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October 12, 2015 Issue

The Most Powerful Name In Corporate News and Information


Datacenter Web Hosting Provider Offering Customizable Shared Hosting, Dedicated Servicers, Co-location and VPS Hosting



Michael Lavrik


Interview conducted by:

Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – October 12, 2015


CEOCFO: Mr. Lavrik, would you tell us the concept behind InterServer?

Mr. Lavrik: is a webhosting provider. We operate two datacenters out of Secaucus, N.J. along with a presence in the Los Angeles marketplace as well. We offer a variety of services from web hosting, dedicated servers, co-location and VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting. We offer all different types of hosting packages all of which are customizable to each consumer’s needs.


CEOCFO: On a basic level, what do you understand at InterServer about all the processes surrounding hosting?
Mr. Lavrik:
We consider ourselves a no-frills or gimmicks type of hosting company. Our prices are straight-forward; $4.95 a month for shared hosting is exactly the price per month as listed on our site which is the most simplistic type of hosting that you could possibly select within the industry. We register domain names. We offer all types of customizable hosting solutions for all different kinds of businesses, bloggers, and cater to several different sectors within the industry. One of the biggest misconceptions about hosting is that people assume that they have to be a computer geek in order to run a site. This can be an intimidation factor when trying to sort through where to begin, one of our biggest points of difference is that we heavily focus on our service and support metrics. We walk our customers through the experience and help them select the best package for their needs versus when they just go on the website and start scoping things out which often we hear can be a bit intimidating and confusing especially if you a newcomer to the industry. We try to make it a seamless and painless process.


CEOCFO: How would a potential customer search to find InterServer?

Mr. Lavrik: We do a lot of advertising. We advertise specifically on several industry related sites. The webhosting industry is very robust and what a majority of the population does not know is that there are actually thousands of hosting companies all over the world. I believe that the way in which we have been able to cultivate business especially in such a competitive landscape is thru many of our longtime customers who refer new customers to us because we have a long-standing reputation, so word of mouth is definitely a factor for us. I think that when you create an environment where people know that they can rely upon you and your service it creates a domino effect in a sense because a solid reputation is everything. Many hosting companies tend to come in and out of the game; there are a great deal of buy-outs and consolidations. I find that after being in the industry for sixteen years and having a solid presence, the credibility piece is key.


CEOCFO: Would you give us an example of how your customer service is different?

Mr. Lavrik: Today one of the most interesting things in the industry is that we often find that customer support is routed to a call center in India or you call one of the larger companies and you are put on hold for an extended period. What ends up happening as a result is you do not really know who is managing your server. One of the biggest differences for us is that our facility, is fully managed by our team and we own and operate all components of our business. When you call our toll free number, you are speaking with a live representative that is onsite able to handle the problem and walk you through it. There are no middlemen, or other steps involved and your issue will be handled ASAP. When a ticket is opened it is often resolved within fifteen minutes. Our CTO, which is our chief technology officer handles all operations within the support arena and works closely with the support team. As a result, this entire aspect of our business is running like a well-oiled machine and has become so refined because of our hands-on approach, so to answer your original question that is our biggest point of difference within such a broad industry.


CEOCFO: Do you find that most people realize going in that they should be looking for high quality or are they coming to you after one or more bad experiences?

Mr. Lavrik: I will tell you what is going on in the marketplace today. The market is currently being dominated by a couple of conglomerates; many of the big hosting companies that people host with are all owned and acquired by one large enterprise. So interestingly enough when they are having an issue with one provider and then select another large provider, they are just transferring to another company that is under the same umbrella. As a result, we are actually gaining market share because of poor service issues and bad support experiences. For a first time buyer looking for a hosting package, they might initially go with a larger company. For someone who is more seasoned and has had services within this industry for quite some time, for them, they are more inclined to make a decision based upon the support factor when shopping for any kind of hosting package.


CEOCFO: You mentioned your long history. Do people pay attention to that?

