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Ten minutes with: IFG Consulting Europe

Member News published by IFG Consulting Europe

IFG Consulting Europe, a leading business growth consultancy representing promising software providers, introduces themselves to the CW community after joining as a member this autumn.

Find out more about IFG Consulting Europe

1. What is special about your company’s products/services?

Having built over 25 years of experience in enterprise software sales in the Telecoms sector, we know how the industry works and have a keen interest in the industry trends. From our offices in the UK and Germany we are able to identify new opportunities by keeping abreast of account and industry developments. 

Across Europe, lots of software vendors will most likely be focused on their local market and prove themselves nationally before thinking about scaling internationally. Through our network and networking skills these vendors can leverage our operating model to identify new opportunities and reduce time to market. 

What we do well is to distil and extrapolate business value from quite complex sales engagements both in relation to the technology and sales process. Working at executive level we are able to work alongside the executive of the vendor and manage and execute campaigns which meet the brief and achieve results as an end-to-end service, not just initiating campaigns but also helping all the way through to closing contracts and even post sales. 

Because we are embedded within our customer processes, what our customers really value is the independent feedback loop from the prospect and sales engagements. Bringing our business acumen to the fore we provide independent and honest feedback to the executive, always thinking strategically on their behalf with the customer but also tactically and helping the customer formulate a strategy. We help to formulate how the product is presented and help to provide them with the appropriate tools. Often the companies which we are working with have immature processes and are thankful for our help to improve in these areas.

 2. Where does your company see its industry heading in the next ten years?

Telecoms is becoming more exciting but also challenging at the same time. There is a step change in the way the industry is being run which is also an opportunity for new companies. 

Traditionally, the market was dominated by national Operators who had an obligation to provide services which worked with a few leading Network Equipment Vendors with proprietary systems. Now we have an underlying move towards agile software development, open-source software and disaggregation of the networks. On top of this communication providers can now address use cases in specific verticals. Additionally, we see the hyper-scaler’s entering the market with their advanced analytics capabilities. As an example, on the 1st of December 2021 AWS announced its 5G private network offer. 

The other important geopolitical aspect particularly in Europe, is that most of the larger Telecom supplier organisations Europe has relied on come from North America and the Far East. In Europe there is now a realisation and need to foster our own champions and reduce our dependency, particularly with an eye on national security. 

In Europe, the market remains fragmented with Telecom Operators, by definition, being regulated and geographically restricted, unlike some of their key digital native competitors and partners. Facebook with WhatsApp or Microsoft’s Skype are widely used but do not seem to come under the same regulatory framework as Operators. 

In Europe we will have to move quickly and create a level playing field if Operators are to continue to provide the wide range of connectivity services as there is currently a space race between at least 7 competing satellite providers who are providing this type of service.       

 3. Where does your company see itself heading in the next ten years?

We are a boutique consultancy/ business development agency specialising in helping companies to scale their businesses in the Telecoms sector in Europe. 

We will continue to address the needs of a specific segment of the market. The challenge in Europe is the market is very fragmented, and there are at least 100 Mobile Operators for a population of 400 million people with the average Operator in Europe having 1 million subscribers.  In comparison, in the USA you have four Operators across a similar geography. If you’ve got a technology and particularly a software which is relevant and needs to be integrated in a Telecom network, you have a hundred Operators to engage and work with across Europe. This is a challenge! 

The need for our services seems to be growing and we are constantly striving to achieve better outcomes. To achieve this, we will be investing and leveraging digital technologies and services which allow us to scale by working smarter for and with our clients.   

The cliché remains the same, we are only as good as the people we work with, and they are our most precious asset. 

 4. Who is your CEO and what is their background?

Our CEO is Ian Ginn who has got more than 25 years in working in enterprise sales in Telecoms. He has a keen interest in innovation and start-ups and amongst other things, his industry knowledge is recognised as a judge for the annual GSMA GloMO awards. 

Ian has lived and worked in several countries in Europe, including 20 years in Germany. He started his career in Quality Management and progressed quickly to his first executive position running a company supplying the Automobile production lines with MMI, which we would now equate to 5G private networks. 

He returned to the UK with his young family in 2000 where he continued to work for companies selling enterprise software to Telecom Operators across Europe including CSG, Lucent Technologies and Comverse. In 2009 Ian become VP of sales for a software development and integrator company focused on providing near shore outsourced development to NEV before starting IFG Consulting Europe at the end of 2012.   

He set up the company having realised there was a particular need for smaller companies who are trying to scale to be able to access the fragmented European market. This is the niche which IFG Consulting Europe is based upon. 

In light of Brexit the company expanded into Germany to still be able to serve customers without interruption. 

 5. What is your company looking for from the CW community? What engagement opportunities can it offer?

The reason we joined Cambridge Wireless and why we are interested in the community is that Cambridge is a hotbed of clever technologies and as a community it seems to encompass all the different facets of Telecoms interests and stake holders. 

The CW community has people like device manufacturers, chip manufacturers, software developers, universities and even large vendors in the area so you really have the full suite of the Telecom community within CW. The community is also not only national but also international, so it is quite unique in a set up perspective. 

So, what do we want to achieve as a member of CW? One of our value propositions is to really have a good understanding of what’s happening in the industry and what the challenges of the industry are. Opportunities are, being able to address these challenges. If we can identify opportunities, we can then use this information to leverage our customers propositions and get them out to market.

The other aspect is we are keen to particularly help software vendors in the CW community who want to internationalise, especially into the European and Telecom sector. We are a great option to do that, and we welcome any discussions and see how we can help those companies in growing into Telecoms in Europe. It is quite a challenge which is often overlooked, how to scale a business efficiently and effectively and that’s where we can add value.

We also think that because of our broad understanding of networks and the status of the market, we are happy to do knowledge sharing with people in the CW community and trouble shoot or have discussions about what could be done by brainstorming ideas.

We also get involved with events where we do moderations of panels. We help with the events and are keen to get the voice of our customers heard. We are keen to talk to anyone and see how we can help them become more successful using our skillset.

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