big ISPís get a lot of flash and dazzle in the press,Ē says Mark
Povitt. ďBut there are still tons of us little guys out here, taking
care of smaller business and home office types who want more service
than just a net hookup.
ďOur customers want
to know that we know them and care about them. For a lot of them we
ARE their IT shop: they donít have anyone on staff that really
understands this stuff. They donít know or care that Iím buying
access rights from top-level providers. They just care that we handle
their needs when they NEED it. Thatís why I decided to resell
Universal Office services to them as well.
ďWe sell to people
who are running a business out of their home, or a three desk office
in an industrial park. They need a messaging system that works in
that environment, not some monstrosity thatís going to take up half a
closet somewhere and be obsolete an hour after itís in. The Universal
Office fits that bill just right.
ďBut I was also able to solve a problem I hadn't planned for at all: paying for field work. Iíve got two guys who do field work, and a rotating crew of about three or four more folks who handle customer support calls. The unexpected element was how turnover and expenses collide. My guys are all top-flight when it comes to tech skills, but not every one of them is A Plus when it comes to handling money.
ďIn fact, one of my best field guys couldn't get a credit card if his life depended on it. I tried giving him a company credit card so he could pick up parts or software when customers needed them, but let's just say I wasn't thrilled with some on what showed up on that card. I know - he TRIED to tell me not to give it to him, but I made that mistake anyway. After that, I either had to make special trips for spare parts or have him come back to the office to get cash.
"But Genie solved the problem once and for all. I gave him a GenieCard. Now, when he's on the other side of town and needs something that he can't pay for out of pocket, I just go to the GenieCard web site and put the right amount of cash on his GenieCard. Then he either uses the card directly to make the purchase, or stops at an ATM on the way to the store. There's no exposure for me to his little 'impulse purchases' like we had with the company credit card.
"The GenieCard keeps me from having to leave the office in a panic, and keeps our customers from having to wait an extra hour or two for all that cross town travel. It's a perfect solution."