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United Networks (ASX:UNL) – Victor Tsaccounis

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The CEO Mindset - Victor Tsaccounis is the CEO of United Networks (ASX:UNL)

Victor Tsaccounis is the CEO of United Networks (ASX:UNL), a telecommunication services company that offers data management, broadband, network management, digital phone, and other services. United Networks currently supplies global roaming and data products to more than 20 corporate clients including Coles Mobile, Medibank, Flight Centre, Cover-More and Malaysia Airlines.

What’s your journey in becoming a CEO?
I was one of the original founders of the Broadland Group and then decided to accept a position in the Senior Leadership Team at Vodafone as Head of Business Sales. Working at Vodafone for 7 years was a great experience where I learned how to manage a large business unit which required integrating two businesses when the 3 Mobile and Vodafone companies merged. In 2014 I rejoined Broadland as CEO with a goal to triple revenue and profit over 3 years. We achieved this and were acquired by United Networks Limited (UNL:ASX) last year at which time I was appointed CEO.

Tell us a bit about your business and how you are commercializing?
United Networks Ltd (ASX:UNL) purpose is to empower people and business through technology, to progress, perform and live better. We have two key divisions that drive the company’s revenues.

  • Our small to medium business (“SMB”) division is a “Trusted Communications Advisory“- Our advisory is an end to end business that deploys and manages complete communications solutions for small to medium business including mobility, voice, data, Unified Communications and cybersecurity.
  • Our enterprise solutions include a smart location data Global Duty of Care platform. The company has a significant history of assisting global insurance companies to innovate and engage directly with their customers. They do this by using our proprietary global alerting, messaging and tracking platform which keeps people safe and secure when they are most vulnerable.

How are you managing with the current COVID-19 pandemic on both business and personal front?
United Networks Ltd (ASX:UNL) solutions allow people to adjust to the new way of working.

  • Our SMB division has a complete Unified Communications solution as its core offering, so when the world moved to remote working, we were already there and ready to help our clients deploy a communications system that enables their staff to work remotely.
  • Our enterprise teams are focusing on using the United core location data platforms to assist businesses so that their staff can return to work in a safe and secure environment. Our extensive experience in managing global alerting using smart data puts our company at the forefront of technology lead solutions to keep people at work

As a business, we have been managing our response daily and keeping in constant contact with our staff and clients. We retained 100% of our team and have a strong cash position and balance sheet. I’m personally enjoying working from home and using our technology to connect with my team and customers. 

What’s the most exciting thing about running your business?
I really love the big wins and creating something new. Whether it’s hitting a big target, landing a big account or closing out a merger or acquisition. Anything that drives excitement within the team, our board and shareholders is fulfilling for me.

How do you measure success?
The key areas I focus on are customer satisfaction and employee engagement. These drive revenue, profit and the share price. Good leadership drives culture and good culture drives high performance. Having the right leaders in place is critical. Right person right seat. 

What do you think is the most important quality of being a CEO of a listed company?
You have to be a visionary and let your team look after the operation of the business. Keep your head in growth and plan and anticipate what the business will look like in 1, 3- and 10-year time. 

What is your favourite book?
Good to Great by Jim Collins. I remember being fascinated when I was first introduced to the Level 5 leader. I resonate with that, particularly the service-based leadership principles. It didn’t surprise me that the research Jim had done found that the most successful companies were led by quiet, reserved and even shy leaders. 

What message do you want to send to our readership in Asia?
Watch this space! We have big goals over the next 3 years to grow organically and aggressively through our acquisition strategy. On the global stage we’ll roll out our smart data IOT and location data platforms to keep people safe post COVID-19.

How can people connect with you?
Email:
vtsaccounis@unitednetworks.net.au
Website: https://www.unitedglobalsim.com/

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Communication Services

ActivePort (ASX:ATV) – Karim Nejaim

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The CEO Mindset - Karim Nejaim, CEO of ActivePort (ASX:ATV)

Karim Nejaim is the CEO of ActivePort (ASX:ATV), an Australian company that provides a software-defined networking tool and open SD-WAN, to help companies run their technology their way and facilitate global connectivity.

