Early 2000’s the company I was working for acquired a Unified Messaging System (UMS) company. This meant an operator could offer a mailbox to a subscriber which could store and process Voicemail, E-mail, Fax-mail all from the same mailbox.
Exciting software product, we started engaging with potential customers. Once of the customers post a detailed presentation found it interesting and said let’s review this in a few months since they are buying a voicemail system right now.
I was dumbfounded as voicemail was an integral part of UMS and perhaps we could not convey this properly. Anyway ! asked them to consider UMS but customer was apparently about to place the PO in a week’s time and they were on a schedule. We have to win this deal !! How was the question ...
After 2 days of extensive brainstorming, working with product team and my manager, we went back to the customer with a game changing proposition and won the deal ...the proposition was -
1. In India no one leaves a voicemail but every operator was buying license for millions of voicemail boxes and knowing fully well that most of them won’t be used.
2. Our game changing proposition was - a fixed fee for the initial hardware system, software configured for millions of mailboxes but proposed charging based on traffic to the voicemail system. In other words “charging based on usage”.
3. This proposition they could not refuse or overlook and dropped the chosen vendor and contracted with us. We got the first UMS deal for APAC for our company and over a period of 3-4 years they ended up spending more than our initial estimates on this system.
Looking back - we crafted a win win for all and in the hindsight this was perhaps our first deal on "upcoming cloud model”.
Himanshu is a transformative business leader with three decades of experience in the telecom industry. He is currently the managing director of Syniverse and has extensive experience working in MNC’s like Microsoft, IBM, and CISCO. He polished his management skills studying at the University of Chicago Booth school of business and INSEAD, an extensive education program in strategy, finance, and general business. He is also an angel investor and believes startups can solve the job crisis of India.