Ted Frank had a vision of providing software services that would help companies manage their governance, risk and compliance initiatives.
Frank, president of Axentis, had this vision before Enron and Sarbanes-Oxley reshaped how corporations looked at those risks. So when companies started to look at ways to manage new legal requirements and prevent another Enron, Axentis was poised to meet this need and posted a 67 percent increase in sales as a result.
Frank also envisioned providing his software as a service hosted on his own servers rather than on those of his clients. This was not common practice at the time, but Frank thought the most cost-effective and efficient way of delivering up-to-date information to clients was through a hosted environment.
Today, Axentis has more than 600,000 users in 100 countries, and sales continue to grow. It has clients with a total of more than $700 billion in sales, including BP, Cinergy and Schering-Plough.
The company was also ranked as the No. 1 managed service vendor of its type by an independent research firm, beating competing products from IBM and Microsoft.
Frank attributes the company's continued success to communicating effectively with employees and surrounding himself with the right people. Each employee is encouraged to express his or her opinions via regular staff meetings and one-on-one conversations. He explains the rationale behind key corporate decisions so everyone understands his vision. The result is a close-knit staff that works well together.
The customer comes first, but staff members are given wide latitude in determining how best to support the customer in the context of their jobs. Financial incentives are great, but Frank has found giving employees the freedom to define their day is a big reward.
How to reach: Axentis, (216) 896-8300