Mr. Lavrik: Yes, it is important. Many of our customers got started with us in 1999 and as we have grown, we have helped them grow. That, is also a big component of what we do which is guiding our customers through expansions and developing long term growth strategies to ensure the proper platform is established. There are many hosting companies out there. Many of them hit their peak and then they phase out. We have grown, adjusted, and adapted with the times and as technology has evolved so have we, which is a key component to what we do. The industry five years ago was fully dedicated servers, whereas today it is shared hosting and VPSs. Therefore, there are so many mechanisms to maintaining relevancy, which is why after 16 years being a solid force is a strong achievement.


CEOCFO: Where do you see growth?

Mr. Lavrik: Funny you should ask. I often look back at how the industry has changed. Years ago, we would assign one customer to a server and today we can set up a hundred customers on that same server. I think it is about truly about being a student of the industry and having the foresight to adjust with the trends in an advanced manner, I look at what shared hosting represents today and 5 years ago dedicated servers were the #1 driver across the industry so again you have to be able to shift gears. For our part, we just launched our own Apple app so that customers can manage their account easily. We are constantly challenging ourselves to stay ahead of technology and all advancements we make are with the customers best interest in mind. We have something called a Quick Server, which is something that my partner John and I created on our own and developed. These are all examples of the points of difference we can create and deliver to our customers.


CEOCFO: Mike, I know you started this with John as a high school student. How have you handled the business challenges and what have you learned to be successful from the business side?

Mr. Lavrik: You probably read on our website that we started in 1999 with a single domain name and the purchase of a virtual reseller account. I am fortunate to have a great partner in John Quaglieri who serves as CTO. We both had a vision of how to sustain growth in the market back 16 years ago and fortunately; we continue to collaborate to evolve within this ever-changing industry. We were initially customers at a large data center. As we continued to grow our business, it was through trial and error. We eventually in 2005, built out our own datacenter. The one thing that never changed has been our commitment to customer service. I have always been a proponent of controlling the controllables and service in my book is one of them. We both focus on two separate sides of the business John is solely support and back of house while I focus on Data Center Management and business development. We have been able to divide and conquer by following this model. The one thing I can attest to for sure is that sometimes your customers can be your best resources. So when you ask what I have learned? I learned to take feedback and input from my customers over the years and implement my learnings into our business strategy.


CEOCFO: Is it surprising that so few businesses understand the value of customer service?

Mr. Lavrik: Yes, I am very surprised. So often, we have customers call and the stories they share are definitely interesting. It is hard for me to wrap my head around how so many businesses across a wide range of industries lack passion around service. It especially baffles me because service is everything that is what people remember as a key factor in an around the experience. Therefore, for companies to neglect that fundamental of business is definitely a detriment in today’s market. Our goal has always been to be methodical and never just focus on achieving a number but rather to sustain long-term goals. In this case, I guess what I am trying to say is slow and steady wins the race I have watched several hosting companies over the years grow exponentially and then just taper off and then eventually sell. They would focus on acquiring customers in order to achieve a high sale price and through this acquisition, customers would fall by the way side. We are surprised because you have to take pride in what you do. InterServer is our life’s work therefore we dedicate a lot of time to managing all aspects of service and support on the behalf of our customers.


CEOCFO: What is next on the agenda for InterServer?

Mr. Lavrik: For the future, we hope to continue to grow our client base.

While never losing touch of our core fundamental of providing superior customer service.


CEOCFO: Why choose InterServer?

Mr. Lavrik: When I told you about no gimmicks, it is really the truth. What you see on our site is what you get. When we register your domain name, it is your domain name. We offer free migration services and we do everything we can in terms of providing you 24-hour service, 365 days per year. The great part about us is that we are here to stay and we have a team of people that have worked for us for so many years and are truly devoted to their profession. There is a tremendous level of reliability with us. Several hosting companies will advertise a certain price in order to drive business however by the time you have completed signing up the original price that was advertised is a different number than the price presented at checkout. At Interserver we do not charge for any level of support it is entirely free and readily available to all our customers.


“What you see on our site is what you get. When we register your domain name, it is your domain name. We offer free migration services and we do everything we can in terms of providing you 24-hour service, 365 days per year.” - Michael Lavrik







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