Written by: Sheldon Chi
Posted on Wednesday, May 13th 2015
Sramana Mitra: Then what’s the next milestone after moving to that Microsoft strategy or becoming a more general plumbing support beyond security?
Carl Mazzanti: Shared services. Our first level shared services was email filtering. Instead of selling someone a hardware appliance, we moved that to what everyone now calls the cloud. Back then, it was called the shared service.
Sramana Mitra: Whose product were you supporting in that space?
Carl Mazzanti: It’s our own. We filter million plus messages a day.
Sramana Mitra: You actually went into starting your own product at this point?
Carl Mazzanti: We did.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s talk about that. That’s a strategy that we see a lot of services companies use to move to products once they get into a market and develop a customer base. We call it Bootstrapping Using Services. It sounds like you bootstrapped using services around other people’s products and then brought to market your own product in the email filtering area.
Carl Mazzanti: With those products servicing our back-ends. The things that we recommend to our customers, we offer as our own. Instead of implementing it for one customer, we use that same item to share across multiple customers.
Sramana Mitra: In terms of developing that product, at what point in your journey did you start developing? How long did it take you to bring that to market?
Carl Mazzanti: We always saw ourselves as the one to fill in the gaps. We see the need and we fill the need.
Sramana Mitra: If you have to fill the need with your own product, you’re going to have to build that product. That’s part of the entrepreneurial journey.
Carl Mazzanti: The gap was that they didn’t do very good reporting. They lacked integration. The customers wanted something to tie in their user accounts to their domain controllers. We could do that in a multi-tenant environment. We removed the integrations and built in reporting. We kept the billing the same.
Sramana Mitra: Who architected your product?
Carl Mazzanti: Everyone at eMazzanti.
Sramana Mitra: I’m trying to build a story of how entrepreneurs put one foot before the other to build their companies. For me to do this story, I would need those details. Let me try again and see if you can answer this in more of a granular way. You were moving your company from a system integration services company to selling other people’s products and integrating other people’s products to a company that started to sell your own products.
In that journey, typically, a company has to put together team members with different profile sets who can actually architect and build a product. My question is how did you do that? How did you manage your organization such that you kept the services business going but carved out this product opportunity?
Carl Mazzanti: We don’t have an individual architect. There are no long-term planning sessions about the evolution of the product. The way and mindset of delivering our services is the same today and when we opened our doors 15 years ago. When there’s a common problem, we look at it and set up a small team of people who can solve that problem. When the problem is solved, the team dissolves back to what they normally do in a regular day.
There are leads in our offices who you might consider to be architects, but our leads are still on the front line taking calls from customers. Even though they might be making decisions about where we’re going long-term, they still have a constant feedback cycle from live customer interactions.
This segment is part 3 in the series : Bootstrapping Using Services: eMazzanti CEO Carl Mazzanti
Carl Mazzanti is Co-Founder and President of eMazzanti Technologies, Microsoft’s four time Partner of the Year and one of the premier IT consulting services for businesses throughout the New York metropolitan area and internationally. Carl and his company manage over 400 active accounts ranging from professional services firms to high-end global retailers.
eMazzanti is all about delivering powerful, efficient outsourced IT services, such as computer network management and troubleshooting, managed print, PCI DSS compliance, green computing, mobile workforce technology, information security, cloud computing, and business continuity and disaster recovery.
Carl Mazzanti is also a frequent business conference speaker and technology talk show guest and contributor at Microsoft-focused events, including frequent prominent roles at the Microsoft Inspire (Worldwide Partner Conference / WPC).
Carl, a serial Entrepreneur, gives back to the community through Entrepreneur teaching engagements at Georgetown University, the company’s ocean wildlife conservation effort, the Blue Project, and Tree Mazzanti.