I must admit, when I started Indatus shortly after graduating from college I had dreams of selling it for millions of dollars someday. But I hardly gave much thought to the reality of that actually happening.
A few years into the business, one of my closest high school friends joined forces with me and we went about building a company. For the next 25 years we showed up for work and did whatever it took to keep the doors open, lights on, and customers and employees happy.
Over that period of time we built a multi-million dollar business around great people and cutting edge technology. When we decided it might be time to sell the business, multiple buyers were interested.
Twelve months after exploring the possibility of a sale, the sale was complete. We had exchanged our company for a large sum of cash. Now we had to decide what to do next.
After the sale we could have easily sailed off into the sunset for an early retirement. Both of us had more than enough money to live on with extra to pass down to our children and future generations. However, being in our mid-forties, it just felt like we had more to give. Something did not feel right about not continuing to work. Personally, I loved the feeling of creating something from nothing and I was not ready to let that go. I enjoyed the friendships I had at work and the challenge of building and running a company. I knew building another company would not be easy, but it would be fulfilling. Finally, I wanted to create wealth-building opportunities for other people; specifically those who were up for the challenge of helping me build the new venture.
Great people. Cutting-edge technology.
When Indatus was sold, it was an asset purchase. This meant that the buyer just purchased the assets that they wanted. In our case, that meant they took everything and everyone except for our data center equipment and network technicians. As they put it, “We have data centers and network teams around the world. We don’t want to buy another one in Louisville, KY.” So, post acquisition, we were left with a rock-star team of network engineers and a world-class data center. That was it.
Before the sale, our network engineers worked extensively in the world of managing telephone calls. More specifically, they perfected the art of turning telephone calls into data and managing those calls over our data network. The term for this is Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP for short. At the time of the sale, we were handling well over 10 million VoIP calls per month. Our team had crafted a unique skill set. They had constructed within our data centers a highly scalable and redundant network architecture designed to handle large quantities of telephone calls. It was pretty clear that our next business venture would need to leverage on this expertise.
Filling a market need.
Being in and around business communications for over two decades, we saw the need in the market place for a simple, reliable, cost-effective way for businesses to upgrade or enhance their phone system without having to spend tens of thousands of dollars in the process.
The two options available to most companies are:
- Purchase a proprietary piece of hardware from one of the national manufacturers (many who have gone bankrupt like Nortel or Avaya).
- To look at one of the newer, cutting edge VoIP providers.
The proprietary hardware route is very expensive, relies on older technology, and offers very limited capabilities for the owner to manage the system. Every change requires a certified technician, is accompanied by a trip charge and a large invoice. Although these systems are very reliable, they offer no future-proof protection. Plus, the providers are going out of business and the overall cost is prohibitive.
If a company opts for VoIP, the few national providers around send the customer phones, tell them to plug them into their network, and everyone hopes that the service works. These companies offer little or no on-site assistance and they do no network assessment before locking customers into a contract. Sometimes the service works fine, but in a lot of cases these installations offer a terrible user experience. Every customer’s data network, and how the network is used, is unique. Not taking the time to understand these nuances often leaves the customer with a sub-standard communication experience. VoIP and cloud based communications is the future. However, time has to be spent up-front with the customer to detect network limitations and build a solution around those issues.
Armed with this knowledge, and a stellar network and network operations team, our next path forward was pretty clear. Our new company is going to be a world-class hosted VoIP provider.
We are on a mission to provide a simple, reliable, cost-effective business voice communication platform.
We will deliver telephone calls over the internet, allowing businesses to save money by canceling services with the phone company and eliminating their phone bill.
We will spend time with potential customers before the system is sold to make sure we completely understand their needs, expectations, and to set up a rollout plan to make the transition easy.
We will earn our customers’ business every month, and only require a 30-day contract.
We are hellospoke.