HOSTSEARCH: Robert - great to catch up with you again. How are things?
ROBERT MARHAMAT: Great! We are excited about all of the developments at ServerPlex and always bringing our clients the finest in IT and web development needs including advanced hosting solutions. The best part of this growth is working with different clients' with different needs and coming up with solutions that really make a difference for competitive growth within their industry.
HOSTSEARCH: Perhaps for people who didn't catch your interview in 2005, and do not know ServerPlex, you can just give us a quick overview of what the company does and what you do.
ROBERT MARHAMAT: We do everything computers. We focus on small to medium-sized businesses and provide them with IT outsourcing (we serve as their whole IT department), web design and development, advanced email marketing and hosting solutions specifically built with small to medium-sized businesses in mind.
HOSTSEARCH: What have been the major milestones ServerPlex has met since we last spoke?
ROBERT MARHAMAT: Our growth is attributed to us noticing the demands of small business and how desperately they needed to have options. We went from 10 clients in the small to medium-sized cluster to over 400 in less than 2 years by really focusing on the needs that these businesses demand to see astounding growth.
HOSTSEARCH: In 2005, you were offering a dizzying array or products and services that included hosting, web development, web design; networking services... Is that still the state of play? Have you streamlined at all, or have you expanded into even more directions?
ROBERT MARHAMAT: John, we are still at it. We have refined our service offerings' and really focused our solutions on our target market. However, our main focus is to be "the" IT provider of choice, from email marketing solutions, all the way to being an IT extension department for a small business. At this point, we do IT outsourcing, powerful hosting solutions, email marketing, and web design and development.
HOSTSEARCH: One thing you have been in the news for over recent months is going "green". You have implemented a number of measures that are designed to help the environment. Can you let us know the sorts of things you have been doing in this area?
ROBERT MARHAMAT: John, as you grow one of the biggest things you need to focus on is giving back to the environment and to organizations that will help make the world a better place. We are starting our "green initiative" by making a major investment to move all of our technicians' vehicles into the environment-saving hybrids. Our next step is to move all of our offices to document imaging solutions to save a considerable amount of paper products that we use now. The final step in this process is to put all of our employees' through our "Be Green" initiative so that they can help our clients' join this initiative as well.
HOSTSEARCH: The host chosen to host the website for the recent global Live Earth concerts had a 100% solar powered web hosting facility... completely run on renewable energy. What are ServerPlex's long-term goals as far as environmental issues are concerned? Will you go that far?
ROBERT MARHAMAT: Yes, we are already in talks to build a datacenter in Emeryville, CA that will be completely solar powered. Our ultimate goal is to make every part of our organization, "green". Of course, as this will require a large investment, we are tackling these changes over a year and a half from now.
HOSTSEARCH: For me the question comes to mind of effectiveness - are these alternative approaches as reliable as the traditional ways of powering the web hosting industry?
ROBERT MARHAMAT: Yes, definitely! As with any solution, a redundancy plan must be in place that is as solid if not more solid than previous solutions. We have even been carefully planning our transition from our current vehicles to the new hybrid vehicles. Although to many this seems like an easy transition, there are many points of redundancy that must be carefully planned out.
HOSTSEARCH: The cynical amongst us might say that the current trend in web hosts going green is nothing more than a promotional bandwagon - a way of getting free publicity. At the same time, the same people who hold that opinion probably acknowledge issues such as global warming and the need to do something. Just to put such people straight, how much did your efforts in this direction cost your company? What do the changes you have made mean in real terms as far as the environment is concerned?
ROBERT MARHAMAT: John, there is much debate about this subject. Although I cannot speak for other companies', our company is sincerely interested in saving as much of our natural resources as possible. We would not spend the money we do on becoming "green", if we didn't think we can benefit the environment and save a whole bunch of trees' in the process. As a company, we are also dedicated to presenting ways of saving paper (document imaging) and saving natural resources for our clients' companies. We see this as an initiative that every company should participate in for the better good of society.
HOSTSEARCH: There are lots of people in web hosting who recognize that the environment is an issue, but simply can't take the massive steps you have made as far as helping the environment is concerned. What advice would you give them? What measures CAN they take to make a difference?
ROBERT MARHAMAT: Even companies that are not in the position to make major capital expenditures should take baby steps in converting their businesses into green businesses. A company can start small and then build upon that to re-construct their enterprise into saving both resources and money in the long run. A simple way to save 2 reams of paper a month - can soon turn into a major overhaul making a company completely paperless. Small businesses need to analyze their business process and come up with creative ways to start to make a difference.
HOSTSEARCH: Well, I would like to congratulate you for making a stand and showing others what needs to be done. It is a brave move on your behalf, and I hope for all our sakes there are enough people around with the same level of courage as you have shown. Just as a final comment, what is next for ServerPlex - what do you have in store for your customers?
ROBERT MARHAMAT: We have a lot in store for our customers. We are consistently working to come up with better solutions for our client base that will both save them money and make them more efficient. We also analyze their business processes' to come up with ways to improve their whole infrastructure. In the long run, our focus is to make a difference in our customer's businesses. We are much more than an IT support company, we are a solutions company for small to medium-sized businesses.