Darin Gull of TRACI.net: “I believe people start a business to pursue something they are passionate about”

At the start of the pandemic I became very frustrated with busy signals while trying to order take out food from area restaurants. I knew there had to be a better way for them to service their customers, I reached out to our tech team to develop a product that would allow calls to queue […]

Thrive Global invites voices from many spheres to share their perspectives on our Community platform. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by Community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Thrive Global or its employees. More information on our Community guidelines is available here.

At the start of the pandemic I became very frustrated with busy signals while trying to order take out food from area restaurants. I knew there had to be a better way for them to service their customers, I reached out to our tech team to develop a product that would allow calls to queue online where customers could hear the restaurants advertisements while waiting for a line to free up and ring through to the restaurant. I also began looking for an easy to install phones that wouldn’t require any special wiring to setup at a restaurant so the solution would literally be plug and play for a non-technical person. We were able to come up with a complete solution including 4 lines with an additional 10 calls queued in the cloud with up to five 4 line phones for 85 dollars/month + taxes. It includes a call menu, voice mail and find-me follow-me functionality. This has been a game changer for the customer we have turned up with the service. Now it is just a matter of getting the work out on the product which will work well for restaurants and small business giving them a full functioning phone system with call queueing for under 100 dollars per month which is typically less than they are paying for just 2 phone lines now.


The telephone totally revolutionized the way we could communicate with people all over the world. But then came email and took it to the next level. And then came text messaging. And then came video calls. And so on…What’s next? What’s just around the corner?

In this interview series, called ‘The Future Of Communication Technology’ we are interviewing leaders of tech or telecom companies who are helping to develop emerging communication technologies and the next generation of how we communicate and connect with each other.

As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Darin Gull Darin Gull, President and General Manager of TRACI.net, Inc. in Deerfield Beach, Florida. He has kept TRACI at the forefront of the communications industry, as one of South Florida’s leaders in Hosted PBX, Unified Communications, SIP, Cloud, and Data solutions. Darin actively fuels the vision and direction of the company while managing partners, vendors, and key client relationships. He has several industry certifications and a B.S. in Marketing and Small Business Management from Florida Atlantic University.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

I grew up in Bismarck, ND, played basketball, football an hockey. As I kid I mowed lawns and shoveled snow and became a professional magician traveling throughout the Midwest performing. I also became one of the youngest Loss Prevention Managers at Kmart at the age of 16. I move to South Florida for college and an internship at IBM. I started doing triathlons and bicycle racing which lead to running 2 bike shops on graduating from college. Seeing that the bicycle industry was going more towards retail chains, I was looking for a change and got involved with TRACI.net in 1990. At the time it was using a large scale mainframe voice message system that fortune 500 companies used to deliver voice mail services to small businesses. I immediately saw further opportunity in paging and cell phone services and also got involved in web hosting and dial up internet service before the advent of DSL and cable internet services. My goal has always been to keep TRACI.net at the forefront of communications to stay relevant in a very competitive industry.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

I wish I had a great story to share, but I guess I would have to say it has been an amazing time to be in communications and be a part of the evolution of the industry. We have gone from dial up internet to Gigabit Internet, and from analog lines and T-1s to total cloud phone systems with SIP. The change has been exponential.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I had to learn you can’t do everything and you need to focus on what you do best. We have had our struggles trying to do everything in the industry and over time I learned to focus on our strength of customer service and virtualizing phone systems while forming strategic partnerships with other companies to offload things we didn’t do well. This has allowed our company to take better care of our customers and actually increase our offerings to them while we remain their primary support contact for services even if provided by another company through our partnerships.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I consider myself a life long learner. I am always researching what others are doing and the direction the industry is going and how we can stay relevant. There isn’t one person I can think of that played a role in this but rather many people that I have bounced ideas off and engaged in discussion with to better understand the industry. I try to surround myself with people how push and challenge me to continue my growth and development. I am a firm believer that there a many paths to a destination and I am always open to learning a better path.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

We are always looking for ways to take the technologies that are targeted for large companies and scaling them to smaller packages that small businesses can afford which helps to make them more competitive with larger businesses and chains. We work to get to know the ins and outs of our customers businesses and work hard to keep them at the forefront of communications at a price they can afford.

Ok wonderful. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. Can you tell us about the cutting edge communication tech that you are working on? How do you think that will help people?

At the start of the pandemic I became very frustrated with busy signals while trying to order take out food from area restaurants. I knew there had to be a better way for them to service their customers, I reached out to our tech team to develop a product that would allow calls to queue online where customers could hear the restaurants advertisements while waiting for a line to free up and ring through to the restaurant. I also began looking for an easy to install phones that wouldn’t require any special wiring to setup at a restaurant so the solution would literally be plug and play for a non-technical person. We were able to come up with a complete solution including 4 lines with an additional 10 calls queued in the cloud with up to five 4 line phones for 85 dollars/month + taxes. It includes a call menu, voice mail and find-me follow-me functionality. This has been a game changer for the customer we have turned up with the service. Now it is just a matter of getting the work out on the product which will work well for restaurants and small business giving them a full functioning phone system with call queueing for under 100 dollars per month which is typically less than they are paying for just 2 phone lines now.

How do you think this might change the world?

I believe people start a business to pursue something they are passionate about. Communications issues can distract them from that passion and we want to be the solution to keep them focused on their passion with out distraction of phone and internet issues. As stated above it can lower the cost for restaurants and small business phone systems while giving them features typically requiring a much higher cost than the 85 dollars per month we are charging.

Keeping “Black Mirror” in mind can you see any potential drawbacks about this technology that people should think more deeply about?

We totally understand the fear of technology some people have. We designed this product to function more like a traditional phone system with line keys instead of extensions. All the technology is in the cloud and managed by TRACI.net giving the customer an easy to use system that just works.

Was there a “tipping point” that led you to this breakthrough? Can you tell us that story?

I shared that above with the frustration of getting busy signals when trying to order takeout food. South Florida has an elderly population that wants to be able to call a restaurant and are afraid of online ordering systems and just want to pickup a phone and call them to order. To add to that restaurant owners are not technology experts and they need something easy to use. These were the key factors that helped form our service offering.

What do you need to lead this technology to widespread adoption?

We just need to get the word out about the product and get more restaurants and small businesses using it. We have just started to promote an market this product, but we already have a few very happy customers on it. We continue to listen to our customer feedback and make improvements based on their experiences.

The pandemic has changed so many things about the way we behave. One of them of course, is how we work and how we communicate in our work. How do you think your innovation might be able to address the new needs that have arisen as a result of the pandemic?

For restaurants this allows them to service their customer with reduced staff and manage their call flow accordingly. But this is just one of the products we have, we specialize in virtualizing phone systems for businesses of all sizes. The ability to work from anywhere was a must in the pandemic and businesses have realized with the right setup, a remote workforce can be extremely productive. Our slogan has become “work from anywhere and everywhere”.

Fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)

Wow, that is a tough question. First, I wish someone had told me how hard it would be to run a business and stay relevant with the rapid evolution of technology and the outside challenges you face running a business.

Second, being I started at such a young age I wish someone had told me the importance of delegation and trust. You can’t do it all and you need a team you can trust and rely on.

Third I wish someone had told me to focus on what you do best and to not try to be everything for everyone. When you spread yourself to thin you can never truly succeed at what you do best.

Forth I wish someone had told me the importance of forming industry partnerships and the value they can bring to your business. When we started we tried to do everything and you just can’t keep up doing that.

Lastly I wish someone had told me the challenges of working with family. My father was one of my partners until he retired last year and both of my younger brothers worked for the company at one time and one continues to work for the company. It is very hard to not create family tension when you work together, I had to learn to separate work from family and not let work issues affect family feelings. This still remains one of my greatest challenges.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I lost a brother to suicide on March 26, 2019, he had severe OCD and battled with alcohol and drug use but was a brilliant person and a very successful mortgage actuator. His death has compelled me to be an advocate for mental health awareness and supporting other suicide survivors. I am passionate about ending the stigma of mental illness and suicide. I have learned to be a more empathetic and compassionate person which has also helped me to be a better person and leader. I hope a movement to talk about mental illness and the importance of mental heath can grow from this tragedy in my life.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Through our company websites: www.traci.net and www.oncallvoice.com I am not super active on social media but can be found on linkedin: linkedin.com/in/darin-gull-3378ab26

and twitter: @daringfl

Thank you so much for the time you spent doing this interview. This was very inspirational, and we wish you continued success.


    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    Community//

    Matt Deutschman of Doubletake Promotional Marketing: “Evaluate the customer experience”

    by Tyler Gallagher
    Community//

    Bob Vergidis of pointofsale.cloud: “Being ahead of your time can be as bad as being late”

    by Fotis Georgiadis
    Community//

    Michael Jordan of Order For Me: “Don’t stop”

    by Fotis Georgiadis
    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.