All about that space TelTech Systems feels company culture starts with a modern office

Andrew Sheldon//July 13, 2015

All about that space TelTech Systems feels company culture starts with a modern office

Andrew Sheldon//July 13, 2015

The four executives of TelTech Systems traversed the open-floor-plan office, passing workers dressed in both business casual and simply casual attire, as they made their way to a small loft area in the corner of the space.

After climbing the steep steps, one is greeted by a couch, several chairs, hookahs and a basket chair that was tied to the rafters.

It’s all a part of the welcoming culture they’ve created for their employees, complete with an on-site exercise room, bunks for long hours and a personal chef who cooks lunch for the office of 35 employees.

“Culture was always very important to us,” said Meir Cohen, the company’s president. “We’ve been around for a while, and we moved here from a boring office in Toms River, but this was always our vision — to find a building like this — and it took a while.

“For years, we were looking around for the right building, the right location.”

It was a no-brainer, Cohen said. The office space was easily customizable and so close to the South Amboy NJ Transit station that its platforms can be seen from the windows.

It’s the perfect location for a company that’s trying to bring that Silicon Valley vibe to South Amboy. And, with its focus on technology, TelTech executives think it’s just the company to do it.

“You could look at us as a portfolio company: We started out with one app, then we’ve built new products over the years and we’re accumulating more products within a niche that we’re passionate about, which is privacy,” Cohen said. “What’s important when you have a portfolio company is to keep everybody passionate and innovative because you’re not just focused on one product.

“You have to be able to be creative, innovative and passionate about multiple products under the TelTech brand.”

That passion has led to success. The company has grown to 35 people, having added 10 employees within the last year and plans to grow by another half-dozen within the next nine months.

“We’re hiring a lot; we’re looking for developers and are in a serious growth stage right now,” Cohen said. “It’s probably the most exciting time here since we started. It’s like going to the next level.”

And the firm has attracted the attention of a new chief financial officer, George Abraham, who joined in April 2015 after leading his own growth-consulting company, Rhodium Strategies, for last seven of his 25 years of experience.

“It’s such an amazing environment, a great opportunity and I really enjoy working with the folks here,” said Abraham, who consulted for the company before officially joining its ranks.

An executive with an eye for growth was an essential acquisition for a company that’s looking to grow not just its employee count, but its product offerings, with various functions serving personal privacy.

One of those products, Spoofcard, is intended for people to protect their privacy by making phone calls without exposing their number. In professional applications, it aims to create a stricter distinction in the elusive work/life balance.

“(People) could call somebody (and) put in their office number to protect their cell phone number,” Cohen said. “That was our first product; millions of people have used it, and people have turned it into a lifestyle because they take privacy seriously.”

Of course, social consciousness and philanthropy are increasingly becoming a part of the modern business culture.

“That’s one of the things that really drives the culture here: We feel like our products really help people,” said Ethan Garr, TelTech’s general manager.

Keeping an eye on corporate philanthropy, TelTech has found a way to channel the strengths of its brand to assist in an important cause connected to those strengths, rather than a need that is both arbitrary and disconnected from its professional services. That cause is helping to locate missing children.

Through the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, the company connects parents of missing children with an account for TelTech’s app, Trapcall, which allows the parents to reveal blocked or restricted numbers and even record the conversation.

“We give their parents the ability to get a Trapcall account for one month,” Garr said. “A lot of times, runaways or kids who have been abducted will call in to their parents to make it sound like they’re OK, or someone will force them to do that, and they’ll call in blocked.

“By being able to unmask that number and always know who’s calling, the parents are able to find out who their child is with.”

According to the company, this program has had success helping more than 800 children.

“I think it helps bring a lot of pride to the organization,” Garr said. “You might be working on a piece of code that seems very disconnected, but it matters and it matters to real people.”

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Making a difference

While the company is succeeding in helping parents of missing children through the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, TelTech Systems also has worked closely with federal and local law enforcement, according to Meir Cohen.

“The tools that we’re building — a lot of them are based on newer technologies,” Cohen said. “Government sometimes doesn’t have access to the same technologies, and we can do easily what could take a police department days of research, work and paperwork.”

Traditional solutions to telephone harassment include changing one’s phone number or, if the abuse continues, the police filing a subpoena with the phone company — which would, in turn, have to file a subpoena with the harasser’s carrier.

Using Trapcall circumvents this entire process, Ethan Garr said.

“The next time you get a call from the blocked number, Trapcall will tell you who it is,” he said. “If they have caller ID information, we can actually give you the address of the person calling you in some cases.”