What’s your journey in becoming a Chief Executive Officer?
I have been around Software development, IT and Telecommunication for over 25 years. I joined the SingTel Group at Optus as a mid-level network engineer in 1999 and finished up in 2014 as Group Vice President for Optus before moving to Telstra as Executive Director of Product Engineering. The move into executive roles came naturally as my focus was always on the big picture and customer outcomes. My personal mantra is that great technology isn’t great until a customer says it is, and it’s this customer obsession that brought me into my role as CEO for ActivePort. I saw an opportunity to run a company that is focused on simplifying networking and the use of technology and where we can positively disrupt in a market by talking less about the technology itself and more about solving customer business problems.

Tell us a bit about your business and how you are commercializing?
ActivePort is all about making it as easy as possible to connect globally. Our CTO, Mark Middleton, has created software that makes the very complicated job of building networks globally, managing legacy and new technology, injecting cloud services and automating, all from one screen. ActivePort’s SD-WAN 2.0 gives enterprises, telecoms providers and resellers access to the latest generation of hardware agnostic SD-WANs, where you can connect, configure and activate the edge in minutes with complete independence from big vendor applications, hardware and proprietary licensing. We’re focusing on rolling this out globally and are collaborating with Console Connect by PCCW Global to extend the availability of our SD-WAN solution worldwide.

What’s the most exciting thing about running your business?
The most exciting thing about running ActivePort is that we are giving control back into the hands of customers. Nothing beats the delight of customers during our software demos which is typically accompanied with comments like “oh, wow, we can do that!?!”. Secondly, the enjoyment of speaking to customer in places like South America, Asia and the US and discovering the ways our whole network orchestration and SD-WAN is suitable for lots of different markets. Also, as a leader of a young company it is fantastic to see the buzz and energy in our team when we land new deals or receive feedback from customers.

How do you measure success?
There is no way around it – heading into an IPO and in the first couple of years we have to prove our value in the market and that will be driven by business success and, largely, revenue growth. We are very focused on escalating revenue growth from our monthly, re-occurring software licensing and the company is geared for growth on the back of the monthly re-occurring licensing.

The precursor to any business success is ensuring that we are delivering value to customers and helping them solve their business problems, whether that be helping them increase revenue, decrease costs or balancing growth. The greatest “lead indicator” I can think of is customers telling you that they love your product. It is important to remember that great engineering is not great engineering until a customer tells you it is!

Lastly, I want ActivePort to be regarded as an employer of choice. Without the people in ActivePort there is no ActivePort. Our company is not just about software; it is about the people that are making the ActivePort journey a personal one for them.

What do you think is the most important quality of being a CEO of a listed company?
There are a large number of skills required to sit in the CEO chair – strategy and vision, innovation, the management of competing priorities, growing the people and the company. The most important for me comes back to people and a simple “mantra”: Hire the best people, give them space to do their thing, and listen to them. There are very, very few CEOs (and I would argue none) who are experts in all aspects of a business – listen to your people and then make the call.

What is your favourite book?
I love non-fiction books about major events in people’s lives, the way people think about the past and the future. To pick a few: Thomas Friedman’s “Thank you for being late” which is about the massive growth in technology and where it may be taking us. Craig Challen and Richard Harris’s “Against all odds” is another favourite with its balance of heroism, compassion and the science required to save the group of schoolboys from the Tham Luang cave. My favourite fiction book is Shantaram by David Roberts.

What message do you want to send to our readership in Asia & Australia?
ActivePort is setting out to make global connectivity easier, faster and better – for less. We are going to disrupt in several areas and we are doing it for one primary reason: To help the world connect and make it simple. That’s why, instead of adding yet another solution for each business challenge and juggle the integration, ActivePort offers whole network orchestration, SD-WAN, real-time provisioning and firewall, all from a single screen. 



How can people connect with you?
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/karimnejaim/
ActivePort’s Website: https://www.activeport.com.au/

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Communication Services

Q&A With StockPal – iCandy Interactive (ASX:ICI)

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Q&A with StockPal - Kin Wai Lau, Chairman of iCandy Interactive (ASX:ICI)

Watch Kin Wai Lau, Chairman of iCandy Interactive (ASX:ICI) and Jared Sim, Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of StockPal in this engaging Q&A with the following questions:

0:11 – What is your business about?
1:06 – How did your company cope with the COVID-19 pandemic?
1:57 – How does the company make money?
2:54 – Who are your target customers?
3:44 – What is your firm’s competitive advantage?
5:25 – How are you currently engaging with your investors?

Visit iCandy’s website to learn more about their story: https://www.icandy.io/

Email editor@stockpal.asia if you are or represent a listed-company and is keen to be in our interviews.

