In the ever-evolving landscape of telecommunications, Cloud Group NV has emerged as a key player, reshaping the way businesses communicate and collaborate. Founded in 2014 by three visionary partners, the company has quickly risen to prominence in the Belgian market. I had the opportunity to interview Mike Mol, the Founder and Chief Sales Officer of Cloud Group NV and dive into the story behind Cloud Group, their unique value proposition, and their plans for the future.
Introduction and Rise of Cloud Group NV
Cloud Group is a cloud telecom operator that provides IT solutions and innovative communications platforms for businesses. The company has experienced significant growth in recent years and currently serves a large customer base of over 20,000 active users. As Mike explains,
Cloud Group is a Belgian-based organization specialized in Cloud PBX solutions for the B2B Market. As a one-stop-shop, Cloud Group also offers Cloud managed IT services and Mobile SIM cards with Cloud Mobile as MVNO. Unique value aspects of our company are monthly subscriptions combined with 24/7 service and support included.
When asked about the inspiration behind starting a telecom business, Mike shares,
The Belgian B2B communications market has always been dominated by huge corporate companies. Long waiting times, inferior service and support, neglecting the SME market segment between 1-50 FTEs are some of the most recurring complaints. We were convinced we could do better with higher quality, faster service, and high customer satisfaction. Combined with custom solution building and assistance from the first acquaintance to delivery and after-service.
Differentiating Factors: Exceptional Service and Customer Satisfaction
When it comes to competition, Cloud Group stands out by offering an exceptional level of service and support. Unlike many competitors who tie customers into long-term contracts, the company believes that customer satisfaction and loyalty are more valuable.
Service and support are included in monthly subscription plans. The fact that our entire PBX system is 100% self-built results in quick and thorough help from our expert technical support team. Most competition in our market uses a 3/4/5-year contract, thus limiting the freedom of a customer. Our view here is that a happy customer, as an ambassador, is 1000 times more valuable than a fixed contract time.
Embracing Innovation and Future of Business Communications
To stay ahead of the competition, Cloud Group maintains the highest standards in the SME market and focuses on innovation:
High standards in service support in the SME market and Innovation in our Cloud PBX phone solution, keeps us ahead. Full control and access to our backed system gives the advantage of custom API connections with relevant CRM/ERP solutions for different business domains.
The technology behind their VoIP service is also impressive. Mike reveals,
Our Cloud PBX is set up in an Active-Passive setup. Geographically, we are fully redundant at server, data center, and SIP trunk level. In a DRP scenario, the PBX will become active in the backup data center. Making the DRP data center active takes about 15 minutes. This redundant setup gives an average uptime of 99.999% over the last 8 years.
Partnerships and strategic alliances play a crucial role in the success of any business:
Our partner strategy consists of a strong alliance with 300+ IT companies all over Belgium, giving them the possibility to resell our Cloud PBX product to gain monthly commission fees on customer subscriptions. Also CRM/ERP software companies are a growing partner segment, they regularly receive requests from customers to be able to connect phone systems to their preferred CRM/ERP.
Future Plans and Company Culture
Innovation is a driving force for Cloud Group, and they have exciting plans for the future:
If we take a sneak peek ‘in the future’ looking at the United States, UK or Sweden, we see further integration regarding Unified Communications as-as-service (UCaas) forming the future of business communications.
Mike emphasizes their focus on further integration of UCaaS and the development of their own web platform, MyCC, Cloud webphone, and CloudCall application. These innovations aim to integrate seamlessly into daily tools and usage, anticipating a decline in the usage of fixed IP phones.
Maintaining a strong company culture and values is crucial for Cloud Group. They place a strong emphasis on high service standards, high-quality solutions, and fast problem-solving. Mike said:
In sales we firmly believe in solution selling, with a tailored solution for academic use, medical practices, accountancy and lawyer firms, etc.
Reflecting on his entrepreneurial journey, I asked Mike what advice he would give to his younger self when starting the business. He candidly admits,
To scale faster. Our business domain is growing fast, and in the beginning, we were really careful in testing our product. No regrets, either way.
Cloud Group’s story is one of perseverance, innovation, and a customer-centric approach. By offering a complete suite of Cloud PBX solutions, exceptional service, and strategic partnerships, the company has carved out a niche in the competitive Belgian market. As the company continues to prioritize customer satisfaction and embrace future advancements, it is well-positioned to shape the future of business communications.