I invited Interserver.net Co-Founder and Business Development Director Mike Lavrik for an interview. Our goal was to learn more about this fast-growing hosting company he has built with his partner and Chief Technical Officer John Quaglieri, along with their growing team.
Questions are in bold/italic and Mike’s responses are in normal text.
Mike, thanks for joining me today to talk about your company and the hosting industry. Interserver.net has been in business since 1999. What made you decide to start a business in one of the most competitive industries in the world?
Back in 1999 when we started there really weren’t many companies to choose from in the industry. Both John and I saw the window of opportunity and decided to pursue it and here we are 17 years later.
What’s the tech scene like in NJ? Why choose this location for your company?
Some readers might be surprised to hear that N.J. has a strong presence in the tech market. A major factor is our close proximity to NYC making us a hub and key resource for wide range of businesses. I should also mention I grew up in N.J. so when we started InterServer I was in in High School so moving wasn’t an option at the time. As our business grew relocating it became less and less of an option so essentially N.J. continues to be our home base.
If you could pick one unique benefit for each hosting type you offer, what would that be?
We work hard to ensure we provide a unique offering for all different types of hosting. With customer service being front and center the following benefits are a key point of difference for us.
- Price lock guarantee which means the price in which you sign up at will remain your price for the lifetime of the account. We were pretty much the first ones in the industry to roll that out and found it to be a great way to reward our customers.
- We offer an entirely free migration process from your current hosting provider with absolutely no contract required.
- Guaranteed email delivery with automatic monitoring and response analytics which guarantees that your email will reach its destination
- Monthly Payments are available while other hosts advertise one price you later realize that upon checkout the price is only valid with a minimum of a one year commitment at the very least. Our advertised prices are for month to month plans. With us it gets even better, when you pay in advance you will receive an additional discounted rate off the advertised price.
- 30 day money back guarantee.
- Entirely free support which is provided with each and every hosting package.
- Privately owned datacenter with 24/7 on site support
Following up my previous question, who is your ideal customer for each type of hosting you offer? I want to ask this for readers who are not sure which type is right for them just yet.
We host such a wide range of sites spanning from Bloggers,Small Business Owners, Day Traders, E-Commerce Sites and the list goes on. So it’s important to remember that when considering hosting with us, that we will help you select the appropriate hosting package based upon your needs. We have had customers that started off with us 17 years ago launching small sites and with our management and guidance their businesses grew and we were fortunate to grow along with them. So truly that’s the benefit of hosting with a smaller private company because you do receive a higher level of personalized service.
I’m a bit unclear on your Quick Servers offering – can you tell me more about how Quick Servers are different from a dedicated server or VPS?
- QuickServer combines the flexibility and setup speed of a VPS, with dedicated resources of a physical server.
- We pre-configure host machines with a virtualized environment, similar to what is used on our VPS host nodes.
- Since the operating system runs in a virtualized environment, QuickServer orders are set up in minutes, just like a VPS.
- But unlike a standard VPS, QuickServers utilize 100% of the host machine resources, such as CPU, memory and network port.
- Besides the fast setup times, user has access to the same features as a VPS, which can be accessed right from our client portal.
These include the ability to restart the server, reinstall operating system, gain access to the server console and so on.
Wow, so QuickServer is really the best of both worlds. That’s a unique offering I haven’t seen before. Interserver is located in Secaucus, NJ. So, when customers call support at 1-877-NJ-COLO-1, do they get to speak to a support person in your office, or at least in North America? How have you managed to succeed in meeting customer support demand?
I frequently describe us as a one stop shop because when you call our 1-877 number you will be connected with a live representative who is on site at our Secaucus headquarters.
Our support and main offices are located in one building along with our Datacenter, which is a critical component to providing superior customer service. It makes a difference when you call and speak to a member of support who is actually at the exact location of your server vs. calling an outsourced support center who then needs to reach a datacenter technician at a separate location adding more time and steps to the overall process.
Almost nobody else can say that their support team is in the same building as their datacenter, let alone the same country. That’s great to hear.
On that note, I also got a great impression when I read through your Team page on your site. Can you share some of your thoughts about what your team members bring to make Interserver great?
We are truly fortunate to have an amazing team most of whom have been with us for quite sometime and in some cases from the very beginning. We are a smaller company and a 24/7 operation so everyone’s role is a critical part of our day to day. Our industry has changed a lot over the last 17 years and taking into account our team’s input and feedback is how we continue to grow within such a competitive landscape. Ultimately our team is the face of our company and the first voice that you hear when you call InterServer. I have always been a believer in the fact that as a leader you are only as good as your people and in our case I believe that we have grown over the years because of the dedication and hard work of our team.
How big is Interserver.net now? What is the size of the business (domain names hosted, datacenters owned, and anything else you feel is relevant here)
After 17 years we have grown to become a leading provider in the industry and are well known for our long history and solid reputation. We host thousands upon thousands of sites worldwide and offer all aspects of hosting solutions. As I mentioned throughout the interview our Datacenter and equipment are privately owned and managed by highly accredited network engineers.
Can you tell me a bit more about the technology you use at Interserver? (datacenters, networking, hardware, etc)
- 8,000 Sq Ft Facility
- 6,500 Sq Ft. Datacenter
- (4) HVAC Units Totaling 80 Tons
- Raised Flooring
- Biometric Entry Into Building
- 2,000 AMPS of 480v Input Power
- (2) 150KVA UPS units
What makes Interserver the right choice for someone? Let’s say I was comparing several hosting providers with similar pricing and similar service offerings. Why should I choose Interserver over anyone else?
With us our major point of difference is personalized service which has been the foundation of our company. Being privately owned we have the ability to really manage and monitor all aspects of our business very closely. We can spend more time with our customers essentially helping them map out the next steps to ensure strategic growth. Most importantly, I would have to say our pricing is straightforward with no additional hidden costs. Additionally we don’t charge for support and we don’t make you sign a contract to receive a better rate. Our advertised price is the exact price for month to month payment plans however if you do decide to pay for a year of service in full that will result in an additional discount. Lastly you never have to worry about rate increases we will always automatically renew you at the same rate each and every year.
Every company has struggles as they grow. Were there any “ah-ha!” moments in Interserver’s history? Tell us your favorite memory of business problem-solving 🙂
Over the first 5 years in business we were growing nicely and I took a look into the future and knew that the only way we would have unlimited growth would be through building our own data center. I must say that it was definitely one of the most stressful yet rewarding points of my career however it ultimately has enabled us to grow continually and run our business independently which was our main goal.
What’s next at Interserver? Any projects in the works? Any new initiatives to grow the company?
For us everything comes back to the customers experience and for that reason we are always trying to develop and release technology that is innovative and user friendly.
This year we will launch InterServer VPS Apps that will allow a customer to deploy 300+ scripts or system apps on a VPS with a one click install.
This will also allow you to only install software you need without needing to purchase a control panel.
It’s projects like this that continue to set us apart in the marketplace.
Do you have any special discount codes our readers might want to take advantage of if they choose to host with Interserver?
Our 1cent coupon code offers you a 30 day trial of a VPS and Webhosting with no commitment to sign up. All you will need to do is provide your information and a credit card for the .01 charge.
Mike, thanks again for joining me today and doing this interview. I look forward to publishing our upcoming review of Interserver’s offerings, and wish you continued success!