Mike Oeth, CEO, OnSIP Business VoIP in New York, will chair the committee for final judging of the new product awards and product management awards categories in The 2012 American Business Awards, the premier business awards program in the U.S.A. Here Mike shares three tips for companies launching or rebranding a new product or service.
What are your top 3 tips for companies wanting to launch or rebrand a new product or service?
Before you launch a product, you need to make sure you can perform the four pillars of operations: Sell it, provision it, bill it, support it. Can Sales sell it? Can Provisioning provision it? Can Billing bill it? And can Support support it? If you can do all those things, you have a viable product to take to the market.
Coordinate the launch with your marketing, support, sales, billing, and operations departments. Make sure everyone is on the same page for message, service specs, and time frame for rollout.
Communicate internally to everyone, not just the involved parties; and communicate externally via appropriate marketing channels such as websites and social media.
What item of news recently caught your eye and why?
My twitter feed @VoIPCEO is full of news items that catch my eye. I’m a nerd at heart and follow the BoingBoing, Wired, Slashdot, and ArsTechnica feeds. I use the wisdom of the crowds at Reddit to vet stories from other, less well-known sources.
Within the VoIP space, I thought the M5 acquisition deal was one of the more interesting stories this year. Outside of VoIP, I’m very interested in copyright, digital rights management (DRM), software patents, and intellectual property in general. I loved that the comedian Louis C.K. was able to produce a performance of his stand-up routine and offer it directly to the public without DRM. As a result, he made way more revenue than he ever could have if he’d gone through the “normal” channels. I think it’s the beginning of the wave and the end of old-school music/movie distribution.
What is your favorite app?
My favorite VoIP app, and one of my top five apps, would have to be Bria by Counterpath. It’s a beautifully designed phone application that allows me to answer my work calls over 3G or WiFi with my iPad. Outside of the VoIP space, I like the Twitter and Mint.com mobile apps. They are both just proxies for the actual websites, but they are well done and give quick and easy access to the website content. The coolest app is the new Marvel Comics augmented-reality app (available for iOS or Android). You point the camera of your phone or tablet at a page in a Marvel Comic book, and the page comes to life. I like it because it’s a novel application that gives me a good excuse to purchase the physical magazine.
If you could choose another profession, what would it be?
My standby profession would either be basketball coach or blues musician. But since my coaching experience—which I love—is limited to local girls basketball teams, and my guitar playing consists of about five chords, I think I’ll stay where I am.
What quality or qualities do you most value in your business associates?
When I think of the other two cofounders of OnSIP, two qualities I value jump to mind: a capacity for deep analytical thinking and an ability to play devil’s advocate. John Riordan, our CTO, is very analytical. He is constantly thinking five moves ahead of where we are today and looking to the future. Rob Wolpov, our President, is a brilliant business strategist who plays the devil’s advocate to my over-optimistic approach. These qualities help us challenge the status quo and propel our business and our technology forward.
As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?
I enjoy problem solving. There are always new and interesting problems to solve. I even, every once in a while, jump on the support line and take a support call just for the rush of solving someone’s problem. I take sales calls every now and then to keep sharp and to see what customers are requesting—like a secret shopper, but in reverse. I like what we do. I like that we actually help small and medium-sized businesses to compete and be as efficient as possible. I like the people I work with. I think we’ve done a really great job of hiring smart people and giving them the resources they need to be successful. Yeah, I like my job.
About Mike Oeth:
Mike Oeth is the CEO of OnSIP Business VoIP, winner of a Stevie® Award for Best Management Team of the Year—Product Development in The 2011 American Business Awards. Mike cofounded OnSIP in 2005 on the premise that the future of business communications would rely heavily on IP technologies.
Having helped over 15,000 customers, OnSIP is a leading provider of business VoIP service to small and medium-sized businesses. OnSIP, by Junction Networks, is an intuitive and reliable business phone service on the Internet for companies with 5 to 100 employees. OnSIP customers enjoy the benefits of a business-class phone system, without the traditional high cost, burden, and inflexibility. For more information, visit www.onsip.com.