FEBRUARY 2016 ;e Costco Connection 87
By Steve Fisher
SINCE 2000, INTERMEDIA (formerly
AccessLine) has been providing professional
hosted business phone
services to Costco
members, saving them
up to 50 percent on
business phone systems and equipment.
But it’s not just about
the phones. The systems help small businesses quickly establish
on that first call—often the initial point of
contact with potential customers.
Michael Gold, the company’s current
CEO, and Phil Koen, executive chairman,
bought the small company known as
AccessLine three years ago and integrated it
into its powerhouse cloud computing suite.
At this time, Costco only offers its hosted
phone system. The Connection talked with
Doug Johnson, Intermedia’s senior vice president of sales (who has been with the company
for 15 years), to learn more about the company and the services it offers.
The Costco Connection: How has the
company evolved since the beginning?
Doug Johnson: Initially, Intermedia was
really just a hosted email provider. But since
then we’ve recognized that businesses really
want to have IT services based in the cloud.
CC: How does a cloud-based service help?
DJ: Typically, in the past, all computing
was done locally in your office. Your PCs
[were in the office], your [phone system] was
in a closet, your email server was in a closet as
well and IT professionals were locally managing all of that gear. Now we can take all of that
technology and put it into data centers located
throughout the U.S. that take all of that technology from your premises up into the cloud,
moving your computing processing from the
local environment to a central location.
You have professionals run it in the cloud
that you couldn’t otherwise afford locally,
and you can get additional features and benefits you wouldn’t be able to handle if you
were just buying hardware locally.
CC: If Intermedia offers a cloud-based
phone solution, what kind of customization
can members receive?
DJ: It starts with the sale. When we meet
a customer on the phone, we talk about their
business and how they want their calls to flow,
how many rings they want on their phone
before it rolls to voice mail, how they want
Company name: Intermedia
CEO: Michael Gold
Address: 825 E. Middlefield Road,
Mountain View, CA 94043
Items at Costco: Hosted phone system
Comment about Costco: “Intermedia
loves working with Costco. We share the
same goals: to always provide terrific
value and a world-class customer experience to Costco members. We’re proud
that the service, reliability and support of
our cloud business phone system meets
Costco’s very high standards.”
—Michael Gold, Intermedia CEO
In our digital editions
Click here to see Doug Johnson
talk about Intermedia.
(See page 14 for details.)
Intermedia’s business phone service
offers reliability, security and value
their auto attendant to sound in their greetings, what music they have on hold. There’s a
vast array of options, but it’s designed by our
experts to their specifications.
There is no cookie-cutter-one-phone-system-fits-them-all. The system is literally
made for your business, and it’s really why
Costco members are so satisfied with our
products. We have built this from the ground
up, every line of code. The advantage of that is
that we’ve been able to manage the reliability,
the security and the features to target the
needs of that small-business user.
CC: How do you assure members that the
cloud is reliable?
DJ: Our cloud runs in a “five nines” environment, which offers 99.999 percent reliability. We literally guarantee less than seven
minutes of unplanned downtime a year, and
how we do that is by outstanding engineering
and duplication of resources.
CC: What else do you want members to
know about Intermedia?
DJ: That, down to our DNA, we are
extremely serious about delivering a value
proposition to Costco members that delights
them from a price point and value standpoint.
The final comment that I’d like to make is
about our focus on our commitment—our
commitment toward the Costco member and
how big of a deal that is to our business.
For more information on Costco’s business phone service from Intermedia, go to