Whether you’re building a house or a business, the foundation plays a critical role in your long-term success. It was with that thought in mind that Internet & Telephone began in 2002 with the mission of providing customers in the Boston area with a premiere business-class phone and Internet service.
Fast forward 13 years and this IT solution provider has growth to 40 employees, it’s enjoyed 20% year-over-year revenue growth for the past several years in a row, and it’s on track to do the same this year.
I recently spoke with Pete Peterson, VP of sales at Internet & Telephone, and he shared a few specifics about his company’s strategy that he believes have had the biggest impact on its success. One of the pillars of success, he said, was adopting ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) best practices.
Peterson says that CEO Paul Cissel and CTO Doug Smith attended ITIL training courses, which comprise a set of practices for IT service management that focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of business. Anyone who’s ever looked into ITIL training would agree that this is not an easy undertaking. The ITIL framework — which describes processes, procedures, tasks, and checklists designed to enable any organization to establish a baseline from which it can plan, implement, and measure its IT initiatives — is published as a series of five core volumes, each of which covers a different stage of IT service management.
“We’ve identified 115 specific customer touch points that occur from the time we first engage with a client to the end of the first 12 months of the business relationship. To help prepare our employees for each customer relationship we follow a philosophy we call ‘Know the customer,’ which involves quizzing our employees on a daily basis about key information they should know about our customers. This is often driven by a help desk manager who will sit down with a coworker near the end of the work day and spend 10 minutes asking questions about a specific customer the technician or customer service rep interacted with that day. We want to make sure they know the VIPs [e.g. CEO, CTO, CFO, and for law firm clients, partners] as well as any nuances about a customer’s service preferences.”