As I’m writing this, it’s hard to believe that one year has already passed since I took the reins of ESI as President and COO. This makes it the perfect time to reflect on the past year. As I have familiarized myself with ESI’s products, services and culture, it has become clear to me that the key ingredients to our continued success are our great team of employees and Resellers.
From day one, the welcoming atmosphere led by company Chairman and Founder, Eric Suder and CEO, Doug Boyd, along with ESI’s family of employees and supportive Resellers, made for a smooth transition. I was able to seamlessly blend experiences gained while working at other premise and cloud technology companies with the product development and business demands of my new position. At the outset, I had the confidence and freedom to explore ESI’s existing infrastructure through the lens as the “new guy” with no pre-conceived notions. I’m happy to say that my first impression regarding the collaborative nature of the company proved correct. The great ownership group, which has led ESI for 25 years amid a tough competitive environment, reflects a culture of integrity, responsiveness, and a Reseller-centric approach to the development of innovative communications products. As is true for any technology company, we are not perfect. However, one of the keys to our continued success has been the great relationship we have maintained with our Reseller channel. That relationship has been formed through years of communication and mutual respect that resonates from the initial sales process to technical support.
Coming in as the “new guy” can be a daunting proposition. Given that the average tenure of an ESI employee is nine years, it’s not an exaggeration to state that I was, and still am, the new kid on the block. However, over the past year, I’ve truly been welcomed with open arms by everyone in the company. The openness associated with ESI — along with its rock-solid reputation as a leader in operations, technical support, innovations, and charitable initiatives — allowed me to concentrate on evolving the cultural landscape of ESI. I am extremely thankful that ESI has embraced my management philosophy, where workers are encouraged to take an ownership role in the decision-making process and the direction of the company. I am proud that I engage on a daily basis with colleagues who can challenge the prevailing norm of relying on routine, in order to think critically and explore new ways to improve our products and solutions.
Due to the company’s positive response to my management style, we have been able to institute changes that benefit our customers, and that has led to a 24% growth of systems sales from the first half of 2011 to the first half of 2012. By overhauling our public relations and marketing strategies, we are better able to differentiate ourselves from others in the marketplace (stay tuned for our new Web site). To stay nimble and responsive to our customers’ needs, we have restructured our sales force and instituted new pricing plans for Resellers to compete at a higher level with increased flexibility, and we are relocating our manufacturing operations from off-shore to near- and on-shore facilities. Though most of our activities have focused on our traditional customer-premises business, we have dedicated resources and staff to starting our cloud-based solutions for which we expect great returns in 2013.
This transformation prepares us to take advantage of continued technological change and innovation. The increased presence of cloud technology, smartphone mobility, and “Bring-Your-Own-Device” initiatives illustrate the rapid technological advancements that are impacting the telecom industry. By keeping pace and developing products that incorporate these technologies, we represent our mantra — “We Make It Easy to Communicate.” We will rise up to the challenge of consistently providing innovative and easy-to-use offerings to our customers, who regard us as an indispensable part of their business operations.
Here’s to one successful year, and many more to come!