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Vonage, IntelePeer Outline Key Ingredients for a Successful Business Transformation

Knowing when and how to change is critical for survival.

Edward Gately

October 28, 2019

5 Min Read
Business Transformation

Sooner or later, every tech provider finds itself under siege from rivals, new innovations and upstart business models.

Knowing when and how to change is critical for survival. But one misstep could derail that process.

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Vonage’s Mario DeRiggi

During a keynote titled “Pivotal Pivots Panel: Strategic Shifts that Reshaped Tech Companies and Their Trajectories,” at Channel Evolution Europe, Dec. 2-3, in London, two tech vendors, Vonage and IntelePeer, will talk about how they faced changing conditions and pivoted for new success.

Mario DeRiggi, Vonage Business‘ senior vice president of channel sales and business development, and Robert Galop, IntelePeer‘s chief marketing officer, are the panelists.

In a Q&A with Channel Partners, DeRiggi and Galop provide a sneak peak of what attendees can expect during their keynote.

Channel Partners: What sort of challenges have your companies faced in recent years? Is it tough to keep up with the competitive landscape?

Mario DeRiggi: The biggest challenge we have faced is one of perception. Vonage has a history of being an early leader in residential VoIP services. Over the past six years, we have made many strategic investments in products, services and talent that have transformed our offering into an enterprise grade technology stack that we own and control. Educating our partners and customers on our transformation story to understand the value our applications and solutions can deliver to the enterprise market has been a major focus for our sales and marketing efforts.

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IntelePeer’s Robert Galop

Robert Galop: One of the biggest challenges we faced was determining where we wanted to focus our resources for future growth. We dove deep into where is the market going, where our partners are going, and where we could disrupt. It became clear that programmable communications for enterprises – the next generation of CPaaS that moves beyond just APIs and makes CPaaS available to the entire business – was a natural fit for our technology and our partner-led go to market. The great thing is that when you are disrupting a market, it’s much easier to keep up with the competitive landscape because you are literally creating the landscape as you go. This success of our strategy has been proven out through tremendous feedback and adoption from both partners and installed base customers.

CP: When addressing change/transformation, is there a right way and a wrong way to approach this? What’s an example of a strategy that has proven successful?

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MD: It is critical for businesses to embrace change, but this can be tough, especially in larger companies. At Vonage, we believe that transformation is centered around hiring great people, innovating to create great customer solutions, and customer-centricity.

A business’ success depends on hiring and retaining great people who are motivated to focus forward and transform your business, and who are committed to building the best solution for your customers. It comes down to this: If you create a truly customer-centric company that delivers an exceptional partner and customer experience, and couple it with …

… great people delivering great solutions, you’re unbeatable.

RG: There is no one-size-fits-all approach for change and transformation, but there are key ingredients that improve the chance of success:

  1. Radical change requires support and focus from the top to the bottom of the organization. We could not have pulled off such a dramatic shift over the course of two years without everyone from our CEO to our tier 1 customer support team members understanding where we are going, why we are doing it, and understanding how they contribute to the final product.

  2. You have to have a clear vision and you must be able to explain why that vision makes sense. Without a clear vision of what the end state looks like, you can get pulled off into non-value-added activities that destroy your ability to achieve your desired change. The why becomes your north star during your transition — it serves as inspiration for moving forward and it can be very powerful when figuring out how to prioritize things and how to design different parts of your final product.

  3. You have to be all-in. There are always competing priorities, there are always other opportunities, and they are always naysayers. When you are confronted by all of these things in the middle of a two-to three-year change effort, do you stop? Do you change direction? Do you give up? You have to be willing to say no, and you have to be willing to stand up and push forward even when there are incredibly loud voices saying you are wrong.

CP: What do you hope attendees can learn and make use of from your presentation?

MD: I’ll be speaking at Channel Evolution Europe about the importance of knowing when and how to strategically pivot your business and why this is critical for a company’s future success. At Vonage, we’ve undergone a huge shift in our business from VoIP technology to business cloud communications leader, and that successful shift was driven by an understanding of when and how we needed to transform.

Companies are successful when they are able to stay ahead of the competition, keep pace with emerging technologies, and meet customers needs as they arise. This isn’t easy, and it doesn’t happen by accident. It requires agility and the ability to meet these changes head-on by transforming who you are and how you conduct business. I want attendees to walk away from this session with an understanding of how they can facilitate transformation in their own organizations.

RG: I’m personally very excited to share our story of success that will hopefully inspire and enable transformations for attendees.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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