Want to be on the list next time this company raises capital? Open an account with Fresh Equities and start exploring capital raises – freshequities.com

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Communication Services

CM8 looks to be at the forefront of conversational commerce

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CM8 looks to be at the forefront of conversational commerce

If you though the art of conversation was, at times, difficult to grasp, then conversational commerce may have your head spinning.

However, there is nothing really to be afraid of.

Conversational commerce has been around since 2015, when by Chris Messina, the inventor of the hashtag, mentioned it in a short post on the Medium website.

It is a simple concept really.

Conversational commerce is about putting the conversation back into the customer experience.

The catch is, this is done via messaging services and technological means.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t have a conversation with your customers if they walk into your bricks and mortar store, however you should consider a tech function that also makes it easy for customers to relate to who you are what you are selling.

We now live in an era where communication is a technological experience, so it makes sense that conversational commerce is at the forefront of commercial thinking.

The increased use of messaging services have been proven to coincide with or improve the sales process as it enables customers to interact with businesses via chatting conversations instead of direct calls.

Customers generally interact via messaging and chat apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or WeChat.

ASX listed Crowd Media (ASX: CM8) is a tech-based, vertically integrated social commerce business selling unique state-of-the-art products and services that are integral to the lives of its customers.

The company recently made a big play in the conversational commerce space, when it took a  strategic stake in Forever Holdings Ltd, a London based voice-and-visual Interactive Digital Media company.

This was a touchstone development for CM8 as it supported both the thinking around the conversation commerce science and the vehicle that will eventually culminate in the product that the company believes is the Holy Grail of influencer marketing.

Crowd Media has long been considered a pioneer in influencer and social media marketing, leveraging influencers on a global basis with its own in-house products.

It’s a strategy that has evolved from a mobile  technology and media company to a global social media house where campaigns can be executed with local market knowledge and cultural expertise.

It is now looking to utilise influencer marketing within the conversation commerce experience.

In essence, conversational commerce is emerging as the future of e-commerce.

CM8 has accelerated its push into that field via the beta launch of its first ‘’talking head’’ 12 months ahead of schedule is an important and pivotal development for the company.

This will help customers select the appropriate products from the www.MDComplete.eu brand.

Click here to view an example of how it works.

Crowd’s AI-driven Chatbot technology is unique in that it combines answers from both AI and real humans answering questions.

Crowd has also entered into two new partnerships in order to accelerate its stated Horizon 3 strategy, that has resulted in the instigation of a more focused business aimed at penetrating high value markets with more predictability around monetisation as it orchestrates a direct to consumer sales model.

The to acquire an 8% interest in Forever Holdings Ltd is consistent with the strategy outlined in 2019 as it serves to facilitate a platform that enables conversational commerce between follower and influencer, augmented with a digital visual “talking head” experience.

The 3-year binding Heads of Agreement (HOA) with UneeQ Limited for the creation of ‘Digital Ambassadors’ is designed to help power conversation commerce activity and influencer marketing.

UneeQ has created an AI-driven platform that is currently used across customer support and sales throughout a number of industries and the companies will collaborate to develop methods and technologies on the creation of ‘Digital Ambassadors’ to help power e-commerce and #conversationcommerce activity, as well as influencer marketing which includes the launch of Crowd’s first “talking head”.

Further to this, Crowd executed a binding HOA to form a joint venture with Israeli based VFR Assets and Holdings Ltd (www.Zoe01.com) for the creation of a platform which will allow the scalable creation of the “talking head” visuals which will power the next wave of conversational commerce and digital influencer one-to-one interactions.

The platform will allow Crowd to roll out many “talking heads” in days and at a fraction of the cost of current platforms.

The beta product will be showcased to prospective Crowd Direct brand partners, highlighting the commercial application of conversational commerce across multilingual markets.

This opens unlimited commercial opportunities across entertainment, sport, influencer marketing, health and educational fields.

“We believe conversational commerce is the future of e-commerce and are excited to have executed these various initiatives that bring forward the reality of one-to-one conversations between influencers and their respective followers,” CM8 CEO Domenic Carosa said.

“It takes us that much closer to our stated goal of actually changing the way products and services are sold via digital influencers.

“Our beta version was launched 12 months ahead of schedule and showcases our core AI-driven Chatbot technology and that of our partners.

“By launching this beta version, we can undergo the next level of testing, build on our artificial intelligence and data pools, and advance the technology to extend its commercial capabilities across different products, services and interactions.”

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