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1
A Perspective on the Past,
Present and Future of
Programmable Telecoms
Or
"How not to build a Unicorn - a
Beginners Guide."
2
Investment Banker
Kidder, Peabody, and Chase Manhattan Bank from 1985 to 1993.
Pirtek, a successful franchise operation - sold in 2001.
1999 bought into Online Marketing, which became Premier
Business Audio Limited
2002, invested in the then embryonic NewVoiceMedia.
Raised £5 million at 34p a share valuing the business at £25 million.
Sold out in 2012, prior to eventual sale to Vonage in 2018 for $350
million. (70p a share).
3
So what did we do right?
How did we keep NVM alive?
Well………
We believed absolutely that it was going to work
We ignore the moments of massive self-doubt that hit you in the middle
of the night
We ignored everyone who says that you are mad
We were lucky (We made our your own luck)
We had a great team
We communicates a lot
We kept our eye on the far horizon, ignoring the day to day challenges
that inevitably got in the way
4
Luck!
Premier Business Audio and NVM were good partners
One had technology and one had Clients (and
Cashflow!)
5
What did we get wrong?
Ignored the Premium Rate Conference Call Market
(A Cash Cow that became Speakserve
and by then the only profitable bit of the business)
Marketing was Poor
Sales Execution was Poor
Despite this we still had a great Board
Former CFO of Skype
Founder of Salesforce.com in EMEA
Over Egged the Plan when we raised money
6
CEO of Babl.biz, a CPaaS provider.
Speakserve is an Enterprise Software Company specializing in
communications and collaboration that had been part of the NVM
group.
Privately held – no external equity finance.
Think Compliant Zoom
Chairman of Telet Research
7
Economic Model
Nuclear fission at the heart of the business
Technology is only a small part of the business
The Economic Model
Does it scale profitably?
Who do you need to deliver the message?
Should you take external funding?
What other alternatives are there?
8
The Future
The Market is still transitioning from legacy systems to the cloud
CPaaS services are becoming more prevalent and easier to use
This will only increase as people understand them and the renewal
cycle marches on
Decisions will be made by visionaries and people who have to make
change to survive
People are going to have to differentiate to survive
Pricing will move away from per minute to Capacity based models
9
Zhou Enlai on the Effects of the French Revolution:
“Too Early to Say.”
,

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TADSummit EMEA 2019 openning keynote Jonathan Grant

  • 1. 1 A Perspective on the Past, Present and Future of Programmable Telecoms Or "How not to build a Unicorn - a Beginners Guide."
  • 2. 2 Investment Banker Kidder, Peabody, and Chase Manhattan Bank from 1985 to 1993. Pirtek, a successful franchise operation - sold in 2001. 1999 bought into Online Marketing, which became Premier Business Audio Limited 2002, invested in the then embryonic NewVoiceMedia. Raised £5 million at 34p a share valuing the business at £25 million. Sold out in 2012, prior to eventual sale to Vonage in 2018 for $350 million. (70p a share).
  • 3. 3 So what did we do right? How did we keep NVM alive? Well……… We believed absolutely that it was going to work We ignore the moments of massive self-doubt that hit you in the middle of the night We ignored everyone who says that you are mad We were lucky (We made our your own luck) We had a great team We communicates a lot We kept our eye on the far horizon, ignoring the day to day challenges that inevitably got in the way
  • 4. 4 Luck! Premier Business Audio and NVM were good partners One had technology and one had Clients (and Cashflow!)
  • 5. 5 What did we get wrong? Ignored the Premium Rate Conference Call Market (A Cash Cow that became Speakserve and by then the only profitable bit of the business) Marketing was Poor Sales Execution was Poor Despite this we still had a great Board Former CFO of Skype Founder of Salesforce.com in EMEA Over Egged the Plan when we raised money
  • 6. 6 CEO of Babl.biz, a CPaaS provider. Speakserve is an Enterprise Software Company specializing in communications and collaboration that had been part of the NVM group. Privately held – no external equity finance. Think Compliant Zoom Chairman of Telet Research
  • 7. 7 Economic Model Nuclear fission at the heart of the business Technology is only a small part of the business The Economic Model Does it scale profitably? Who do you need to deliver the message? Should you take external funding? What other alternatives are there?
  • 8. 8 The Future The Market is still transitioning from legacy systems to the cloud CPaaS services are becoming more prevalent and easier to use This will only increase as people understand them and the renewal cycle marches on Decisions will be made by visionaries and people who have to make change to survive People are going to have to differentiate to survive Pricing will move away from per minute to Capacity based models
  • 9. 9 Zhou Enlai on the Effects of the French Revolution: “Too Early to Say.” ,