The year was 1993. Bill Clinton was elected President, a gallon of gas cost $1.16 and the two biggest technological breakthroughs of the year were Intel’s introduction of the Pentium microprocessor and Microsoft’s launch of Windows NT 3.1.
During this year, I was looking for a new challenge and found it at American Express. At that time, their IT Director was working to significantly improve the capture and mining of call center data in order to better serve their customers. Unfortunately, none of American Express’ solutions providers or hardware vendors could understand the business requirements or deliver a solution that directly addressed their real-world business needs.
As a consultant, I was hired to find a solution for American Express’ dilemma. I plunged head-first into understanding their business, the opportunities, the red flags and land mines. Thanks to the trust, creative imagination of my client, I was given the green light to launch my solution – a program which not only solved the Director’s problem, but also motivated call center employees to do better at their jobs by allowing them to see how they were performing against their personal goals as well as their peers. Not only did this tactic help to improve call center performance, it also provided American Express with a solution with unprecedented insight into performance by time, customer, product, team-member, team, location and division.
Due to my hard work and dedication, I quickly developed a reputation as someone who respected, listened, committed, understood and delivered what the business needed. I became an insider, not just a consultant. I was part of the team; I lived and breathed their business as if it was my own (because it was!). Soon, other American Express departments, call centers and business units started hiring me for a variety of projects. Of particular pride for me was when a company Vice President told me that I was not just a resource for one department, but for much of American Express! That is the best compliment I’ve received throughout my career and I will never forget it.
Four years later, I was working 60 to 80 hours per week and loving it! Due to the demand for my services, I soon developed a backlog of projects and was forced to tell different American Express managers that their project could not start for months, which was painful for me. So when another Manager gave me yet another project, I honestly said I could not personally do it, but I knew someone who may be able to assist me with the project, under my supervision.
With the stroke of a pen that Manager made me a Vendor to. The big question: What to name my new company? Her suggestion came in 3 seconds – “Vitaver & Associates' – and in that moment, this Company was born.
Within one year, we had more than 50 consultants in five states working in project management, applications development, technical writing, QA testing and desktop support.
As we’ve grown from one client to thirty, our business philosophy remains unchanged: understand our client’s needs, meet and exceed their expectations and impact their bottom line. Only by helping our clients succeed in their own business will Vitaver continue to be one of the most trusted, reliable and sought-after staffing and solution providers available. Our goal is simple: be the very best, and not a notch less.
Twenty years later, the technology world has been transformed. Pentium’s processing speed has jumped from 60 MHz to 3.1 GHz. 1GB of RAM is needed on the new Windows 8 platform, compared to 12 MB for NT and mobile devices have improved the way we do business.
But one thing hasn’t changed: Vitaver’s singular focus on client satisfaction and dedication to solving business and technology problems.
Vitaver & Associates