The place: Boston, Massachusetts. The time: 1984. Two like-minded souls meet and commence what was to become a synergistic partnership bound by a futuristic endeavor. The location: the Boston University Computing Center, the brains of what was then the most advanced campus computer network in the nation and an incubator for computer and network operators, technicians, programmers, and engineers. This encounter marked the beginning of Indra’s Net, the creative imagination of Shelli Meyers, company CEO, and Spike Ilacqua, Chief Technical Officer.
Boston University (BU) was the first major university to provide electronic mail access to all of its 25,000 plus student population. There, Shelli and Spike honed their technical support skills by providing assistance to all types of university students, from wannabe physicists to aspiring actors. They both found themselves on the cutting edge of Internet access, a new technology few people encountered let alone understood.
Shelli’s aptitude for new technology got her noticed by the university administration. After a short stint with a start up company called FTP Software, Shelli was enticed back to Boston University to become the first-ever User Services departmental consultant. As a departmental consultant, Shelli pioneered a new paradigm for providing on-site technical support to academic units, establishing a strategic direction that would eventually infiltrate every academic department in the university. She also made computer purchasing recommendations, developed and taught classes, and supported graduate students, faculty, and research staff on a one-on-one basis. The new position was a prototype for other departmental consultants and a new group under the Office of Information Technology was formed. As the university’s technological needs increased, so did Shelli’s position. Shelli was soon promoted to manager of Distributed Consulting, supervising eight academic department consultants and overseeing the establishment and operation of a university-wide Personal Computing Support Center.
In the meantime, Spike was working on his degree in computer engineering at BU. Opting to take a more hands-on approach to learning, Spike left BU to sharpen his skills at ADT Associates where he was the company’s Applications Programmer. After a year, Spike left to join forces with Bill Henneman and Barry Shein, partners of Software Tool and Die. The company was originally established to do Unix consulting; however, the owners soon found themselves bombarded with requests for e-mail and newsgroup access from former university students accustomed to having those services. At the time, the National Science Foundation (NSF) was the regulating organization of the Internet and the sole authority over its access.
Barry Shein saw a great business potential in providing individuals as well as large corporations and universities with the ability to tap into the Internet. Barry sought permission from the NSF for access and then created a new service, a public-access Unix system called The World. With The World’s introduction, Software Tool and Die effectively became the very first Internet service provider in the country.
In his six years at The World, Spike laid the groundwork for all ISPs to come. Since that time, through many trials and far more successes, Spike accumulated thirteen years of Internet access experience and a warehouse of knowledge that only a handful of people in the world can boast.
In 1994, Shelli convinced Spike that it was time the two of them branch out on their own. However, they both knew that they would have to find a city other than Boston to start their own company, with The World already firmly established in that market. With a “short list” including such cities as Portland, Oregon and Tulsa, Oklahoma, it only took one short visit to Boulder, Colorado in the spring of 1994 for them to know this would be their future home.
Indra’s Net, Inc. was incorporated in October 1994. For the first two years, the partners worked out of a house on Mapleton Hill. At that time, only a few other ISP companies operated within Boulder. The market was dominated by Indra’s Net’s then-largest competitor, SuperNet, yet upon in-depth study, Shelli and Spike found that the company was considered impersonal and not effective in meeting the needs of customers. The partners realized that with their technical expertise coupled with a firm commitment to customer service, they could significantly expand the market.
Since 1994 Indra, has adapted with the times to address pressing IT needs for individuals and companies alike. We’ve stayed true to our roots:
- Boulder based
- Customer support 7 days a week
- Experienced team
- Cost effective solutions
- No outsourcing or offshoring
Now in our 20th year, Indra maintains its vigorous devotion to dedicated customer service combined with a greatly expanded set of service offering including Co-location, Cloud Management, Business Connectivity, Managed Hosting and App Management (DevOps).