ServInt at 17: Thoughts on Loyalty
Today marked the 17th anniversary of when I founded ServInt. 17 is an interesting milestone. Last year, at 16, I marveled at the fact that if the company I had created was a human, it would now be old enough to drive. Now we’re forging further into “adulthood,” and I’m reflecting on what we’ve built and on the friends we’ve made along the way.
I had the unique opportunity to spend this special occasion in Hong Kong, celebrating with our friends and partners from PCCW Global. Every year immediately following the Chinese New Year, PCCW hosts a large kickoff event in Hong Kong. This year they invited us to join them as their guests.
When I started ServInt, the very first bandwidth provider I signed on was a company called CAIS, short for Capitol Area Internet Service. In 2001 they were sold to a company called Ardent Communications, which sold off its networking assets to a company called BtN, or Beyond the Network Access, in 2002. Around 2006 BtN was folded into its parent company, PCCW Global – one of the world’s largest and most powerful telcos. But we still basically have the same account team we started with when I started ServInt 17 years ago. Long-term relationships like this in the Internet industry are rare to say the least!
We use a growing number of providers for bandwidth now in addition to PCCW, but our relationship with PCCW Global is – and will always be – a special one. They may be a large company (and walking around Hong Kong I can tell you that’s an understatement) but they treat us like we’re their only client. They bend over backwards for us and do what they need to do to get the job done. And far from being complacent about providing a good product, their people find ways to make sure their product keeps getting better. I have a fierce loyalty to PCCW after all these years, and it’s not about the company or what it provides, it’s about the people.
What I look for in relationships with our vendors we try to make sure we create for our clients. Fierce loyalty to customers and a desire to build sustained, long-lasting relationships is also what’s driven ServInt for all these years. We try, and will continue to try, to excel at providing the most reliable, feature-rich platform in the business – but at the end of the day I know that it’s not our killer infrastructure that continues to sustain and grow our operations as we head on towards our 18th year in business, it’s our people.
So thanks to our friends at PCCW for 17 years of business and for hosting me and ServInt COO Christian Dawson this week. And thanks to ServInt’s incredible staff for continuing to push us forward on a daily basis. But thanks most of all to ServInt’s clients. We promise to continue to earn your fierce loyalty every day moving forward – for the next 17 years and beyond!
Photo by nodoca