by Alan Masarek, Vonage CEO
While we are often nimble in tech adoption to facilitate our personal lives, this isn’t always the case in the business world. However, the same need is still there. A company’s ability to evolve, keep pace, transform and innovate - to remain in a constant state of change - is key to its longevity and overall success.
At Vonage, we’re no exception. We are keenly aware that our ability to innovate RELENTLESSLY is the cornerstone of our disruptive roots. Almost 20 years ago, Vonage commercialized a new voice technology called VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, helping to shape a new form of communications - one that had no boundaries, delivered unprecedented value and forever changed the telecommunications industry.
Using VoIP technology, Vonage transformed the home phone industry and grew incredibly fast. At its peak in 2008, Vonage had almost three million homes using its VoIP service.
When I joined the Company in 2014, however, that history of rapid growth was no more - Vonage was in its sixth consecutive year of revenue decline. Obviously, we needed to transform again. Innovating like only Vonage can do, we made the decision to pivot from our consumer roots to business cloud communications to serve the B2B world. And we never looked back. Today, we are a $1+ billion company and a leader in global business cloud communications.
That’s a whole lot of change in just a little bit of time. We know now that it worked, it paid off. We pivoted swiftly and saw immediate, positive results. But what did that mean for our customers and partners? How did that change our products and services? When companies exercise transformation, it can be extreme and those affected most are typically prime stakeholders. So, it needs to be worth it.
But what makes this change relevant? What makes it powerful enough that a company can weather the transition, retaining customers and attracting new ones?
When we saw a decline in our consumer revenues for six consecutive years, we knew we had to change. That’s no secret. How we made that switch, what we did to reinvent our brand and our offering and, ultimately redefine the way businesses communicate - that’s the real transformation story. But it all started with a single spark of ingenuity.
Transformation takes time, it is a rolling change happening in-real time. But an innovative spirit is the catalyst to make that change happen. Businesses must innovate in the development of their products and services - whatever they are actually selling - or transformation falls flat, it simply doesn’t happen. Transformative innovation is the unique and creative spark that keeps a business relevant and one step ahead of what customers need - because competitors will move in and meet that need if you don’t.
It all starts with a spark. A spark of innovation. Seeing a need or a gap in the marketplace and seizing the opportunity to change the narrative. All you really need is a single idea to ignite the spark that fuels transformation. The rest is up to you.