Emmanuel Stinson operates Wesley Chapel, FL-based emSite Solutions, delivering software solutions, cloud computing, data transformation, logo and branding, and network connectivity. Catch up with him on Facebook and LinkedIn.
Given a business name is so central to a brand, we tend to put a lot of importance on it. How did you arrive at a name, and how do you feel about it now that you’ve been in business a while?
A business name is the first introduction one has with a company and it has to have an impact, while providing intrigue and resonance beyond the conversation. The name emSite is only six letters, however it has complex meaning. The first two letters are lowercase intentionally; em, is a unit of measurement utilized within application development of elements. It is also the first two letters of my first name. The capital S represents the first letter of my last name. “Site” provides emphasis on one of company values, which is to help small to mid-sized businesses be able to focus on their brick-and-mortar business and services rather than the technology.
With some brands, location is a key component. Is there anything about the place you live and work that’s shaped your own brand?
Wesley Chapel, FL is currently known as one of the fastest-growing cities within Florida and the southeast, thus our position here provides us the opportunity to help local businesses grow and reach their full potential.
How would you describe your professional experience and background?
My professional experience and background encompasses being a technologist and innovator who has more than 15 years of experience working in roles as a software engineer, architect, technical leader and liaison, and business owner. Throughout this career, I have obtained exposure and experience within educational, insurance, PEO, retail, automobile, and pharmaceutical industries, food beverage, real estate, and more.
From a technical perspective, I have created innovation solutions for web, mobile, desktop, and cloud platforms.
I have designed, built, and integrated with custom CRM, ERP, data warehouses, reporting platform, and task management systems. I also have experience working with robotics and artificial intelligence.
I have managed development teams spanning multiple time zones and continents. I am passionate about learning and understanding disparate systems and designing and creating sound solutions that would optimize speed, provide secure data, integrating systems, and promulgating a user experience that captivates audiences while driving a team to greatness.
Could you describe the scope of your operation?
emSite Solutions’ scope of operation is to be a customer-focused technology firm who solves frustrations utilizing progressive technologies. The scope of our projects includes building software solutions (for either web, mobile, or cloud), cloud computing, data transformation, logo and branding, and in some cases helping small businesses build out their internal network connectivity to ensure they are protected and integrated.
Some entrepreneurs describe an aha! moment, the instant they decided it was time to take things into their own hands. Could you describe any of those moments you’ve had?
My aha! moment occurred while I was working for a large corporation as well as for a start-up. I was working as a lead software engineer and as a senior solutions architect. We were helping other larger corporations increase their profit margins by millions of dollars. This was a great experience; however, I felt I could build a company that focused on small to medium sized companies that needed assistance with their software and technology needs. This drove me to pursue this passion of building a serviced based technology and solutions company.
What kind of projects do you prefer to work on?
We prefer to work on projects where we have the ability to solve a frustration and not a problem. This involves partnering with our customers, listening to their business goals and understanding their key performance indicators. We would then design an innovative solution, which could include an app, building an automated process, or performing a migration to a new system. Once we finish the innovative design phase, we work hard to deliver a high quality product.
Could you describe your typical client (if you have a typical client)?
Our typical client varies based on their desires and needs. Our customers range from new restaurants and businesses to companies that have been in business for over 40 years. I would say our typical client is a company that is seeking to have custom software built specifically for their business needs. Many companies are frustrated with out-of-the box solutions that are large and complex leaving the business owners and their employees feeling stuck with a software for they feel there is no alternative.
Sometimes we’re in a position where it’s necessary to turn down projects or even fire clients. What do those situations look like for you, and how do you manage them?
Unfortunately, we have encountered situations of this sort where we needed to protect our brand and company. Our team members are valued and are the most important to us, which is why our leadership works hard to protect our employees. Our company core values and principles are our main focal point with every transaction that we encounter. They help to protect our company and progress us forward.
In situations where we needed to terminate a contract, communication is key; however, communication must be handled in a diplomatic way to ensure that you protect your brand and company.
Communications internally are handled in a sensitive manner. We inform the team of the termination of contract; while providing necessary details to inform of why the termination happened. If there is a team member involved with the termination of the contract, we would redact that information during our conversation with the team.
We have turned down contracts for numerous reasons. The biggest reason is not being the best fit for both parties. When we look past the financial gain from a project, we evaluate if we need to compromise values, principles, or our integrity to accomplish the project. Also we evaluate the interactions with the other party, if there are some red flags during the sales and pre-contract phase, it will only worsen as the project moves forward. Thus, it is best for our team to respectfully step away from the proposal.
Performance is always important, but sometimes we have to pay close attention to value as well. How do you position GoDaddy products and services for your clients?
GoDaddy does an excellent job with creating a comprehensive package and allowing my customers to create their accounts and then link them easily for management.
