By Alex Fayn, Co-Founder & CEO
Here at S-NET 2017 has been our best year yet. Our hard work was rewarded with dramatic growth as we widened our product portfolio, upgraded our infrastructure, onboarded numerous new clients, initiated exciting collaborations, and expanded our team. These are the 5 things we have done that contributed most to our success:
Why: My partner and I founded S-NET in 2006 on the premise that clients need telecommunications providers that truly tend to their needs, and provide them with quality customer support they can rely on. That has been our main goal ever since. We know that one of the biggest advantages of a growing business like ours is that it can provide its customers with the undivided attention and care that large enterprises find challenging to deliver. Keeping up with our customer service promises has been one of our top priorities for 2017.
What: As a tech company, we started with the obvious: updating our technology. In 2017 we have made considerable upgrades to our infrastructure to provide clients with increasingly secure and reliable cloud communications solutions, and we have introduced new client portals that make it easier for our customers to keep track of their orders, installations, billing and support tickets. We continued by streamlining our workflows and significantly reducing onboarding time to ensure that our clients get the timely attention and help they need to succeed. As a result we managed to pull off our most challenging corporate migration to date for a 42 location national dental practice in less than 30 days. We have also put significant effort into improving our client communications and education to keep our customers informed and help them make the most of their technology.
Results: With all the work that went into our client retention strategy, the results did not disappoint. Our customer retention rates continued to stay as high as ever, and we have seen dramatic growth in the number of new clients we have brought on board as a result of referrals.
Why: Keeping up with cutting edge technologies has long been an intrinsic part of our business. So, when we saw the tremendous potential that SD-WAN holds for service providers like S-NET, we made sure we were among the first to embrace the innovative technology. SD-WAN filled an important gap on the market: it provides businesses with an exceptionally secure and reliable network infrastructure without the high cost, complicated deployment and long provisioning time required by MPLS connections and other dedicated circuits.
What: After exhaustive research, we picked a software vendor whose product we could truly believe in. Our priorities included flexibility in development that enables us to customize our solutions to our clients’ unique business needs, and a great support team that ensures that all customer issues are solved fast. Our investments in adding SD-WAN to our offering and training our engineers paid off very quickly.
Results: As SD-WAN technology continues to evolve to solve more and more network infrastructure challenges, we couldn’t be happier that we branched out as soon as we did. The technology helped us secure our largest client to date, expanded our product portfolio, and improved our existing services by enabling us to provide more reliability for our unified communications solutions than ever before.
Why: The high expenditures characteristic of long-term strategy can be daunting for many SMBs with a tight budget to balance. But well-thought-out investments in long-term infrastructure can pay off remarkably, propelling a growing business to the next level, particularly in the tech industry. Here at S-NET we have experienced the rewards of investing in best-in-class foundational technologies on numerous occasions. So, when this year called for major upgrades to our data center and cloud PBX, we did not hesitate.
What: In 2017 we have upgraded the core switching equipment in our Downtown Chicago data center, one of the main pillars of S-NET’s entire infrastructure, to significantly increase the stability of our hub, and along with it, the reliability of our entire service offering, including our cloud-based phone systems and contact centers. In addition, we are preparing to upgrade our Cloud PBX from Version 4 to Version 5, an edition that brings great feature additions for clients from many different industries, and sets the stage for the introduction of our new mobile app in the beginning of 2018.
Results: While both upgrades greatly improve our current services, what makes them truly worth the financial investment is that they both pave the way for our long-term technological growth, as well as for short-term launches we have in store for 2018. They will support S-NET’s evolution for years to come.
Why: Growing businesses often find themselves surrounded by chaos as they learn to adjust to new tasks, new team structures, new product offerings and new business strategies. While organization is not the most exciting management challenge SMBs face, keeping workflows streamlined and the growth process as structured and strategic as possible can significantly reduce chaos, stress, mistakes, and the number of tasks falling through the cracks.
What: Here at S-NET 2017 was a year of streamlining our processes and introducing new project management solutions that help us keep up with our growth. We have deployed a customized SharePoint system of workflows and task lists that enables us to organize and track internal processes, as well as serves as a robust database for the entire company.
Results: An organized stream of workflows has helped us tremendously in managing our changing priorities. This controlled growth process allows us to take a more analytical and strategic approach to the evolution of our entire changing organization, ensuring that we are heading in the right direction.
Why: Since we founded S-NET a little over ten years ago, offering cutting edge solutions and providing best in class customer support have been our top priorities. But in today’s competitive market even the best services and most attentive customer care go unnoticed without the right promotion.
What: In 2017 we moved our sales efforts up on our priority list to help more companies transform their businesses with cloud communications solutions. We have expanded our team of Technology Consultants, and invested heavily in their training to ensure that they are well-equipped to meet the needs and solve the challenges of prospective clients.
Results: A new team of highly educated consultants has brought a multifold increase in our sales pipeline, and enables us to serve as educators to companies looking to expand their business with the help of technology.
Running a constantly evolving company can be quite the challenge. But a few investments in client retention, infrastructure and workflow management can propel a growing business to the next level. Here at S-NET 2017 was a year of such changes, and our dramatic growth stands testament to the success of all the investments we have made throughout the year.
Here’s to an even better one!