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October 17, 2013

(2013) Letter From the CEO

Author: Harry Casimir

It’s the intention of this post to communicate to you – our friends, partners, fans and clients – what’s been happening at Atilus and give you a taste for what’s to come.

As you may have witnessed – we’ve had tremendous growth over the last year. Back in 2005 we had grown to a 14 man shop. However, because of the economy and our personal commitment to quality – we decided to scale back. We stayed lean and nimble, until – 2 years ago – it was clear it was time to grow again.

Since then we’ve gone from just Harry and myself to where we are now – a full team of nine! I’m proud to say that we’re one of the largest Ad Agencies in the area, operating as a cohesive team – and I am amazed by the talent we have on staff.

We’ve never had a team like this. And we’ve had some amazing accomplishments over the year:

  • Harry Casimir – Became Chair-Elect of the FGCU Board of Alumni
  • Assisting the Bonita/Estero EDC in Helping to Grow the Local Economy
  • Nominations for Entrepreneurs of the Year for the SBDC
  • Relaunched our Brand (new logo, website, etc.)

… and ultimately through our work with local schools and FGCU, we’re trying to cultivate the curriculum and training for our future staff and this sector of the local and national economy (these web-based computer skills). Harry and I both agree it’s Atilus’ responsibility to facilitate this work by people here in Southwest Florida. We are one of the only firms that does not outsource ANY work. There’s a ton of web work to be done, both locally and nationally and we’re trying to help transform Southwest Florida into a web technology center to benefit our community.

We’re also getting to work with some amazing clients and they are doing amazing things:

  • 2 Shark Tank Alumni – That’s right – that show that gets 7 million+ viewers every Friday on ABC! Some really amazing product companies that we can’t wait to talk about more when the time is right!
  • John R. Wood – Atilus is helping the prestigious John R. Wood with some very cool database work to help continue to differentiate their business, refine processes and help them sell more than $3 billion in Real Estate
  • Harry Chapin Food Bank – We’re currently working on the redesign of the Harry Chapin website (I can personally guarantee the site is looking amazing!). It’s the intention of this site and online marketing to help facilitate their mission of overcoming hunger in the 5 county area.
  • Paradise Coast – Atilus may soon be responsible for all of the online marketing for the Paradise Coast (Naples/Collier County)
  • Panache Desai – Our longtime friend and client Panache Desai has just been exploding on the web and in the media and we’re assisting him in rapidly expanding his audience.
  • Grady White – We recently completed the GradyFest website for Grady White (considered one of the best fishing boats in the world) through our long time friend and client Fish Tale Sales & Service.

With that said here’s an itemized list of things we want to make sure to communicate:

What’s Already Changed

Marketing – More than anything you’ve probably seen our new colors, logo, website, and “SWAG.” I love my stickers (thanks Ryan). The ENTIRE team worked hard over the last 6 months, and thanks to our amazing Director of Marketing Phil Stalnaker, we’ve refined our message and materials.

We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished, but more than anything of what it means for our clients. However, it reminds me of a little story from 6 years ago:

Back at the end of 2007 we had a client who I bumped into at a networking event. We had JUST changed our name from Unique ID Web Design (a mouthful to say over the phone) to Atilus. She came up to me and said “congrats” – and explained she was under the impression we were purchased by this new “Atilus” conglomerate. Out of fear she was going to get poor service – she was nearly ready to leave.

So I want to say clearly – we’re the same Atilus – but we’re growing.

Harry and I are behind every interaction, every update, every design, and although we’d love to be the ones working direct on everything, and with everyone, it’s important we begin to teach a new set of people these same skills to help better service everyone and provide longevity to our clients. Atilus’ new direction and marketing means even better service, someone ALWAYS answering the phone, and taking care of our clients’ needs and updates in a more effective manner.

What’s About to Change

Client Communication Initiative – Matt Visaggio (our Director of Business Development) and Phil Stalnaker will be reaching out to all clients over the coming months to introduce themselves. Over the years our client list has grown to the hundreds, and we think it’s important to stay in touch. It’s our responsibility to learn as much as we can about each of our client’s businesses and match them with the right online marketing pieces.

Partners – Without our partners we’d be nowhere and our client’s would go under served. I wanted to thank every partner we’ve ever worked with. Thank You!

Two things have been at the center of our growth – our team and our partners. We’re working closer with partners than ever before to provide our clients help in our partners’ respective areas of expertise. Where our own skills stop, we want to work with equally amazing and capable companies that can assist our clients and be at the center of their business decisions. So that’s why we’ve always taken a great amount of care in working with partners that are reliable, proficient and able to achieve results for our clients.

Support Packages – Support has been one of the biggest problems at Atilus.

In fact, I think it’s one of the biggest problems in any industry, and in particular – service industries.

In analyzing other businesses, providing support typically causes clients to either hate their web development company – or their company goes out of business. We find neither acceptable.

Because of this, we’re rolling out a number of support updates at Atilus. We’ve developed a premium support package so that we can dedicate an entire team to our clients’ support needs, and for any clients that don’t require this level of service – a dedicated support time so you’ll always know when your updates will be ready.

Our combination of scheduling and a whole support division will help provide lasting service that you can rely on and will help keep us and the companies we work with strong.

Technology Updates – The web has been changing tremendously over the last 2 years.

  • Mobile has exploded.
  • Google released their hummingbird update – one of the largest updates ever to the way the search engine and SEO works.
  • WordPress is being SLAUGHTERED by hackers (don’t worry we’ve kept every site on our new servers protected…!)
  • … and infinitely more

In a sales meeting the other day Matt explained to a potential client…

“It’s not that we’re good with technology, that’s one thing; yes we’re great with technology. But, here we’re sitting in your conference room, learning about your business (an industry we’ve never worked before) and learning all of the intricacies about it so we can build you a revolutionary application… so that’s REALLY what we’re good at – LEARNING.”

We constantly learn on two levels – learn the technology and learn our clients’ businesses – so we can marry the two.  So it’s this background that guides each of our new designs and all of our coding. We always try to balance that fine line of “cutting-edge coolness” with “what makes financial and timely sense.”

ONE MAJOR PLATFORM – In addition to this, we’re switching to one major content management system & development platform/environment.

Over the years we’ve bounced between programming languages, server types, software stacks, etc. but we’re proud to announce that 1 system and environment has finally “won.” I have to be a little tight lipped here, but we feel one platform and methodology for design/development will allow us to better develop our skills, and provide a securer and better long-term solution for all of our clients.

Next Year & Beyond

I wanted to end on a particularly exciting note. Next year we’ll be debuting our first software as a service product. We’ve built a number of cool tools and pieces of software for clients over the years, but we spotted a niche that had a problem – and went about solving it.

We felt this problem needed solving and that a great web application (aka Business Application) would be a perfect way to do so. But, it is also an exercise to better hone these same skills we have to apply on every high level project.

It’s our hope that this new software will benefit the world and has already helped enhance our skills even further along for these kinds of high-end development projects.

Finally, please take a moment to check out our team page – to learn about all of our awesome team members and feel free to reach out to me directly should you have any questions or suggestions.


Harry Casimir

Harry Casimir is our CEO and co-founder. He specializes in all aspects of technology from hosting to server maintenance and provides overall strategic direction for our team.

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