Interview with Oliver Guth Head of Marketing & Produkt Management
Do you already know our colleague Oliver Guth? He is one of MVC’s “rocks” – and has been with the company for almost 25 years. He has experienced the development of video conferencing systems from the “stone age” to the “modern age” and has helped to shape it at MVC, accompanying many manufacturers and products along the way.
Just like the technology, MVC has also evolved during this time, from a video conferencing specialist with just under 10 employees in 1997 to a full-service provider for UCC solutions with 80 employees today. With his expertise, Oliver now leads a team of four employees in total, consisting of two marketing employees and two employees for PreSales.
In the following interview, Oliver talks about the changes that have taken place over the last 20 years.
Can you still remember your first time at MVC?
Very well, although it was almost 24 years ago. Back then, our office was in Frankfurt Sachsenhausen. Before we had our own warehouse, PictureTel’s extremely bulky video conferencing solutions were temporarily stored in a basement warehouse via the ramp of the underground car park. But I was amazed for what a well-known, large customer MVC was able to facilitate video conferencing for back then.
What have been the most serious changes in the last 20 years?
In 2006, MVC was able to implement the first video conference integration with Microsoft OCS (Office Communication Server) in a pilot project for a customer in the banking sector. This enabled the connection of conference rooms with the predecessor version of Lync, Skype for Business, Teams via a multipoint server from the manufacturer Codian. For us, this was the initial spark that video meetings will become even more established in companies, and that the silo solutions of video and UCC will grow together. From my point of view, that was the starting signal for major changes, because since then we have been able to develop MVC very successfully into a complete UCC provider.
What are your plans for Marketing / Product Management in 2021?
I’ll start with product management. With so many UCC platforms on the market today and more waiting in the wings, we need to evaluate exactly which of the solutions could be relevant for MVC and, above all, for our customers. The decision for the right UCC solution is not trivial for a company. With the help of MVC’s consulting services, including proof of concept where appropriate, we can advise customers very effectively on the right solution. Once the right UCC platform has been selected, questions arise as to how the solution can be used in the video conference rooms and how corporate telephony can be integrated into the overall solution. This is also where our newly compiled consulting packages come in. The most difficult task, however, is to get all employees, i.e. the future users, on board throughout the entire project. The subsequent success of the project depends to a large extent on a high level of user acceptance. We help our customers with this very issue by means of a Usage & Adoption program.
Why do marketing and product management simply belong together in MVC?
The highly dynamic and complex nature of UCC projects requires us to communicate information and trends in an understandable way to our customers and, of course, to companies that are not yet customers of MVC. Since marketing and PM are now one department, product news from the manufacturers and from MVC can be quickly processed in marketing and easily communicated. This way, our customers are informed quickly and competently through our common channels.
My goal for 2021 is to make the best possible use of the synergies described here.
What impact do you think the Corona crisis has had on MVC?
Corona has changed the world! Enabling employees to work flexibly was a critical factor for companies to be able to sustain business from the first lockdown in spring 2020. By offering secure virtual meeting rooms from German and Swiss data centers, we were able to help our customers (companies, government agencies and educational institutions) very well and very quickly during the first phase of the pandemic. Our customers came to terms with the situation very quickly and, with our help, were able to put their entire communications solution to the test and modernize or replace it in line with the situation. Our strategic focus on consulting and managed service helps our customers communicate internally and externally during the pandemic and beyond, no matter where you are working from.
My last trip was to…
In the fall vacations of 2020, before the second lockdown, we spent a week with the family on a farm near Castelrotto (South Tyrol).
This is always in my fridge….
Everything you need for a relaxed breakfast on the weekend.
I am really proud of that
Of my family
…and I lack any talent for that
I love nature, think it’s great when the garden blooms anew every year, but I don’t have a green thumb and so can only support with “menial” tasks in the garden.