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CEO Spotlight
March 2004

Peter WilsonIn the CEO Spotlight section in Internet Telephony� magazine, we recognize the outstanding work performed by exemplary companies. Each month we bring you the opinions of the heads of companies leading the Internet telephony industry now and helping to shape the future of the industry. This month, we interviewed Peter J. Wilson, CEO, Telwares Communications, LLC


IT: What is your company�s mission?

PW: Telwares� mission is to ensure enterprise companies optimally source and manage their telecommunications investments. Industry dynamics ensure that enterprises cannot attain leading edge pricing, contracts, and cost management results on their own. Telwares cuts through these obstacles and helps enterprises achieve the highest standard for managing telecommunications investments.

IT: Please characterize your vision for Telwares.

PW: My vision for Telwares is that our name becomes synonymous with thoughts around world-class supplier agreements or optimal telecommunications cost management. We see an opportunity to leverage our leadership and assets and build a real brand and own that market positioning. We are the trusted advisor to the Fortune 500 and we want to expand that to the top 2,000 or so companies in the U.S.

IT: Describe some of the key decisions that you have made as CEO to navigate your company through the recent turbulence of the financial markets.

PW: We have thrived despite the economic turmoil of the past few years. We made a decision to more aggressively target C-level executives that have fiduciary responsibilities to their shareholders. Use of telecom services isn�t going away; it is only growing and becoming more pervasive in the operation of most all enterprises. Most enterprises think they do a good job in sourcing and managing their telecom yet we know most are paying at least 20 percent too much. What company can afford to remain this disadvantaged given the competitive pressures facing U.S. businesses? This message resonates very well with C-level executives.
We also made decisions over the past two years to develop specialty practices in Local and Wireless services. The dynamics of these two sectors have changed dramatically of late. We saw this coming and took action ahead of the change and now we are ahead of everyone in delivering the leading edge results we are known for. Both of these sectors are woefully under-managed in the enterprise and are much harder to tackle for thinning enterprise resources.

IT: What are some of the key technology decisions that you have implemented to make certain Telwares maintains its position in the market?

PW: Telwares has two primary assets, our people and our intellectual property. Effectively leveraging these assets as a widely dispersed organization requires us to invest in Internet and database technologies. We have a corporate intranet that maintains our CRM and serves as a collaboration and document repository system. This is key for us to share ideas and information. We have also built a custom database to capture our unique intellectual property of pricing and contract deal points. This has sped up our delivery process and allows us to keep our operational folks fully informed as they industry rapidly evolves.

IT: What makes the Telwares� service unique in the industry?

PW: In three words it is our Knowledge, Experience, and Relationships. Nobody comes close to matching our assets here. We are staffed by over 50 veteran industry professionals from all the key suppliers. We know how their process works, and we know their strengths and weaknesses. We also see more deals and real leading-edge data points than anyone. Since our inception a decade ago, we have negotiated contracts valued in excess of $7.4 Billion and reduced client costs by over $1.5 Billion. Those are big numbers. It is indeed a small industry and our team of veterans are in a unique position by having excellent first-name relationships with the C-level executives of most major IXC, Local, and Wireless suppliers. Although we may sit on opposite sides of the issues most of the time, these relationships allow us to drive the best results very quickly.

IT: What is the most pressing issue facing the IP Telephony industry today, and what can be done to alleviate the problem/s?

PW: The primary issue facing VoIP is the old adage, �if it ain�t broke, don�t fix it.� Legacy TDM voice and Frame Relay services have become real cheap and continue to decline in price. Their reliability is well established. Enterprises are mainly driven by reducing costs not by installing sexy technology. While we have no doubt of the inevitability of IP telephony, in order to truly crack the enterprise market the industry must prove that:
� There is economic advantage in making the shift.
� The quality and functionality is equal to or better than legacy systems.
� The transition is relatively seamless and trouble free.
The industry has too much hype right now. Enterprises need to truly understand the Total Cost of Ownership differences and need help making the business case prove out. Telwares is helping to answer this call to action, but the hardware and service vendors need to do a better job to accelerate VoIP and MPLS adoption. c

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