FRAMINGHAM (03/02/2000) - Interviewee: Mike Remedios, senior vice president and chief technology officerCompany: ReSourcePhoenix.com Inc., an application service provider specializing in financial and back-office services and outsourced business and IT staffingLocation: San Rafael, Calif., just north of the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County.
Tenure: Since September 1998
Number of IT employees: About 95
Number of employees (end users): About 250; "That's hard to figure out because we're hiring fast and furiously. We hired 33 people in January."
History: Was part of diversified umbrella company Phoenix American Group; spun off as privately held company in 1997; went public in October.
Did employees have stock options at the initial public offering? "Not everybody, but I'm glad to say that I did. That's one of the reasons I came here."
How has the company changed? "When I first got here, there was a sleepy sort of Marin County feel. Now there's more of a quicker-paced, Silicon Valley feel of getting things done quickly and moving on to the next project."
Biggest recruiting challenge: "The San Francisco Bay area now officially has the most expensive housing in the country. And Marin is probably the most expensive area of the Bay area. But the traffic is better here, and it's green.
It's like living in the country."
Clients include: Thomas Weisel Partners LLC (investment bankers), GE Capital Aviation Services and The California Wellness FoundationWorkday: "Different groups have different work ethics. The accountants come in at 5 or 6 a.m., so the IT group supporting them comes in between 6 and 6:30 a.m. and leaves at 4 or 5 p.m., unless there's a big project."
What's the atmosphere like? "People like to hang out and chat, so we have table tennis and Foosball and an exercise room. We try to keep it as lax as we can so people can let loose when they're feeling uptight."
How do you deal with IT's needs to serve both the client and the company? "We try to balance all the different requests and try to be proactive on the business side. We make sure that everyone, even the most junior programmer, understands who they support. Attitude is really important."
Do you manage IT by function or by client account? "We have matrix management.
We have functional teams because there are issues with cross-training. But we also have to be client-centric in our deliverables. So we have project managers who drive deliverables on the business [client] side and functional project managers who look after the infrastructure."
Kind of offices: "We're in two buildings with an open courtyard in between where people can go smoke - and we can all stare at them and make them feel bad."
Must people carry beepers? "We have BellSouth interactive two-way pagers that are actually little 386-based computers with 1MB of memory, packet switching and a little keyboard. I couldn't live without mine because I have Outlook set up so that all my important e-mails are forwarded to my pager, and I can send replies. I have a cell phone, but I find it intrusive."
The one thing everyone complains about: "Everyone would like to have more investment in the company. We had 96% participation in our employee stock purchase program, which is extremely high. The limit is a maximum investment of 15% of your salary."
Bonus programs: "Quarterly bonuses based on company performance and occasional spot bonuses for exceptional [individual] performance."
Quote: "The thing that most IT people come here for is the variety and depth of the technology. We get a lot of former consultants because they can get the best of both worlds - a variety of clients and applications but no travel."