One of the first questions our teams ask when dealing with new customers is: Do you have a domain name and hosting account? Most of the time, they say no, with a follow up of: “What does emSite suggest?” Our immediate response is always GoDaddy products. This value and performance that is provided from the various services and products is superb and is unmatched.
Could you describe a project that you feel exemplifies you at your best?
We are currently working with a company that has been around for 40 plus years. Their entire process from capturing potential customers to the completion of a quote, which then progresses to the project phase has been manual from the conception of the company. We spent roughly two months analyzing the frustrations and pain points of their entire process.
When then designs and created an innovative solution that protects the company from customer data lossage, decreased their quoting process from roughly an hour to two hours to less than 15 minutes, created a document repository that has intelligence built to have a source of truth for their projects, created on-demand reporting, and provided their leadership the ability to have a deep dive into the sales and project management data.
With all of the innovation that was encompassed into this project, the most rewarding for us were the smiles, excitement, and the release of frustration and stress surrounding so many aspects of their company.
Our passion is to deliver highly intelligent, innovative solutions for our customers, but yet decrease the amount of energy focused on the technology rather than their business. This is one of the many examples of what emSite Solutions provides. We are more than just a software solutions firm, we work to help change companies perspectives and trajectory.
An obvious metric for measuring our own success is how much you got paid versus how much time it took. In your experience, what are the advantages and drawbacks here?
Of course we all love the financial gain of a project; and feel even better when the time it took to finish the project was less. The advantage of this perspective is it allows one to say yes we did something quick, fast, and the customer is happy. The disadvantages of speed often means you may have overlooked quality in certain aspects of the project. Thus, the turnaround time was quick, but the bigger question to ask is, will this return to my desk in a few weeks or a month, because issues arise because instead of taking an extra week to test we would rather show our customer speed and sacrifice quality.
How does GoDaddy Pro fit into what you do? Could you recommend any ways to get the most value out of it — especially to someone just starting out?
GoDaddy Pro provides my team and I the opportunity to manage, maintain, and plan for our current and upcoming projects. Because of the Pro platform, we are able to infuse necessary maintenance into our project timelines and also communicate with customers in a more effective manner.
If one is just starting their journey with GoDaddy Pro, I would recommend first adding your customers and any existing sites that you may currently manage. This makes it a lot easier to transition. I would recommend spending at least 10 to 15 minutes for the first week just seeing how the planning feature can be incorporated into your company and teams.
The great thing about the platform is the ease of use and user friendliness of the interface, which equates to an end-user having a very small learning curve.
Are there any resources (e.g. apps, processes) that you’d recommend to an up-and-comer?
The first step is figuring out your passion, then after you figure out your passion, start with blogs or articles (medium is a great resource). If you plan to learn a new language, I would also recommend purchasing physical books. Physical books allow you to retain more information about the language, APIs, and techniques associated with particular language or technology.
Lastly, I would recommend finding the documentation for the particular language, technology, or framework. Going to the source, walking through the tutorials, and learning the step by step basics will allow you to have a solid foundation. I also recommend taking courses and obtaining accounts from sites like Udemy, Pluralsight, or Sitepoint. These are great resources and will always provide you a great amount of content and information based on your skill level.
Imagine you could travel back in a time machine to a point where you were like, Forget this. I’m done! What advice would you give yourself?
I would tell myself, don’t worry about what you see around you, focus on where you want to be and work hard to sharpen my skills to be prepared for the next venture rather than focusing so much energy on where I currently resided.
I remember being in a place where life was tough.
The company I was working for did not allow me to work on any innovative or progressive technology due to their lack of vision and fear of the unknown. I worked hard at trying to make them see how automation and innovation would allow the company to increase productivity and would help to increase the morale of the teams. Because of the strain on being creative, it made me feel like quitting and I eventually ended up working on the projects anyways, in hindsight, what I should have done was focused on a plan to get out of the company and focus on where I really wanted to be.
What’s your parting shot for people who want to be like you when they grow up?
Throughout my career there have been two things that helped me maintain my integrity and character.
I call it 2H: Humble and Hungry.
Being Humble allows for two things: First it allows you the ability to walk correctly through a door because your head will be able to fit through the threshold! Second, it allows others and your work to speak on behalf of you, will provide you the opportunity to be able to create opportunities.
Being Hungry means to never stop learning. Technology is considered to be outdated as early as 3 months after its release, this means that it provides you the ability to everlearn and to not become complacent. Always continue to seek to learn something new every day about your craft, the particular industry you work for, your company, and most importantly: yourself.
Always remember that you are valued and that there are opportunities available for you if you search for them and continue to work hard. Always keep an ear to the ground because that is where change happens. The strategy happens above, the change happens on the ground; thus, I would recommend to continue to learn and cultivate as technology evolves.
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