Can chairs with lumbar support, frosted cubicle walls that let in more light, and shorter employee commutes all add up to happier customers? Yes, says Gary Levine, president and founder of Two Step Software, Inc., whose product, Corporate Focus, helps the nation's leading law firms and corporate legal departments track the countless details that flow from corporate governance.
Corporate Focus tracks how many shares of stock are owned by whom, which resolutions were passed at what board meetings, and who is currently an officer or director in which subsidiary, no matter how large or complex the ownership structure or whether it is public or private. According to Levine, Corporate Focus is the de facto standard for tracking equity ownership, but he adds that great features don't have the allure they once did.
'In the software applications business,' Levine says, 'most customers are won or lost based on intangibles, not because a product has this or that feature.'
This is why Two Step moved to Needham, MA (Needham Executive Center, 144 Gould Street). Located on the Massachusetts Route 128 technology corridor, the new office offers employees a much easier commute.Also, Step Two has installed two T-1 lines for Internet access, wireless network connectivity in all common areas, and a VoIP digital telephone system that allows each employee to easily see on their computer screen which other employees are currently available to take a customer call - making the risk a customer will be placed on hold virtually zero.
The move to the new location included a top-to-bottom redesign of the new office space - a space in which everything from the data rack and servers to the floor coverings and finishes are brand new. Janet Giunta, an interior designer with Joyce Contract Interiors of North Chelmsford, MA, added accent walls and checker board tiles, and varied the heights of cubicle partitions so everyone gets the most light from the windows available to them. It's contemporary, with metallic overtones and frosted glass, but still comfortable with warm colors and some natural elements such as wood.
Levine believes that such quality-of-life differences are just good business.