Not all tales of tech success start in California’s Silicon Valley.
While the fabled region in the San Francisco Bay Area certainly is one of the world’s foremost innovation hubs, cutting-edge hyper-growth tech companies flourish far beyond its borders.
The best example to showcase this is Nextiva.
Launched in 2008, this cloud-communications company has its headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona. On a mission to simplify business communications, it is best known for NextOS, the company’s platform which has all communication channels connected with business apps and intelligence.
For the sixth year running, the company has featured prominently on Deloitte’s list of 500 fastest growing U.S. tech businesses. And even accounting for the pandemic-induced upturn of the business communications market, Nextiva is set to outperform expectations.
Here’s how this former small startup grew into one of the biggest players in the U.S. communications market - far beyond the confines of Silicon Valley.
Setting Priorities: Providing Value and Customer Satisfaction
Nextiva’s business philosophy is deeply rooted in CEO Tomas Gorny’s personal experience.
After coming to the U.S. at age 20, strapped for cash and speaking only broken English, he became a tech millionaire only two years later. A web hosting company he’d joined early on had been acquired.
“At this point, I started making my biggest mistake,” Gorny recounts. “I began setting my goals around my net worth, and made investments in various companies to grow it. When the dot-com crash and 9/11 happened, everything suddenly collapsed.”
Left with barely any money in the bank, Gorny had to start over. But his experience of near-bankruptcy helped him recalibrate his priorities and develop the business principles to which he still adheres today.
“I completely abandoned the view of focusing on net worth. The success of a business really lies on the value it provides," he says. “Making money is just a side effect of providing value.”
To provide this value, Gorny believes, it is essential to address the needs of customers. And to offer straightforward, intuitive, easy-to-handle solutions.
“A lot of products today in the market are designed to sell technology,” he explains, “not to solve pain points.”
One of the main problems of the business communications market, as Gorny sees it, is that many approaches rely on stacked applications. Countless set-ups are half-heartedly cobbled together with integrations or bridges such as Zapier. The resulting network of apps provides headaches more often than smooth unified communications.
The business world is experiencing an invasion of apps, and they’re all siloed technologies. Big companies continue to grow at rapid rates and provide excellent customer experiences, while smaller companies are unable to keep up and they do not have the resources to compete.
"You cannot solve today's communication problems by just building applications on top of each other, or with siloed technologies," Gorny says. "There are a lot of individual products in the marketplace that promise that they will work nicely together, but they ultimately don't."
Nextiva’s alternative approach has been to develop a connected communications platform in the form of NextOS. This platform provides friction-less multi-channel communication, analytics, productivity, and intelligence - all in one place.
Standing out in a Booming Market
This alternative approach is what helps Nextiva stand out and succeed in the crowded unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) market.
Worldwide, UC&C market revenue has grown 25.1% year over year. COVID-19 is responsible for some of that: Countless businesses have been looking for solutions during the wave of work-from-home transitions.
According to the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 rankings, Nextiva has been far outperforming this average for six years running. In the most recently published list, the company’s percentage fiscal year revenue growth tallied in at 174%.
Gorny sees the reason for his business’ hyper-growth in the solid products Nextiva offers, their rapid innovations, and their focus on the customer journey.
“Our mission was to simplify business communications,” Gorny explains. “And we’ve backed this up with affordable pricing, easy-to-use products, and amazing service.”
In fact, Nextiva’s customer service has brought the company no small amount of praise. It has won multiple awards, most recently several prestigious Stevie Awards for Excellence in Sales and Customer Service.
Staying Innovative and Agile - And Outmaneuvering Competitors
Another reason for Nextiva’s stellar performance, Gorny believes, is that the company has a clear vision and mission. Aiming to prioritize long-term value over stakeholder interests, the company has yet to go public - or take outside funding.
“A lot of our competitors focus primarily on just creating short-term shareholder value while we really focus on creating the best product for our customers and enabling our staff to do the best work possible,” Gorny explains.
This independence has enabled Nextiva to operate with much greater flexibility and agility than many other players in the market. It has also fostered a climate of innovation.
“What we want to do is create a solution that sells itself. We pride ourselves in democratizing technologies,” Gorny maintains. “We want technology to be available for everybody, and we want to level the playing field of tech.”
Nextiva’s position well outside Silicon Valley, Gorny believes, is an asset in this mission. "You really avoid a lot of the noise and can focus more on the business, and you can sometimes even attract much better talent because there's less competition.”
And if anything, his experience in business has taught him to enjoy operating from an unexpected corner. "It brings a lot of advantages to businesses when people underestimate you, and in some ways, that can be a big power that can be leveraged," he says.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 02, 2020 06:23 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).