Today we have the honor to speak with Brett Haines from Atlantic, a hosting company with almost 30 years of experience. We are really eager to hear more about this exciting story.
We hope that you will enjoy this interview as much as we did.
As we mentioned in our intro, we did our research and we noticed that Atlantic.net has been on the market since 1994. What an achievement. Can you tell us a bit more about the beginning of Atlantic.net? How it all started?
Marty Puranik is our Founder and CEO. While attending the University of Florida, he saw a huge opportunity and future in technology, specifically providing internet access to everyone. So, he started to sell computers to help raise funds for his Internet Service Provider business, which later became the largest privately held ISP in Southeast USA. The company to date has not raised any money via venture capital nor is it funded by Wall Street. The company has always grown mostly by word of mouth and by reinvesting revenues in the future, which we continue to do. The company operates with little to no debt and continues to thrive thanks to our business model focused on running a profitable business. The company started as an ISP, then morphed and adapted along the way. You can see our company history here.
Along the way, we morphed into a telecom provider, web host, data center operator, and dedicated server host, to now serving tens of thousands of customers in over 100 countries with our Cloud Services.
Our Network of Cloud VPS data centers spans three countries to include five data centers in the USA, one in Canada, and one in the United Kingdom. We now primarily focus on E-commerce PCI-DSS Compliant Hosting and HIPAA Compliant Healthcare Hosting. We also have thousands of developers building on our Cloud Platform.
How the internet looked back in 1994?
It was dial-up internet and even though 56k internet was considered to be fast, it was all just beginning. We were at the right place at the right time and as a result, helped to pioneer the space. Later, we started offering DSL, but we got regulated out of the business, so we shifted our focus to hosting services.
What were the challenges that you faced at that time?
In the early 1990s, we didn’t have the business experience, but we did have a strong will, passion for technology, and willingness to continue to push hard to succeed which helped us to overcome our challenges. We have been able to run a successful business that continued to grow despite the dot com bust, housing market crash, and most recently COVID-19. We are still growing stronger than ever thanks to the leadership of our original Founder and CEO, Marty Puranik, who helped us to continue to adapt and succeed. We continue to change and evolve. One thing that we have pretty much mastered is the ability to adapt, and that is something that will continue to guide our strategy.
How have the hosting industry and the internet changed since 1994?
Well, when we started the business it was called Internet Connect Company to help rural America get online with dial-up internet and then later DSL. It definitely changed from getting people online to helping businesses establish an online presence. Now it has been mostly helping businesses succeed online but also making sure to keep them secure and protected.
What are the main products and services that Atlantic is offering?
We built our own cloud platform from the ground up. This has enabled us to offer an array of services including Cloud VPS, Dedicated Cloud Hosts, Specialized Healthcare and Ecommerce Secure Hosting, Colocation, and a full suite of Managed Services.
What are the top 5 things that your company is different from the competition?
- We are agile and continue to be flexible and change.
- Atlantic.net’s owner is not looking to IPO or “cash-out” so there is no penny pinching or “streamlining” that causes issues with other tech companies.
- We provide 24/7 phone and ticket support at no extra cost to all of our clients, big or small.
- We do not cut corners. For example, all of our storage on our cloud platform runs on RAID SSD storage by default.
- We provide differentiated services and complete solutions to help key growth segments like eCommerce and Healthcare so you only need to go to one provider for your online hosting.
From 1994 to now there must have been a lot of new technologies that you have incorporated. Are you following the new trends and what are your plans for introducing new technologies?
We are always on the cutting edge. We have quite a few exciting services in the pipeline and we are optimistic about the continued growth trajectory of our business, and it seems to be accelerating! We will continue to expand our footprint where demand dictates and there should be an announcement in the coming months of our latest cloud region!
What is your opinion about cryptocurrencies? Do you think that cryptocurrencies will change the internet and the hosting industry in general?
From a hosting point of view, mining does not make financial sense and is a question that we get asked often. However, there is a place for cryptocurrency in general. Right now, Bitcoin uses too much electricity to be a great solution. There are some promising offerings in development right now. It will be interesting to continue to track as we continue to progress with the technology.
Almost 30 years is a great achievement. What are the plans for the following 30?
We have spent the last 25 years preparing for the next 25. At Atlantic.net, it has never been about selling our business and cashing out. We are passionate about what we all do and looking forward to a bright future ahead! The goals haven’t changed here and it is to continue to build interesting and useful products, provide world-class support, and work with people we enjoy working with. The next few decades will be interesting for sure with the push to Cloud, online presences only growing, and new cybersecurity challenges. It will be a busy and exciting time!
Any final thoughts for our readers?
Always pursue what makes you happy. You have one life, but not one chance so if you start a job or hobby that doesn’t make you happy then find something that does. I never thought I would be working at a cloud services company and here I am today! I love every day and there are always interesting challenges to overcome.
Brett Haines - Vice President, Atlantic.net, Inc.
As Vice President, Brett continues to use new and creative ways to increase quality, efficiency, and customer satisfaction. With 11 years of sales, networking, technology, and management experience, Brett is directly responsible for overseeing the Sales, Sales Engineering, and Product Management teams.