BroadVoice (News - Alert) has been having a great deal of success lately. It’s moving to a new headquarters, ranking at 316 on the fastest growing U.S. company list by Deloitte (News - Alert), and adding new features to its hosted communications platform. To find out more I recently interviewed company CEO Jim Murphy.
I’ve been seeing the BroadVoice name more than ever – what’s changed to make this possible?
Murphy: Our Cloud PBX (News - Alert) product has been really gaining traction over the last 12 months. The noise is coming less from us, and more from master agents, VAR partners, and customers who have become our advocates. It’s very exciting.
You’re a tech veteran, how has your career led you this point?
Murphy: I do feel I’ve taken a real telecom path, starting with pagers in the early 90’s, then cell phones, dial-up Internet, broadband Internet, then VoIP. Each one of those began as a start-up, clawing our way up. I’ve been very fortunate to build a good team over that time. Some have been with us over 17 years. With the recent acquisition of IKANO (News - Alert) Communications, we were reunited with some of our original team members from the beginning.
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve overcome to make your company a success?
Murphy: I think the biggest challenge for any business is to have all the parts humming at once. I felt we had a really good hosted voice product for business a couple years ago. But we lacked the sales team and marketing engine to really execute our growth goals with that product. The first few channel managers we hired really bought into our vision of the company, and we quickly built an amazing channel program. Then it was just overcoming a brand awareness issue. It took some time to hit that critical mass where people are talking about your product. Now instead of us chasing new agents and VAR partners, they are approaching us.
What are the biggest competitive concerns?
Murphy: The hosted voice space is evolving at a pace I’ve never seen. Customers are embracing complex technologies like presence awareness and unified communications, without the lengthy education cycle on what it does for their businesses and why they need it. That being said, we know our competitors are trying to get in front of our customers with their own offerings. It’s why building and nurturing that customer relationship is the most important aspect of retaining them.
Do net neutrality or mobile adoption issues worry your company at all?
Murphy: Personally, I believe net neutrality is of paramount importance to the Internet and to our freedom of choice. But our business division doesn’t worry as much about it, since we’re often bringing in our own data circuit with the voice. And our products are extending further and further into the mobile space. The traditional office desk phone is being supplanted by softphones and smartphone apps. Work is getting done from tablets on the road. We’ve seen it coming and have moved to embrace it.
Do you see adding other cloud services as a natural company extension?
Murphy: Our recently launched Unified Communications (News - Alert) product extended us into the corporate email and chat services realm, both of which are delivered as cloud services. Archiving and compliance for those services seem like a natural progression. We have had some customers ask us if we would offer cloud backup, simply to have most of their cloud services with one provider. The jury is still out on that however.
What’s left to accomplish?
Murphy: We set some lofty revenue goals a couple years ago, in the nine figures. We’re halfway there. To get the rest of the way, we’ll need to continue to accelerate our organic growth, plus I think we have a couple more acquisitions left to do in this space.
Edited by Maurice Nagle