This is an excerpt from a recent interview of our CEO, Harry Beisswenger, on JobTalk with Dean Logan. This is the first part of a multi-part series about the history of NetDirector, our staff, our mission, and our future. Enjoy!
Dean: Before I introduce my guest I want you to visit his website while listening to the program. If you care to do that you can visit Netdirector.biz and you can also follow us live as we can be seen on periscope you can view the screen by going to twitter.com.
I’m very happy to welcome my guest today, Harry Beisswenger, the CEO of NetDirector, an award winning company located in Tampa Bay. Welcome to Job Talk, Harry.
Harry: Thanks, Dean. It’s great to be back with you.
Dean: Yeah, the second time you’ve been here. It’s been over a year; I’m really happy to have you back. Different office, it’s a great location, I’m awfully glad that you’re here. So, I’m very anxious, there’s been a lot that’s happened since we last spoke, and I’m very anxious to get to all of that. First, let’s give everyone a little history on yourself, up until the time you took over as CEO at NetDirector. Where are you from?
Harry: Well Dean, originally I’m from the Philadelphia area, so I grew up there and started migrating south in probably my late 20s. I moved to Atlanta and spent about 12 years there, I really love that town, and then had an opportunity to move to Tampa. I really like being by the water, and the city really appealed to me, so I moved to Tampa in 99. So I’ve been here about 16 years.
Dean: What kind of work did you do before you become the CEO of NetDirector?
Harry: Well Dean, I’ve always been in the software business; actually my father founded a company back in the 70s, in the early days of technology. It was a software program for law firms and I learned a lot from him from the entrepreneurial side and had an opportunity to move to Tampa and really wanted to get into technology as far as running a company and being part of a startup. But as far as my experience, it was really around working at various software companies and various industries. I was in legal, I was in financial, I was in commercial business software, and each one really gave me the experience in technology to start to develop a startup business and bring it to market.
Dean: That sounds great. And what kind of roles did you have in those other companies that prepared you for a CEO position?
Harry: Mainly, well, I started out in the trenches and really implementing as a project manager. Implementing software, customer service, working with clients to maximize or optimize the use of various software programs. Most of those were enterprise systems, for instance, one of the early companies I worked for sold core systems to credit unions so it was all about managing loans, savings accounts, all of those things that were tracked inside of those systems. Then I moved on to systems that managed professional service automation and sales force automation in the early days. You’ve heard the term CRM so I was involved in the early days of CRM software, customer relationship management. To manage customer information, sales, support, all those types of processes.
Dean: That’s great and so you came here about 16 years ago; did you come here for Netdirector?
Harry: No, at the time, I was with another company, it was a technology company called Power Serve and I was in sales for them and they wanted me to move into product management. It was the first time I really got into managing all different types of software products. They moved me down here and then I moved with a couple other companies, and then the opportunity with Netdirector came up about 10 years ago.
Dean: How long has NetDirector been in business?
Harry: It was formed in 2003, actually started producing revenue in 2005, so we had our 10th year anniversary and we’ve become a very sustainable and profitable company.
Dean: Well that’s great. So let’s talk about Netdirector and what you do over there. It’s a leading provider of cloud-based data and document exchange solutions. Can you explain exactly what that means?
Harry: Yes, we are kind of behind the scenes; we’re up in the cloud so it’s very complex technology behind the scenes, but to break it down into simplistic terms, we’re moving various chunks of data and various documents through the cloud, between various companies, or trading partners. So what we’re reducing is full-time employees or extra staff that are keying in data manually or handling documents manually, and either importing those into their system or moving documents to some of their other clients or vendors. We automate that whole process, so it provides a significant return on investment for our investors.
Dean: That’s great. So the areas that you specialize in are mortgage banking, technology, and healthcare?
Harry: Yes, our initial industry or ecosystem was mortgage banking, default servicing sector, so when a loan goes into foreclosure or bankruptcy, those servicers then hire an attorney to manage that foreclosure through to a sale of property or closure of the file. That was our core business we were really helping out with, but the main beneficiary of the foreclosure was the attorney. Then we eventually brought on the mortgage servicer, because there’s a lot of data that goes back and forth in reporting and the servicer gets that data much more timely, and it’s much more accurate if it’s an automated process. The attorneys see major benefits because they are saving, again, resources and not having to double key information into their core systems, which are case management systems. So I’ll give you an example: a mortgage servicer assigns a foreclosure file to an attorney, normally the attorney would go to the servicer’s system, pull up that foreclosure information and then somebody would have to key it into their case management system. That is very error prone, and it takes somebody 15 to 20 minutes per file to key that data in. So you multiply that out by hundreds of files, and some firms do thousands of files, per month, and you see a significant return on investment.
Dean: Exactly. So that’s good; do you do this across the country?
Harry: Yes, we are domestic, we are about in every state.
Dean: Really and only 10 years. That’s pretty good, Harry.
Harry: Yes, it’s been a quick ramp up.