SWYX-ing to an OPEX model

SWYX head of operations talks Elliot Mulley-Goodbarne through the last 12 months for the communications provider and where he sees the market developing.

According to its head of operations, Mark Russell, Swyx are on a mission to rise to the top of the pile of UC providers in EMEA.

Traditionally in the VoIP game, the comms provider from Germany is cooling off after a busy year-or-so that has seen the company buy Sentile, a French, multi-tenancy public cloud provider, as well as joining Voiceworks in the Netherlands and Zuma in Spain under the Within Reach Group umbrella.

“In the middle of last year we acquired Sentile, who’s biggest customer has 260,000 users and offer a different proposition, voice over the internet and cloud which we bolt on to our business. Shortly after that we joined Within Reach Group.

Within this group all of the brands have stayed the same, there is a branding exercise going on but the overall aim of the group is to become the largest unified communications as a service provider in Europe.

SWYX has grown from a £35m company to about £175 million business, employing over 650 employees in five European countries and we are not stopping there, we are going to continue to grow.”

Russell declined to talk more about any new brands that we may need to keep an eye out for however he did disclose that, from SWYX’s point of view, their growth was going to come from capitalising of new payment models.

He said that he has noticed a shift in the industry for companies to move off a CAPEX model and look to embrace an OPEX approach and, according to the head of operations, forms one strand of the SWYX business model moving forward.

“The OPEX model is the model that more and more people are getting their heads around and, as far as end users go, it is very attractive which has been driven by things like Office 365 and Apple.

People want to get rid of that CAPEX. Ten years ago, a telephony salesman could go out to a large corporation and that large corporation would think nothing about signing a cheque for £40,000 £50,000 £60,000; that just wasn’t a problem. These days, even a small company isn’t going to sign a cheque for £10,000 when they are being offered something that will cost them £400 a month.

We’ve launched an on premise version of SWYX which is similar to our traditional offering but with a different purchasing model so that you can buy the equipment but pay for it the same way you pay for cloud.

So you put the equipment in your data center, in your building, you’re not using cloud, it’s your on premise system but you pay for it the same way you pay for cloud which I certainly believe is a market disrupting solution.”

However, despite focussing on what the end users’ buying habit are, SWYX is remaining a channel-focussed organisation.

“The strategies of the companies will always be channel focussed, we are not interested in building up a user base and dealing direct with end users, we want to work with the channel and we think that’s the right way.

You have to understand the end user’s business, the customer relies on the trusted relationship of their IT provider, or telecoms provider and unified provider who provide a personal touch that you don’t get when you’re dealing with a large company.

The channel understand the end user’s business, they are part of their business, they have the relationship and chose our products because it delivers what they need.

How could one account manager for us look after the finance industry or the construction industry or the medical industry of any other for that matter?

That’s why the channel is important, they understand the end user, they have the relationships and we deliver the right kit for them to deliver the right solutions.”

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine