This article originally appeared in the Sept. 2012 issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY
If you’re not yet familiar with Globalinx (News - Alert), chances are good that you soon will be. The company, which provides voice and data services, has positioned itself as a cloud services provider, and it aims to expand on that front both through acquisitions and organic growth. To push forward this strategy and the related messaging, Globalinx has been working on new branding and a revamped website, both of which are set to be unveiled this month.
INTERNET TELEPHONY recently interviewed Craig Jerabeck (News - Alert), president and CEO of
Globalinx, to learn more about the company’s value proposition to both customers and partners. Here’s what he had to say.
Globalinx has been around for seven years. How has it evolved over time?
Jerabeck: The company started as an agent and then became a reseller of hosted VoIP primarily in the residential market. In 2007, we put into production our first softswitch and truly made the move to become a facilities-based VoIP company. I believe our evolution from agent to carrier has resonated with our partners in all of our sales channels as it gives us a unique perspective, and we can relate first hand to many of the challenges they face. The company now has more than 250 employees between both coasts, dedicated to serving over 70,000 thousand customers in the VoIP and TDM space.
Tell us more about Globalinx’s platforms and product portfolio.
Jerabeck: Today we have a large suite of voice and data services that we provide to our customers. We own and operate our own IP network utilizing BroadSoft’s BroadWorks platform. From this platform we deliver hosted PBX (News - Alert) services as well as SIP trunking across the country and even internationally. The BroadSoft platform is ideally suited to provide carrier-class services to a wide breadth of customers based upon their needs and the solutions they desire.
We service customers ranging in size from the very small to the very large, multi-location enterprise. Through our acquisition of TMC (News - Alert) Communications a few years ago, we began offering a full suite of traditional resold products through most of the major carriers across the country.
We also recently deployed our own MPLS network so that we can help customers prioritize their voice services across multiple locations – either all across our own network, and even using diverse providers for their access.
As you can see, there aren’t many products that we can’t support and deliver to any customer across the country, from one carrier all on one bill. Our deep product set and knowledge are key to help guide our customers through their evolution from TDM to VoIP. Some customers will get there much more quickly than others, but when the customer is ready, we’ll be there to help them every step of the way.
What are your target customers and applications?
Jerabeck: The company targets several different customer sets depending on the sales channel. Our direct selling channel primarily focuses on residential and some small SMB. Our wholesale customers are typically focused on SMB customers. We consistently win SMB customers and enterprise accounts through our agent channel. We have been a consistently strong performer with call centers for both SIP and TDM voice solutions. We happen to have a handful of partners that excel in that space. We sell nationwide and have deep DID/LNP capabilities with our VoIP offerings that make us attractive to business with multiple locations – even more so now with our own MPLS offering.
What is your go-to-market to reach these customers and prospects?
Jerabeck: The company uses channel partners exclusively for all customer segments. We do not deploy a direct sales channel. All three of our distribution channels are indirect, with our agent channel being the largest from a revenue contribution perspective, accounting for approximately 57 percent of the revenue.
Who do you see as your key competitors, and why does Globalinx do it better?
Jerabeck: Our competition varies somewhat by product. We are a fairly large switchless reseller and operate our own IP network.
When we are competing on access opportunities we typically find ourselves competing head to head with one of the large carriers, like a CenturyLink or a Windstream. On the IP side there are several companies based on BroadSoft that we run into from time to time.
What we bring to the table that many of our competitors don’t is our breadth of services. Whether it’s on-net products or a combination of resold products, we can provide a cohesive solution for our customers – all from the same company and all across the country with really no geographic limitations. The smaller companies offering BroadSoft can’t do that, and the tier 1’s are restricted by their geography.
Globalinx is working on new branding and a retooled website to be unveiled this month. Why now, and what is the messaging you want convey with these efforts?
Jerabeck: We closed on our acquisition of TMC in January of 2011. Now that the dust has settled and we are fully integrated, it made sense to educate the marketplace about who Globalinx is and why customers and partners like to work with us.
Some people in the agent channel were not familiar with us, some were. But we need to do a better job of letting people know who we are, what we can do, and why they should choose us to do business with
We are confident that our new look will help convey our value proposition, it will be clear that not only are we a presence in the market, but we are a very strong player with a tremendous breadth of product. Our financial strength and scale will allow us to win even more business. We will continue to deliver customer focused solutions with a great experience for our partners and our customers.
Anything else you can tell us about the new Globalinx branding?
Jerabeck: The new branding effort will bring a voice and personality to the company. You will be able to see how we stand out in the marketplace, and how we value relationships. Customers can expect a more casual business approach combined with the technical experience and knowledge from a leading telecom provider.
What is Globalinx’s ownership and financial situation?
Jerabeck: Globalinx is a privately held company, with the three founders owning the majority of the stock, and employees holding 10 percent. The owners are Craig Jerabeck, Jeb Tyler and Jason Guck. All of us have been in the telecom business for our entire professional careers.
I started my career with AT&T (News - Alert), where I spent eight years, and for two years I was a general manager for Cellular One. In 1994 I launched my own wireless retail business, then a wireless franchising company in 1999. Globalinx is my third venture.
Tyler and Guck were distributors for several large telecom companies prior to Globalinx and focus their attention on building distribution. They have built a very large and successful consumer business for Globalinx.
The company is very healthy financially. It will surpass $100 million in sales in 2012 with a sound balance sheet and strong earnings. This would be slightly more than a 20 percent increase in revenue year over year. We have been profitable since 2006. The company has two equity sponsors that invested in 2006 and 2007, providing the necessary capital for the infrastructure build.
What key growth areas is Globalinx moving to address?
Jerabeck: We believe that customers will continue to gravitate to cloud solutions, and we are ready and willing to help them down that path. You will see us add services to our cloud offerings, and we will enhance our commercial offerings, building upon the success that we have had with some of our mobile video and voice apps for the residential marketplace.
People’s smartphones are rapidly becoming the one device they want to use for everything. We have been selling a host of different mobile apps that support voice and video for a few years. Taking these apps and making them a part of customers’ hosted solutions will give customers more functionality and freedom, all while still delivering a cost savings. The integration of customers’ wireless and wireline needs will play a bigger role over the next few years, and we are well positioned to help customers navigate those options.
What’s next for Globalinx?
Jerabeck: Given the company’s strong balance sheet, we are in acquisition mode. We have made two acquisitions in the past several years and continue to look for synergistic opportunities.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi