Today we’d like to introduce you to Alaine Fulton.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Short after moving from New York to California with just a car packed of tangible items in my early 20’s, I was hired by a direct carrier/ISP. Although I received good product and sales training, I was bothered by the fact that I could only offer one turn key solution. I was held down by quotas to make a sale, even though it might not have been the best choice for my customer. I decided to take matters into my own hands and started the business in early 2005 with no real sense of what to expect or how I was going to make it successful. I started establishing relationships with each carrier, reached out to mentors in the business who have had very successful telecom agencies in the past and created my business model. Over the years, those relationships with suppliers, customers, and my agents/sales personnel developed into a working business model built on trust, referrals and solid service and support, both front and back end. We have grown on average 20% each year and have been in business for 12 years now with record success. I am consistently attending training seminars, traveling to industry conferences and gaining Cloud and IT certifications to stay as up to date in the ever-changing world of technology.
Has it been a smooth road?
It has not been a smooth road and the business has taken its ebb and flows over the years. The biggest challenge is finding the right employees. Not only do they need to be technology trained and versed in several different product solutions, but finding people that are motivated to stay focused with an ‘at home’ position is challenging. It’s also difficult to keep up to date with all the emerging companies, product lines, technology trends and mergers happening in the IT and telecom space. With Cloud computing, security and worldwide breaches, the new world of “IoT” Internet of things I had no idea how much consistent training and classes were necessary in this market space.
So, let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Safe Haven Solutions story. Tell us more about the business.
Safe Haven Solutions, a woman owned IT consulting company specializing in Cloud Computing, Security, and Network solutions for mid-market and enterprise clients. Our core focus is delivering effective business solutions that reduce costs, streamline operations and increase profitability. Since we are vendor agnostic, we can objectively recommend solutions that will best meet your needs.
A large part of our services are not only the initial cost analysis and implementation, but the ‘post sale’ work which sets up apart. We are consistently working with our clients for any needs dealing with service issues, bill analysis and monitoring, moves, adds, changes, new technologies, and the list goes on. Our intentions are to be viewed as your ‘internal’ telecom consultant and our clients really appreciate that. I am also continually building strategic alliances with parallel industries, such as hardware, software and cabling companies.
I am so proud to be a woman owned business in a male dominating industry (a challenge as well) and to have consistent growth over the 12-year period. I have also just recently earned certifications in Advanced Networking network and data security solutions and continue to invest in my education.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
The only constant in the IT industry is the inconsistency. Companies are shifting from the “on premise” IT structure and outsourcing these core competencies into the cloud. This helps them lower their internal employee IT spend, provides scalability and disaster recovery so they can focus on their core business strategy.
“IoT or “Internet of things” will be a big conversation over the next few years as the number of smart devises that need to be managed by the enterprise increase daily.
Network Security is and will continue to be a big trend. 2016 was a noteworthy year for cybersecurity, with major data breaches affecting millions of customers and companies from the IRS, LinkedIn, NSA, Dropbox, Yahoo! and more. Ransomware attacks were up 300% in 2016, and 60% of all cyber-crime is now directed at small businesses – these are scary and impressive stats and customers’ needs to be aware of their security policies.
Advanced networking and smarter content delivery will continue to evolve with technologies such as SD WAN and hybrid networking. Utilizing the network to push out tailored content to my clients’ customers is essential in today’s world, and users want this content fast.
Lastly, there will continue to be major ISP mergers and acquisitions happening. Verizon/XO, Spectrum/Time Warner/Brighthouse, to name a few. These will all affect end users not only from a cost perspective (less competition = increased rates) but from a support standpoint. (800-pound Gorilla mentality) This is where we can step in to advise the customers of the future of these suppliers and where they should invest their most important assets, their IT.
- 100MG of Fiber = >$1000
- 1GB of Fiber = >$2500
- Hosted VoIP $15 per seat
- Security Solutions >$250 per site
- Consulting $75-$175 per hour or project based offerings
- Website: www.safehavensolutions.com
- Phone: 855-SHS-1500
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Safe-Haven-Solutions-LLC-144792275583889/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/SafeHavenSol
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/safe-haven-solutions-north-tustin
- Other: https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/2233067/