From Tula with its PBX. We are trying to enter European markets

    In a dream, almost every IT entrepreneur, if he dreams of success, if he is active, young and cheerful, very often sees something like this: early morning, spring San Francisco, an entrepreneur driving a lemon yellow Tesla X rushes to a meeting with investors discuss a new round of investment followed by an IPO. After that, all the shareholders of the company, including minority shareholders, together go around the world on yachts of 200 million each.

    About a year ago, our head of the sales department began to visit similar visions - he slept and saw how the Russian IT project, with the confident step of the Macedonian phalanx, was storming European and Asian capitals. It should be noted that the seller’s dreams didn’t seem unrealizable - we have our own cloud platform, which has been under development for several years, and its name is ITooLabs Communications Server.

    Our development office, the holy of holies and the Temple of Science with an altar for the glory of cloud technology, has historically formed in the city of Tula, and this is rather good than bad - a quiet, cozy town in the center of Russia has a thoughtful reflection on global IT strategies, and to the capital of digital Brotherhood - Moscow - just a couple of hours by car. To say that we are involuntary in life is to mislead. ITooLabs Cloud Operator Platformwell-known in the operator’s environment, there are regular and loyal customers, a number of interesting developments, their own communicator, trusting relationships with major players and colleagues in the IT market. It would seem - live and rejoice and we live and rejoice. The joy is overshadowed only by the periodic (and not constant) availability of spring San Francisco and the insufficient number of lemon Tesla X in the parking lot near the office.

    About time and about myself

    The Russian market is huge, dynamic and moderately positive, all the calculations of hard-working marketers inspire confidence in the cloudless future of the cloud virtual PBX segment. Virtualization and SaaS are taking leaps and bounds across the country, leaving traces even on the dustiest paths of small cities. But our business model is not intended for end users, we work with telecom operators and offer them, without investing in infrastructure and development, to increase the service of a cloud virtual PBX in a few days. All software lives in our cluster, from the partner operator, in fact, in addition to the desire to increase ARPU due to new services, it only takes several hours of thoughtful work by engineers and dozens of graphic files to customize the PBX.

    Something like this:

    This implies one limitation - we ourselves can reach the end user only with the hands of his operator, which means we can directly influence the sales of partners only through the endless development of services, joint marketing movements and motivating conversations with direct sellers. With such a sales model, constant expansion and the search for new partners looks like a very reasonable and justified strategy: we try to be present in the markets as much as possible, attracting more and more operators and form some kind of Darwinian behavior model - the coolest one survives. Moreover, we love each other with operators using the rhubarb-sharing model, that is, we do not take any obligatory payments, but honestly share the revenue received only from live sales.

    Several of our partners, at first actively taking up the promotion of cloud-based PBXs, were gradually blown away and this happened for reasons independent of ITooLabs. So you can’t stop, then we go further and look for new and new partners, and we are looking for them everywhere, around the world: in Europe, Polynesia and in the Antarctic territories of Australia. You are to us, in Tula, with samovars, we are to you, to Europe, with our IP-PBX.

    The screenshot of the dream of our main marketing realist looks like this:

    Marketers are usually creative and prone to fantasies, but we came across another - a realist, with a moderate amount of objectivity.

    At the same time, our main businessman Ruslan in childhood was read by Jules Verne and Mine Read and he had completely different dreams. Screenshot of Ruslan's dream:

    The shareholders like Ruslan’s dream more: we print out the screenshot and hang it on the wall of the office, instead of the classic CIS card, like ToDo for the coming year.

    We look at the map and paint the sequence of actions to enter global markets.

    What you need to do:

    - analyze the situation with SaaS in Europe, Polynesia and both Americas
    - identify the right business model for entering local markets
    - customize the sales platform in the non-Russian-speaking segment (translate the interface into English)
    - open additional sales offices in Europe
    - we form an agent network
    - we sell the platform in Europe, the Americas and in the Antarctic territories of Australia
    - subscribe to the newsletter on the Tesla website so as not to miss the announcement of a new modification

    What has been done now:

    - analytics have been collected for several months. Gathered: everything is not so bad. The European market is specific and competitive, but there are growth points. Confirmed by the recommendations of the best marketers.

    - The business model is formed and documented. Affiliate and direct sales of the right, commercial, solution to leisurely European operators, with home-made crooked asterisk platforms, do not seem an impossible task (it turns out that Asteriski “saw” in Croatia and Bosnia).

    - Interest was translated into English in a couple of weeks. This is perhaps the simplest thing to do.

