing WiFi in the museum galleries and making its website more smartphone friendly, according to Jackie Hibbard, the museum’s director of finance and administration.

The work is being done by Unified Office, which is based in Manchester and Portsmouth.

The company helps small and medium businesses upgrade their technology, whether it be for voice, video or text message services.

Upgrades already mean museum visitors can phone and “immediately have an option to get information on Fourth of July activities that would be challenging with the old-style (phone) system,” Hibbard said.

Ray Pasquale, a computer industry veteran, founded Unified Office about three years ago at the Pease International Tradeport. Today, it has offices on Congress Street in Portsmouth and Elm Street in Manchester.Pasqu-ale, who lives in Mil-ford and serves as CEO, said he runs a “virtual company” with eight full-time employees as well as part-timers and consultants hired as needed.Unified Office has more than 30 customers around the country, including about a dozen in New Hampshire.

One fast-food restaurant chain monitors on a large electronic screen the wait times for customers calling in orders. Pasquale called it “a tool of a manager to drive more productivity and more revenue.”

A company owning a group of nursing homes uses Unified Office’s services to allow workers to keep in close contact with one another, whether it be through smartphones, PCs or tablets.

Businesses typically sign a four-year-contract with a “very low cost of entry” to start, Pasquale said.He said the company investors continue to reinvest revenues to grow the business.“My goal is to take this company (forward) as long as I can take it,” Pasquale said.

Museum President Anne Grimes Rand said hands-on exhibits will remain to help explain the physical creation of the wooden USS Constitution, nicknamed “Old Ironsides” and launched in 1797.

“It won’t be all computer interactive by any means,” she said.

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