Infinity Communications and Consulting, headquartered in Bakersfield, CA, began as a small family-owned and operated consulting firm that was founded to assist schools and libraries with navigating the labyrinth of E-Rate funding applications. Founder, Fred Brakeman, dedicated his carer to advocating for technology at the local, state, and federal levels. Mr. Brakeman retired at the conclusion of 2021. His successor Mr. Martin Skiby, CEO, has taken up the mantle and is forging a new trail to take Infinity’s efforts farther than before.
Since 2003, Infinity has increased not only in size but also in its ability to assist its
Clients with introducing new and emerging technologies into their environment. Infinity has grown beyond providing E-Rate consulting and is able to assist clients with complete technology system design, procurement consulting, and installation and integration management.
At its core, Infinity has been and will continue to be an advocate for the increase of technology for education, both students and adults. Connectivity is paramount for students and communities to provide pathways to close the homework gap.
The pandemic has shown a spotlight on the inabilities of the current education system and major service providers to provide meaningful connectivity to users while they are enduring the remote classroom. While some school districts are waiting for assistance from the government, others have taken the responsibility upon themselves to provide this connectivity for their students, Infinity has been there to help them achieve this through every step of the process.
Many school districts have found through cost analysis’ that the capital expenditure (CapEx) to provide a reliable connection for their students can be drastically less than the operational expenses (OpEx)incurred by maintaining a monthly connectivity cost through a major carrier. Additionally, the CapEx and the OpEx costs for a district-owned solution are often far less and far more reliable than the monthly recurring fees for devices and data coverage plans. An additional positive for the district is that, upon completion, they are no longer reliant on the carrier for their connectivity, but rather they are self-sufficient for their students. Infinity is excited to partner with districts to help them discover this newfound self-reliance and help them achieve this major milestone for the future of the district.
The Education Tech industry is currently facing issues that have never been seen by our generation and problems that have been lurking in the shadows for decades that are now coming to light. The pandemic has exposed a market issue that has not been faced before, supply chain shortages.
The technology industry in general has been hit with major setbacks due to microchip shortages employment, staffing shortages, and product shortages. All on a scale that is unprecedented in the past 30 years of technology innovation and advancement. Many of the major technology manufacturing companies are experiencing product delivery lead times of six to nine months or longer.
To help districts, Infinity works with the district to create or modify a technology roadmap for upgrades. The process helps the district in multiple ways not just on the technology side, but also in budgeting and forecasting. Infinity has several staff members that are former district administrators, including former Chief Business Officials, Directors of Technology, and Director of Special Education and Curriculum. With their knowledge of district budgets and processes, Infinity can help its clients be prepared for not only the technology upgrades but also helps them budget for future projects and upgrades.
Infinity Communications is an Advocate for Tomorrow. Infinity strives to provide its customers with the highest levels of customer service, to do so we must evolve with the changing landscape of technology and adopt new strategies to meet our client’s needs. We must deepen our resolve as advocates and expand our efforts to widen our influence throughout the US. In conjunction with our clients, Infinity’s goal is to foster, cultivate, and shape how technology and education weave together to provide students with the highest potential for success, today and tomorrow.
Infinity’s clients benefit from our nationwide reach of advocacy. Infinity is connected to nearly every state in the nation and has a presence to advocate for the needs of our clients. Clients of Infinity also benefit from more than 85 years of combined technology in education experience from its staff. Infinity also maintains a full-time design, procurement, and project management staff to help its clients design, bid, award, and manage the installation of their projects.
At its core, Infinity is an advocate for the increase in technology for education and communities. Technology comes in many forms, connectivity, last mile fiber construction, community wi-fi, network security, teaching aids, interactive instruction, remote learning, and so much more. Infinity will always fight to advance and integrate more technology in the education process.
A large school district in California approached Infinity with a multi-year, multi-phase security camera project. The district needed to create a complete scope of work for the project and finalize their Capital Expenditure budget as well as assess the Operation Expenditure required for maintaining the system each year. Infinity assisted the district with finalizing the overall scope and completing a multi-year budget for the project including all OpEx expenses. Infinity was contracted to complete the pre-design, design, procurement, and project management of the security project.
During pre-design, Infinity worked with the client to compile a comprehensive list of requirements for the district and conducted manufacturer interviews which resulted in a head-to-head manufacturer evaluation at the districts main office. Infinity coordinated the head-to-head evaluation and the evaluation criteria to assist the client is determining their manufacturer of choice.
Design of the system included site evaluations and assessments and meeting with stakeholders to determine areas of interest for coverage. Infinity coordinated the design of the system, including camera types, licensing, storage, and programming with the manufacturer to create a bid specification and procurement documents. In total the project included more than 25 sites, more than 1,500 cameras and nearly 750 terabytes of storage.
Finally, Infinity coordinated all work for installation for the project over a 2.5-year span and a total of more than $3 million dollars in infrastructure, cameras, programming, and installation. The project was successfully completed on schedule and under budget.=
As a technology consultant, Infinity faces competition from multiple sides. However, Infinity is not only a technology consultant, but we are also a leading E-Rate Consultant, which adds another layer of competition. Infinity is unlike other technology and E-Rate consultants because we are brand agnostic and independent of connection to any manufacturers or downstream resellers.
Many consultants in the market today are guided by manufacturers as to which product to specify, or which vendor to recommend. Infinity has never, and will never, be beholden to a manufacturer or reseller of any product, software, or service. This provides the clients of Infinity the assurance that they are receiving unbiased information and recommendations for their projects.
Being completely independent also allows us to work with our clients to find the best solution for their project. Infinity gathers information from the client and finds the solution that best fits their needs, wants, and budget. Other nonindependent consultants only work with their partner manufacturers or vendors to provide a solution that their partners can provide, which doesn’t always fit the criteria of the project, or the budget. Infinity always puts the needs of the client ahead of the needs of a manufacturer or reseller.
Infinity is a forward-thinking company that is always looking to be on the bleeding edge of technology and continuously looking to provide the best user experience for our customers. Infinity has several projects currently underway that will revolutionize the way our clients interact with our staff, as well as new web materials will be available for new clients.
Our goal is to help make the lives of our clients easier by providing them with excellent customer service and trouble-free assistance while advocating for their future technology needs.
“Infinity, which is a 100% employee-owned company, believes in the importance of embracing a culture of stewardship.” From our C-Level staff, department managers, and all members of our team, we are a diverse group of individuals with different backgrounds and life experiences, however, we center around a common goal of providing our clients with the best service, information, education, and guidance possible. Our clients entrust us to provide them with guidance and endorsements that represent good stewardship of the funds they have been charged with managing.
Let us navigate the complicated funding, technology design, and project administration processes for you, while you focus on what matters most – your students!