Business Strategy

2021 in Retrospect with Net Friends CEO

Post by
John Snyder

John Snyder on Positive Changes at Net Friends in 2021:

As I savor and celebrate another transformative year as CEO at Net Friends, I fully appreciate that we have the privilege to still be in business, despite all that 2021 has thrown at us. We’ve welcomed so many new customers, hired new staff to keep up with our growth, and tackled numerous opportunities. The pace of rapid change remains a dizzying (but invigorating) whirlwind!

In January, we launched a new Nextiva VOIP phone system, drawn to their powerful call center management capabilities. This headway enabled us to consistently achieve low wait and hold times.

I am confident that our responsiveness and availability is a major contributor to our world-class NPS (Net Promoter Score) of 92.4 in our recent quarter.  

Behind the scenes all year long, we’ve been building a new automation platform to improve customer experiences with Net Friends services, which we are poised to launch in the January 2022. Our new system is called Halo and it will greatly improve our support handling and reporting. Halo will unlock our ability to dig into the root problems behind recurring or clustered incidents, and integrate multiple systems involved in service delivery. We’re thrilled at the potential of this new service management platform to deliver a far superior support experience!

In our business, 2021 was also a big cloud transformation year for our infrastructure. After scoping and implementing multiple on-premise server migrations to Azure, we were able to migrate our own server infrastructure to the cloud this year! We moved close to 30 servers from our data center to Azure in a massive project that culminated in June, all without noticeable downtime nor disruption of any kind. We have already documented lower ongoing expenses because of this move.

And we’ve never been in a better position to implement robust business continuity procedures and disaster recovery plans.

In a recent (and popular) post about reimagining the traditional “office,” I explored how our HQ is becoming a career-enhancing resource for our staff to use as needed. It was honestly the unwelcome hurdles of the pandemic that revealed our adaptability and how we could be even more productive without everyone reporting into the office. Ultimately, we embraced our hard-won knowledge, and changed our policies and practices for good by permanently adopting the work-from-anywhere business model.

It was such a relief to switch away from the short-term “when do we return to the office?” mentality, which required frequent revisiting, to an official decision that allows for a consistent, steady state. This led us to convert a conference room into a video recording studio, and a large workspace into a wellness center with a Tonal workout system and meditation area.

Our staff can now plan out their own lives with more certainty and they are much happier with this flexibility!

This was a year of real change for us. Our infrastructure changed, from our phone system to our hosting environment. Our mindset changed, embracing fully a work-from-anywhere business model that doesn’t require facetime in our office. Our business has changed, with new customers to support and new Net Friends experts across nearly every department.

Looking ahead to 2022, I see plenty more change in store, but we’ve never been more poised to fully embrace this dynamism with the confidence that we’ll thrive in the years to come!

John Snyder
Net Friends CEO
December 14, 2021

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