A Newtek Minute With: Tom De Bellis and Paolo Mugnaini

We always knew we had some incredibly talented customers, and it becomes more and more evident with each new interview. This month is no different. We spoke with Tom De Bellis of 906 Interactive and Paolo Mugnaini of SmartLite Software, who shared some insight into their unique businesses, and some of their own personal tips for success.

TomDeBellis
Name: Tom De Bellis
Company Name: 906 Interactive
Years in Business: 11
Website: www.906interactive.com

Newtek Technology Services: You’re networking at a casual gathering when a new acquaintance asks you to explain what you do for a living. GO!
Tom De Bellis:
We build web applications that help solve business problems through instant access to customers, suppliers and employee information. We work with clients ranging from the State of California to small mom-and-pop businesses.

NTS: What inspired you to pursue a career in your field?
TD:
12 years ago, I worked as an outside sales rep. Although I was a top producer, I knew the sales process was very inefficient. After management rejected technology improvement ideas, I started 906 Interactive and have never looked back.

906final

NTS: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in business that’s worth passing on to others?
TD:
Focus on the client as a personality, not just a job. Work closely with your clients to reach the most creative, unique and appropriate end result, blending the clients’ passion, desires and vision with your professional ideas and expertise.

NTS: Can you provide one no-fail tip in establishing client/customer loyalty?
TD:
Always perform at a level that compels a client thank you. Without a thank you, your client does not recognize the value of your product and service.

NTS: How long have you hosted with Newtek/CrystalTech?
TD:
Since November 2003

NTS: Why did you select us and why have you stayed?
TD:
We have stayed because of their network availability, their control panel and their support. We have worked with other hosting services that had locked in contracts with our clients, they don’t compare to what is offered at Newtek/Crystaltech.

paolo mugniani
Name: Paolo Mugnaini
Company Name: SmartLite Software
Years in Business: 13
Website: www.ewebtest.com

Newtek Technology Services: You’re networking at a casual gathering when a new acquaintance asks you to explain what you do for a living. GO!
Paolo Mugnaini:
We develop products and services for creating online assessments, quizzes, exams and surveys. Teachers and trainers can use our products to save time in grading students and evaluating employees.

NTS: What inspired you to pursue a career in your field?
PM:
I always liked educational software, especially for creating assessments and quizzes. When I studied at university, I developed many quiz programs for fun, to play with my friends. Then I asked myself “Why I don’t allow teachers and trainers to create their own quizzes and assessments?” And so the SmartLite Software company concept was born!

SmartLiteFinal

NTS: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in business that’s worth passing on to others?
PM:
Never give up. If you develop something you believe into, try to give 110%, not just 100%. You should be the first person who believes in the business idea and tries to make it real.

NTS: Can you provide one no-fail tip in establishing client/customer loyalty?
PM:
As far as my experience is concerned, I can say that very good customer service (both pre-sale and after-sale) will help you stand out from the competion. This was a key factor we took under consideration ourselves when we chose CrystalTech.

NTS: How long have you hosted with Newtek/CrystalTech?
PM
: We’ve been with CT for more than 10 years now.

NTS: Why did you select us and why have you stayed?
PM:
First of all, we looked for recommendations from existing customers, and they all had very positive things to say about CrystalTech. We started with shared hosting accounts but, as soon as our projects grew, we switched to dedicated servers. Now we are very happy to know that CT can accommodate custom configurations, and this will be a viable alternative for a very important upcoming project we are about to develop.

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