    - opened two European offices. One in London (everything is easy and simple with the IT business, plus the reputation of a company with an office in the most European Europe). The second in Skopje, in Macedonia. The country liked geography (an hour by plane to Hanover or Istanbul) and a loyal tax policy for foreign companies.

    - Found the first partner in Eastern Europe, in the Balkans. I started to get a little active. At the time of this writing, the partner will just us on a significant East European event. We observe and wait for the results.

    - Tesla has not yet signed up for the newsletter. Superstitious.

    Truly active movements began in the spring of 2015, when we decided to take part in the widely publicized IT party TelcoDays, in Prague. Honestly defended for three days and returned to Russia with conflicting feelings. Ruslan’s dreams have become even more colorful and dynamic, but the shareholders’s dream has worsened - to work properly in Europe, you need a resource: people, money, brainstorming. We will look for ways to cope with all this. Aitulabs already had experience in custom development for foreign customers, several successful projects have been implemented for various XXXX telecoms. Well, now we will also build sales schemes, there is no xneophobic-amateurish syndrome, thank God. We promise to share almost all the insights and results on our blog, there is nothing to hide, and the experience will certainly be useful to many.

    On a platform with bells To

    tell about ambitions and achievements and not to talk about the product itself, it would be, at least, wrong. We tell and show with screenshots and funny people with which product at the ready we were going to storm the NASDAQ.

    ITooLabs is a white label operator platform with a fully graphical administrator interface, everything is already deployed and configured in our data center, the partner operator receives affiliate accounting and customization in a matter of days. Designer Yuri will do all the work himself, the operator needs only a brand book and answers to questions posed by email.

    The interface of the service client (the client who will call and manage his PBX) looks like this:

    The interface of the partner operator looks a little boring, but also more functional. Without this, nowhere: it should be convenient for the client to use, the main part of the settings is made by the service provider and its engineers. To do this, more buttons and settings to help them.

    The platform’s curator, who is also an advanced administrator on the operator’s side, starts a new client:

    Then he connects additional services to him if the client wants to use them. There are many services and not all are needed. However, no one bothers to sell them for extra money. We give access to all the "stuffing" acquired by the overwork of the developers:

    The client was brought in, the client receives his personal entry point into the cluster and is completely sure that he is the only one who, especially for him, has calloused hands of administrators, has a special subdomain, logins and passwords. In fact, subdomains are generated by a simple mouse click in the admin panel.

    Admin (telephone manager) of the client logs in with his account and sees the settings panel:

    What is visible on the top screenshot is the third and a half version of the platform design. We didn’t come to such a design right away, starting development with an interface with many buttons and options, in the full confidence that admiring customers will appreciate the flexibility and 30 thousand features. In fact, it turned out that no one is very interested in round-the-clock configuration of multilevel IVRs and redirects, everyone wants to start calling within the first five minutes.

    Well, no problem. Receive and sign. IVRs are configured with the mouse in a couple of clicks:

    Studying the market and the wishes of customers, we came to an unambiguous conclusion: the first thing any manager needs is statistics and control over employee calls. A telephone platform should not only provide convenience and functionality, it should also help save on communication. Great, we make extended and beautiful statistics for bosses and managers. Monitor and analyze your health. Our development leader, Cyril, hangs for days in the statistics panel, catching trends and patterns.

    For the forever busy visual leaders, we developed a visual-graphical interface with columns, diagrams, diagrams. Feel like an analyst and schedule calls and costs at least every half hour.

    Ringer-client part. IP phones are great and convenient, but they cost money and sometimes quite a lot. By the way, one of the most frequently asked questions when moving to IP-telephony: “How much does the equipment cost? Are the phones expensive? ” The honest answer is “Yes, you have to buy it, you need equipment, it’s not cheap.” However, not everything is as bad as it seems at first glance, there are software solutions: softphones. Some of them are completely free, for some they ask for money. We do not ask and have developed our own softphone , it is also a communicator with a call control panel. What a wedding without button accordion, what SaaS without a “call”, download a softphone and call.

    For lovers of beauty and unique design, we offer "paint the refrigerator in yellow" and turn the softphone into a customized solution with operator logos and colors. Designer Yuri is ready to draw a dialer even in the colors of the Brazilian football team. Only competent TK is needed.

    Some intermediate results (we will not restrict ourselves to just one post on this blog and want to share information further): we like the platform ourselves, our customers in Russia like it and even liked it, always sitting on smartphones, Czechs and Germans. The first movements to enter European markets have already been made, I would not want to stop, I called myself a European - immerse yourself in marketing. We will dive, or rather, we are already diving, as we will try to report regularly.

    We will be happy to answer all questions and share the accumulated and already accumulated experience. Come back soon with the news.

    Also popular now: