The Silicon Review
We have a reputation for being very quick in our replies while being accurate and informative: Brian Anderson, Founder & CEO Hostek
Whether big or small, every business enterprise is always on a look out for ways to improve its productivity levels by getting work done faster and with minimum cost to increase profitability.
Start-ups face various challenges such as the need to constantly improve the quality of their products and services and price goods in a way that maximize profits in an increasingly cutthroat business environment.
A decade ago, it was almost impossible for a small business to sustain with limited resources. However, the scenario has changed. With evolving technology, new tools and software have now made it relatively easier for businesses to grow faster, and smarter.
If a business, for instance, is not on cloud yet, it’s about time it shifted. Through innovation and advancement, cloud has effectively helped businesses to not only exist in a highly competitive business environment but also thrive alongside much larger and powerful enterprises.
In light of the above mentioned, we are thrilled to present Hostek, a leading service provider of managed and private cloud hosting solutions for businesses ranging from small startups to big enterprises.
The firm was established in 1998 and is headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It has data centres in St. Louis (MO), Ashburn (VA), Virginia, and Reading (UK). Hostek has about 30,000 customers worldwide, about 86 percent of whom are in the United States.
Hostek is ranked the 4,132nd-fastest-growing private company in the United States in a list released by Inc. 5000 in 2017.
The firm posted 2016 revenue of $4.8 million and grew 66 percent over the three-year period examined by Inc. 5000.
Interview Excerpt: Brian Anderson, Founder & CEO
Why was the company set up? And how did you expand your company and its offerings over the years?
Since I was in the technology field as a programmer, a couple of different people I knew contacted me in early 1998 to see about getting on the “world wide web”. I had no clue what I was doing at the time, but I told them both that I would do it for them. That got me thinking that it may be a great side business. Later that year, as we started growing, I had to hire someone to do support during the day so I could continue my real job. In April 2001, I was still working for that company when Intuit bought it. They offered me a job but in June 2001 I decided to do Hostek full time.
How successful was your first project roll on? Share the experience?
We started evaluating virtual servers in 2010 and by 2012 were fully moved to a virtualized environment. We chose vmWare as the underlying hypervisor, as it had the features we were looking for. We continued to expand our virtual offerings and now manage thousands of servers. We can help from a single virtual machine all the way to a full IaaS solution. This progress to full virtualization has been great. It’s still hard to convince a few people that are stuck on physical servers to make the change. We have been there, done that. The redundancy and improved uptime received via our virtualized infrastructure is night and day. I would not want to go back to physical machines.
What challenges did you face in your initial years?
We have gone through several huge economy downturns, and we have grown every single year since we started. There are not a lot of companies that can say that. For us to continue to be able to do that through all of that, it says a lot about the company. It says a lot about the team.
Fostering a culture of feedback is crucial to the success of every organization. How is this true for your company?
Hostek’s mission is to be the best application server partner our clients have ever had, and the best place our employees have ever worked. While management helps set the overall direction and tone when it comes to creating a great culture, our team of caring employees are the ones who deserve most of the credit as they truly make this one of the best places to work.
We have established a culture that enables individuals to leverage their strengths while also collaborating and learning from others. We have a shared purpose and everyone’s role is valuable – again, all the way ‘from the top down’ – so there’s the sense of common, shared goals.
We continue to hire smart problem solvers that want to help the company be successful because when the company is successful, everyone can grow.
How does your company contribute to the global IT platform?
We are more than a traditional hosting company. We don’t just provide the hardware; we provide expertise to help keep your servers running optimally.
We focus on a few core items: Windows servers, ColdFusion application servers, cPanel servers and a solid vmWare IaaS. We have developed a great windows based control panel so that customers can easily do the things they need.
Hostek is the global leader in providing ColdFusion application server hosting. We don’t only do ColdFusion hosting, but we have mastered Windows and ColdFusion servers.
What are the biggest assets to your organization? What would they be and why?
Our people – Every decision we make is dependent on our ability to serve our team so they can excel in serving the client. I would also add that our people are not just creative, but fun and great to work with on a day-to-day basis.
Our ability to innovate – It’s definitely been a differentiator. Not only is the tech available, but our clients are being assertive in using it alongside us.
The trust our clients have in us is critical – We gain new clients based on our people, their expertise, and experience. But we retain clients over time because of the deep trust that we earn through our collaboration with them.
We can be flexible – One of the things we tend to hear is even though we are growing, we are flexible in terms of our responsiveness with our clients and ability to move quickly through an opportunity or challenge. Our flexibility and one-on-one approach have been underlying assets that have supported our success.
Do you have any new products ready/getting ready to be launched?
Due to our vast experience with managing thousands of servers, Hostek has already started providing Managed Services to a few customers so that we are managing their infrastructure in other Cloud offerings besides our own – AWS. We will be rolling out our full Managed Services offering on our site soon.
As a question on sustainability, where do you see your company a couple of years from now?
Great question! We have grown every year since inception; the growth has been steady and consistent. In the month of October, last year, Hostek purchased a leading ColdFusion server provider in the United Kingdom. So now, besides having a data centre location in the UK, Hostek also has an office in the island nation.
We expect to grow over 20 percent in 2018 and will continue pushing growth forward in the years to come.
The Brain behind the Picture: A Self-taught Programmer
Brian Anderson, Founder & CEO: Brian spearheads the overall business and operations and is responsible for the strategic and growth initiatives of the organization. He holds degrees in both Finance and Accounting.
Mr Anderson taught himself how to program while working at a tax and accounting software company.