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      Profile: Advanced Internet Technologies, Inc. (AIT)  

    In the military, failure is not an option.
    This same philosophy drives Advanced Internet Technologies, Inc.

    AIT comes by its mission honestly. The company is headquartered in Fayetteville, NC, home to Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base. Its CEO, Clarence Briggs is a former combat infantry commander who has led men into battle. Eighty per cent of the people he now leads at AIT used to be in the military.

    Some of them first joined Briggs in 1996 when he started AIT from the garage of his home. The company came along as the digital age was heating up, and according to Alex Lekas, Executive Director of Corporate Communications, the founders grasped onto a truism.

    "Every site must reside on a server."

    Hosting emerged as AIT's core competency, with everything else spinning from that. The foundation of AIT's business has been the small to medium enterprise - the entrepreneur who, regardless of technical expertise, recognized the Internet's opportunities. As the company grew, it expanded into larger-scale enterprise services including dedicated, managed, and co-located solutions. Now, AIT hosts over 180,000 domains - everything from the SOHO to the corporate customer. Many of them are involved in eCommerce. Others have simply established a digital presence.  


    "The hosting arena as a whole is wide open," explains Lekas. "The rules are being written and defined as the industry matures."

    The two key positions for AIT are price and customer service. The company philosophy is based on making technology tools available to any size or type business, and in taking the mystery out of the Internet. AIT says its cost structure makes entry into the network economy affordable and its hosting plans are flexible enough to grow with the needs of the customer.

    And, as Lekas points out, the company constantly looks to the future.

    "There is a relentless drive to look for new or enhanced services that can be offered to customers," he says.

    That includes customer satisfaction. AIT recognizes that customers need to know if they have a question, someone will be there to answer it quickly and correctly. AIT also offers their customers a variety of plans designed to address the needs of any size enterprise, whether they focus on strictly Net-based ventures, or want to use the Internet as a tool for expanding their business.

    "Our model is structured so that it can cater to either; growing with them as their business expands, instead of selling them outsized plans they may one day grow into," explains Lekas.

    AIT is also growing. It is launching a new Web design tool, making site creation easy for customers of any level of technical knowledge. The company is adding more features to its shopping cart, and is finishing construction of a data center. And while it does all that, AIT continues to track new markets, looking beyond the obvious to Web designers, graphic artists, brick stores seeking an electronic presence, and corporations in need of a digital presence.

    Lekas says it is a continuation of AIT's core philosophy.

    "This goes back to making the Web available to the masses; making an Internet presence as fundamental a part of doing business as the telephone and fax machine."



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