- On January 13, 2017
Making a good first impression is extremely important in business. I’m in my first quarter at NFON, heading up our Iberia operations from our office in Madrid. I’ve discovered what customers and partners are instantly attracted to, specifically in regards to our NFON cloud telephony proposition.
Firstly, Spanish business customers care about where products and services originate from. They value the quality and reliability of German engineering and it’s the same for their communications. They like the fact that NFON data centres are governed by the strictest data privacy laws in Europe. Most of all they trust that, ‘if it’s made in Germany then it will work.’ This is important in a world where increasingly, IT business services and applications are delivered through cloud services.
Secondly, businesses in Spain realise that digital enablement is the difference between prosperity and mere survival. Using technology in the right way can achieve true competitive advantage. There are three million SMEs in Spain, and with Spanish economic growth keeping pace with recovery, we can show the market how NFON will improve communications and boost productivity, whilst at the same time, saving money and embracing the digital future. This is already proving successful as SMEs leverage NFON services to venture beyond their own borders and open up to global market opportunities.
Spain is a huge SME and enterprise telephony market. The traditional on premise PBX model is no longer the only show in town, as customers explore ways of consuming telephony and unified communications, incorporating a range of private and public cloud approaches to accommodate changing working practices.
All of this makes Spain a great market opportunity for NFON, yet achieving our growth potential will take a uniquely Spanish approach. To the outsider, Spain is a single country. But to the Spanish, it is an integrated group of culturally-distinct provinces and autonomous regions. This ‘‘Las Españas’ means that whatever makes you successful in Andalucía or Galicia, isn’t going to cut it in Catalonia or the Basque country: Spain has many dimensions.
This explains why our international strategy of recruiting and supporting the best local channel partners is so important here. We already have many great partners in Spain, and our objective is to add many more to achieve a comprehensive geographic spread that caters to the rich diversity of Spain.
NFON brings together opposing ends of the spectrum, from traditional telecom dealers on the one hand, to software-driven IT service providers on the other. Some assume that the telecoms players are best placed to exploit their heritage and take advantage of cloud services, but the reality is different. With a few notable exceptions, a lot of telecom-orientated channel players still struggle to accept the market rejection of legacy, hardware-centric, on premise PBX infrastructure. Conversely, I’ve seen real innovation, dynamism and excitement amongst the historically IT-centric channel partners. They recognise the simplicity of the NFON cloud telephony proposition and seek to integrate it with their other service offerings.
I’m certainly excited about the opportunities we have at NFON Iberia. Having been at some of the largest technology companies in the world, it is refreshing to work for a business that is mature yet still has the energy and vitality of a startup. It’s crazy to think NFON AG is 10 years old this year!
Part of my earlier career was in the alternative energy sector, educating people about taking advantage of cleaner, cheaper, more efficient and environmentally-friendly energy technologies like tidal and wind power. There are many similarities with cloud telephony today—the innovation is overwhelming. Some people are harder to convince than others, but sooner or later, the market is swayed by the inevitability of positive change. By then, the genie has escaped from the bottle, and nobody can turn back the clock.