Honeywell Fan Favorite NetStandard Shows Adaptation Means Longevity
Jul 23, 2021
A technology company cannot survive 25 years unless it can adapt and pivot to meet the needs of the customer as those needs change. Honeywell Fan Favorite NetStandard was founded in 1996 -- back when the internet was a baby and we still used Lycos, Netscape, and other search engines. Co-founders Walt Lane and Jeff Melcher knew the internet was a gamechanger for business, and they wanted to make technical expertise and resources available to businesses of all sizes.
“They really spent a lot of years supporting mainframe computers, which are a lot bigger on the data side, and really focused on engineering support services,” said NetStandard Chief Operating Officer Jaime Simpson. “That's where they started. Over the years they’ve grown as the internet has changed, their services have changed to support that growth.”
These days those services include managing networks, migrating email, and deploying wireless networks among other services. This managed service model really helps NetStandard support small business, especially as they continue to grow and scale. It allows those businesses to get what they need. “As companies grow, they find they need more technology experience, but they need it less,” said Simpson. “An example is that most companies these days use Microsoft 365, and we’re paying Microsoft to host our email. So those companies don’t need an exchange engineer anymore, or someone to manage their email. They’re paying Microsoft to do that. But when they do need someone to help them set up a security system or a different way to access their mail, that’s where we come in.”
While this Honeywell Fan Favorite provides great customer service, they also focus on employee relations, which was no small feat when COVID hit. Simpson said the NetStandard team wanted to make sure every employee – all 50+ -- felt appreciated and connected. “At the beginning of the pandemic our HR team went to every employee’s house bringing them pizza, a roll of toilet paper and a care package. We also had virtual trivia, virtual happy hours, and even a virtual holiday party,” she said. “We hired a comedian for the holiday party and that went over really well and it was just a good time.”
Even pre-pandemic, NetStandard prioritized employee input. That includes formal feedback from the Best Places to Work Survey, and also daily conversations between leadership and the staff. There is also a points system where employees earn points for excellent customer service, helping their peers, volunteering, and their work anniversary.
NetStandard also has a diverse workforce, with a high percentage of women and veterans on their leadership team. Simpson said it’s no surprise there is such a high number of veterans at NetStandard. “There is a lot of overlap between technology and the military. A lot of people who come out of the military go into technology-oriented careers,” she explained.
Moving forward, NetStandard is looking to grow their workforce and build their own diversity and inclusion policies, and both of those will start with internships. “We developed an internship program in 2020, but had to put it on pause due to the quarantine. Now that we’re back to the office, we’re looking to renew our commitment to career development and work with local partners like KCK Community College, Centriq and others to develop opportunities for diverse candidates to build careers in IT.”