Report from Mobile World Congress 2017
It’s been a busy few weeks with some highlights, not the least of which being our exit from Timico shareholding. It brings to an end what was a great journey. We started Timico in April 2004. I kind of retired after ten years or so but remained a shareholder. It now feels as if the project has finally come to an end. Obviously Timico continue its journey but whilst I retain a fondness for the company it feels good to be able to move on.
Last week I was in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress 2017 supporting Netaxis. I’ve always been a bit sceptical about the business case for exhibitors at these big huge trade shows. They are so big you wonder how anyone can find anything. My justification for going was to meet partners. All the big infrastructure players (Oracle, Sonus, Genband, Broadsoft et al) have a presence there so it is a useful spot to arrange to meet all of these folks, even though it can be a 20 minute walk between meetings!
However I did come across a real example of the customer acquisition process. I was sat on my own at the Netaxis booth, just resting my feet really, when someone wandered by and stopped in front of me to read our spiel. I looked at him, he looked at me. I sat there passively. He came up to me and we started to chat. I realised I was having to move into elevator pitch mode which I did reasonably well I think.
We were just approaching the top floor in the elevator when Jean Seb came back to the booth. Jean Seb is the designer of our Nemo VoIP Network Monitoring tool. I casually handed the pitch over to Jean Seb and joined in where relevant. The prospect, a US based telco, was suitably impressed and we now have a lead to follow up. Don’t you just love it when it goes well like that?:)
The easiest way to do MWC is to just find a comfy seat and sit there. Everyone you know will swing by at sometime. I was sitting on a sofa at the Genband stand chatting to old SIP Forum pal Professor Alan Johnston, one of the original authors of the SIP protocol when a steady stream of people we knew walked by. Why have a booth when you can borrow someone else’s:).
I also took the opportunity to catch up over breakfast with Jeff Pulver who I hadn’t seen for years but who was in Barca to speak at a different gig.
The best bit about MWC are the evenings. These make the trip that much more exhausting but are the fun bits. If I tell you that my normal bedtime is 10pm but that the earliest I got to bed in Barcelona was 1.30am it will help you to understand. On my last night we ended up at “Swedish Beers” with Curtis Peterson of RingCentral and Adam Beaumont for AQL. Adam has been a long term sponsor of the event which as far as I can see has nothing to do with Sweden or Swedish Beers. The beer did flow voluminously and a good time was had by all. I later found out from Facebook that Alan Johnston was there at the same time. It was so packed we didn’t see each other.
So that’s it. Name dropping over. We are now well and truly into March and the third month of being for Netaxis Solutions UK. Watch this space…