HOSTSEARCH: Hi Stawn, thank you for giving us the opportunity to talk with us today. What did you do before joining Bluemile?
STAWN KAUFMAN: I’ve had positions in retail operations, finance, call center and office management, technical analytics, troubleshooting, hardware installation and software programming. In recent years I’ve engaged primarily in social media, event promotion, and brand awareness for companies in central Ohio.
HOSTSEARCH: When and why did you join Bluemile?
STAWN KAUFMAN: I’ve known the president and co-founder, Michael Marlowe, socially for years, and have followed his company since it began in 2003. Bluemile’s recent exponential growth has garnered a substantial amount of media recognition. This attention, plus a newly established expansion initiative, suggested a need for a dedicated position to handle all branding and media relations. Michael approached me about the position in March 2010, and I was excited to take on the opportunity.
HOSTSEARCH: What are your roles in the company? What does your day look like?
STAWN KAUFMAN: Any digital content that is published is attached to me, so a large portion of my day is spent responding to inquiries from various media channels, as well as from customers, partners and vendors. I created and published the presentations, press releases, brochures or graphics or graphics that you see on the Bluemile website and in other digital media.
HOSTSEARCH: Can you please tell us about the brand Bluemile? How is the company building a cloud hosting brand and creating its value?
STAWN KAUFMAN: When it was first formed, Bluemile offered a service that was similar to the cloud services that exist today in the marketplace. The term “cloud” hadn’t been invented yet, so we labeled ourselves as an Application Service Provider (ASP). We provided services to a niche mortgage and title audience before moving into other areas. Now that the ASP/cloud field is becoming more socially viable, Bluemile has widened its product set to include almost any company of any size, all over our nationwide network.
We create value through our ability to proactively problem solve both individual client and industry wide issues. This is what has built our brand and allowed us to organically grow. The channels for this have primarily been our existing relationships and our web presence (http://www.bluemilecloud.com), which have allowed us to integrate our product description and vision with complete transparency. We further enhance product value by establishing trusted partnerships, and developing a dedicated team of professionals who actively considers the clients’ needs before self. There are photos and biographies listed on our website for nearly all of us executive, sales, and operations employees.
HOSTSEARCH: What advertising and PR channels are you using to promote the company?
STAWN KAUFMAN: We have been using PRweb.com to distribute most of our press releases. They have proven successful in getting our news articles in front of the right people, quickly. Our social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have become strong representations of our brand and are tightly integrated into our website. Directly from the Bluemile homepage, you can “Like” our Facebook page, as well as follow all of our recent Twitter news updates. We’ve found that these social channels give our clients a unique transparency into the services we offer.
HOSTSEARCH: What have you achieved and what are you trying to achieve at Bluemile?
STAWN KAUFMAN: We have achieved the reputation as a leader that is trusted in our home community and industry. Our vision is to take the controls and power of compute/innovation and give them to the end user, whether it is a company of 10 or 10,000. Our belief is that compute technology will be a utility function - something that provides convenience and empowers others to grow and concern themselves with new challenges, rather than the consistent ones of secure data, storage of information, reliable connectivity and cost affordable voice applications that trouble our businesses today. In whole, we view the industry at a turning point that regardless of time frame, 1, 10 or 20 years, will be radically different, more efficient and provide a higher utility value to solve the most pressing issues. The power of compute as a utility seen and utilized as an equivalent of electricity today, has a ceiling that is not know, but exciting and inspiring to quantify.
HOSTSEARCH: What are the main products and services of the company?
STAWN KAUFMAN: Bluemile offers technology services spanning 4 major categories: Direct Hosting dedicated servers, virtual private servers, hosted voice and other hosting packages; bCloud Enterprise compute, storage, and backup; colocation services; municipal fiber optic networks; and wholesale voice services. These products and more can be found on our website, at http://www.bluemilecloud.com.
HOSTSEARCH: Can you give us an idea of the size and growth of your company?
STAWN KAUFMAN: Our growth has been tremendous, which is why we’ve been listed on numerous fastest growing lists. Since size seems to be very temporary for us, it seems more logical to show our growth. In 2007, Bluemile has about 11 employees and revenue of around $3.7 million. Compare that to 2009, with 28 employees and revenue of $18.1 million. We will have another increase in both head count and revenue for 2010.
HOSTSEARCH: What’s the core benefit of hosting with Bluemile? What do customers like about your company?
STAWN KAUFMAN: At this point, customers really enjoy the ability to get carrier grade service and products from a fairly mid-size company. We can provide the same offerings as larger companies, but we provide much more customization with a faster turnaround. We can also provide these services at lower price points due to strategic partnerships and innovative implementation.
HOSTSEARCH: What are your advices for HostSearch users who are looking for cloud hosting service?
STAWN KAUFMAN: It is important to choose a provider that owns and manages their data center facility. There are many resellers that will sell a product that they did not design, and therefore cannot attest to the actual value of the product or service provided. Bluemile owns and operates a highly redundant data center that keeps your business running smoothly over a secure, enterprise grade nationwide network.
HOSTSEARCH: What can Bluemile customers expect for 2011? Do you plan for any new lines of services?
STAWN KAUFMAN: Our engineers are continually designing new ways to harness the most advanced technology available and make it available at a competitive price to our clients. Our headquarters is moving to a new location, allowing us to take on additional staff and expansion. Many new exiting opportunities await us in 2011.
HOSTSEARCH: Stawn, thank you very much for sharing your thoughts with us today. We look forward to see your continued success.