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Tipping Point. New Way of Success Both Big and Small

By Rik Holliday / U.S. Air
March 22, 2009

This is a tipping point in our future business and we may be on to something. Not just my company Executive Telephony, Inc., but possibly other companies Worldwide. I’ll attempt to keep this short hitting only the highlights. Others have heard the unedited version during my speeches and after hour gatherings.

I was invited to France to discuss a business opportunity with one of Europe’s largest Telecommunication companies. The names are to remain unmentioned due to our agreement. The names don’t matter anyway because it’s about this “Tipping Point” approach that matters. I hope you understand the significance of this meeting if you read this message.

Two weeks prior to leaving for my trip I made arrangements with my credit card company which provides my Checking /Savings and ATM cards. I needed to be involved versus my assistance because of the security information required to make changes. So based on me being directly involved, I can confirm the information was supplied. I need to be certain that I have access to Cash and my Visa Credit Card will work in Europe during my visit. I’ll stop here for now.

I am welcomed by the company chairman who immediately shakes my hand and does the two cheek kiss thing. We make our way to one of his many conference rooms to discuss his strategy on how to improve their phone system sales. He shares with me confidential sales figures of which are off 60% year to date. That’s significant numbers we both agree. He quickly move into his explanation about his development team of software and hardware engineers, the company Support staff, Sales and Marketing staff both domestic and international. Here’s the bottom line he says, “We’re too big and f*&#up”. I looked at him and said, “Pardon me"?

“Our company is too big. We don’t talk to each other. Our teams don’t know what our other teams are doing”. I asked him to clarify. “Our products don’t have the features that your products offer and when we implement the features we find ourselves at least one year behind. That’s not good enough. Plus we have come to realize that our Software Engineers are arrogant and tell us that certain features aren’t possible. Years ago we believed them but after seeing features that we have been requesting are in our competitors’ products, our engineers would miraculously develop the features that we originally requested. Now we behind you see"?

My first question to him was, “Why not replace your engineers then with people who understand what can be done in the development aspect"? He states that they have tried this numerous times with the same results. That finally it has come to considering an agreement like he’s getting ready to pitch me.

“The IProphet is like other products we’ve been following but there are some unique characteristics. First we know that it works extremely well and your reputation over the years has been great. There are no real issues at least what we can tell. We like that the IProphet has many languages that support most of the European Countries. The biggest point is that your company is able to quickly produce a solution with features that meet our customers’ demands and hopefully at a competitive cost point. You've been in this business for over twenty years and you understand this business”. Very accurate observation and nice words.

>>>>Fast forward >>>> this is an experiment and is believed the way that companies will be doing business in the future. In a sense, we, Executive Telephony, Inc., a small nimble company based out of Grapevine, Texas is outsourcing business telephone systems to one of the largest companies in the world! And you know what? It makes perfect sense. The marketing power of this company is exceptional. They have an enormous embedded client base both dealers based and direct National contracts. They want, and need, to protect their base from eroding or jumping ship to a competitor. They have to display innovation but their current corporate structure simple doesn’t allow it. They are at their Tipping Point. They need to make the move or possibly suffer the ultimate consequence. Failure. Closing down this division. Laying off thousands of taxpaying people. Dealing with the failure of one division and explaining to other fearing clients in other diviions why. All when the world economy is at its historic low. New ideas for a not so ideal time.

This company will purchase their SIP PBX software from Executive Telephony, Inc. with their name on it. They will offer direct support and will continue to manufacture handsets (Telephones like Cisco, Polycom, Samsung, Nortel, Shoretel and Avaya). This was mostly caused by their Software developers not willing (or able) to write code. The management didn’t know what they didn’t know and took the Software team for their word. It was, and is, hard to challenge without some sort of common base or understanding. In theory, destiny was (and still may be) in the hands of the Software developers.

Kudos to this open minded forward thinking CEO. He’s taking a chapter out of a past experience from the likes of IBM and Microsoft. Remember the introduction of the P.C.?

Back to the Credit Card and ATM comments earlier. I attempted to use my VISA card and it was declined. I then attempted to use my ATM card to pull cash from the ATM machines. Declined on every attempt. I phoned back to my credit card company to discuss (which is another story in itself) and my credit card was cancelled because an attempt was made in France and considered fraudulent. I confirmed I was the individual who made the attempt. The ATM card is not working for an unknown reason of which an investigation is being performed that will take an estimated 3 days. This company which I am not afraid to mention is USAA. They have missed the Tipping Point. They have become so large that communication within their own organization seems impossible. Apparently the conversations I had weeks prior to my departure was not communicated well within. I’m directing my banking business to the smaller mom and pop style bank that understands communication and is only ONE phone call away from a resolution.

Cheers from 33k feet. Possibly higher.