In celebration of Collab’s one-year anniversary with Lumine Group, we spoke with the team to learn about all they have achieved over the past year, what they have learned, what the business looks like today, and what they most look forward to in year two and beyond. Explore more below.
Collab was acquired by Lumine Group on March 19, 2020. Headquartered in Lisbon, Portugal, Collab provides award-winning contact center software solutions to telecommunications operators across Europe, Latin America, and South America, serving over 600 customers worldwide and with over 70 partners in 40 countries.
To learn more about Collab’s first year with Lumine, we spoke with Pedro Quintas, Founder of Collab and recently promoted Sub-Group Leader of Lumine Group, Pedro Rodrigues, recently promoted to CEO of Collab, and Carlos Vasconcelos, Chief Marketing Officer.
Upon acquisition, what goals did you set to accomplish in the first year?
The first goal was to learn and adapt as much of the knowledge from Lumine’s Playbook –– Lumine’s guide to hundreds of best practices for acquiring, strengthening, and growing communications and media software businesses.
After reviewing the Playbook, we would be able to address our second goal, which would be to adjust our quarterly and annual goals to reflect the new reality of what we believe Collab could accomplish. We approach all goal setting with an aggressive but at the same time realistic perspective, which we believe was a key ingredient for the success of the integration process.
How did you and your teams respond to the integration process?
The teams responded very well. It was refreshing to join Lumine and be part of a group that understands a product company like ourselves. There was a good match between the processes and our beliefs.
Lumine has merit as an acquirer, and we quickly understood why. They have a strong and mature way of managing. With Lumine’s experience, they can quickly identify areas for optimization and can act fast. We operate autonomously on a day-to-day, but at the beginning, there were many (virtual) face-to-face integration sessions and workshops that built a strong relationship and trust with the Lumine team.
There was a lot to learn at first – new processes, reporting methods, new tools to use. And there is no doubt that it takes hard work and dedication to get up to speed. But one year in, we are already experiencing the value of what Lumine can bring, and the numbers can prove it.
What has access to the Lumine Group ecosystem meant for your business?
Best practices have sped up our integration and level of maturity of our processes. Access to the amazing ecosystem of customers is opening exciting opportunities for growth.
One important note to highlight is Lumine’s culture of knowledge sharing. There is a strong process set in place to encourage learning from each other. There are ongoing peer-to-peer sessions, the Playbook, the online set of articles, the knowledge of the management team. We feel the impact of having access to these experts, and the value of this knowledge-sharing network.
We also have opportunities for partnering with other businesses within Lumine Group. We are currently working on a project with WDS Mobile to create a cross-company offer, and everyone involved is very excited about what it can bring for our businesses and most importantly, for our customers. Hopefully, we can share more about this soon.
One Year Later, Collab Celebrates...
Culture of Knowledge Sharing
"At Lumine, there are some amazing knowledge-sharing programs," said Carlos Vasconcelos, Chief Marketing Officer. "The team can engage with live feeds in Yammer, e-learning, and pre-scheduled learning sessions that cover a wide range of topics."
Driving Talent Development
"Regarding talent development, what we have now is what we wanted to have in all of our professional lives,” said Carlos Vasconcelos. Since the acquisition, Collab's CEO Pedro Quintas has been elevated to Sub-Group Leader, now overseeing a number of Lumine businesses, and former COO, Pedro Rodrigues, has been promoted to CEO. More growth is on the way.
New Opportunities within the Lumine Ecosystem
In year two (and beyond), Collab looks forward to exploring more of what the Lumine ecosystem can offer. Currently, they are working on a project with WDS Mobile, read more below.
Talent Development Spotlight
Collab CEO, Pedro Quintas, was recently promoted to Sub-Group Leader at Lumine Group. Can you tell us a bit about Pedro’s legacy as CEO and what you think other businesses at Lumine that he will now oversee will gain from his leadership?
Pedro Quintas was the Collab founder and visionary. His vision was (and will be) present during the 15 years prior to acquisition and in many future years to come. His knowledge spans all levels of the organization (R&D, Professional Services, Sales & Marketing, Finance) and Pedro is highly regarded as a top contact center expert and entrepreneur. Over these years, Pedro has always delivered and brought engineering discipline, commitment, and certainty towards both customers and partners. As a Sub-Group Leader, Pedro will be able to work with more businesses under Lumine and offer his expertise. It is an exciting new opportunity for Pedro, and for the businesses he will help oversee. His vast knowledge and experience will add immense value.
As Pedro Quintas was promoted to Sub-Group Leader, Pedro Rodrigues was promoted to CEO. Can you tell us a bit about this, and more about talent development and opportunities since joining Lumine?
We have seen that business managers that deliver sustained and repeatable results have tremendous internal growth opportunities. In our “past life”, this was not the case. At Lumine, there are some amazing knowledge-sharing programs, with live feeds in Yammer, e-learning, and pre-scheduled learning sessions that cover a wide range of topics. It’s almost like a “hands-on” internal Lumine MBA.
Pedro Rodrigues is one example of a COO promoted to CEO. He has an extensive sales track record and has shown amazing “bridge creation” and conflict resolution skills.
Regarding talent development, what we have now is what we wanted to have for all of our professional life. We wanted to have a system in place where if you are a top performer, there are clear opportunities for you to progress.
In the past, the business was product-focused, and we did not have the opportunity to think this way. Under Lumine, as we can already see, we are seeing many opportunities opening for our senior leadership, and we are very excited.
One year later, what is the biggest change in Collab?
The team understands the pillars for success and they put in the extra mile to succeed. We have also evolved our strategic mindset. Most of our actions now have a number to justify them, not a simple “intuition.” We are learning new ways to combine innovation with number-driven planning, and are seeing the positive results and opportunities this type of thinking brings.
What do you look forward to in year two and beyond?
Continue to strengthen our business and grow, both organically and by acquisitions.
1. Organic Growth: Ensure our 70+ partners keep investing in Collab, upselling our product in every opportunity they have. In some strategic geographies, we are also looking to expand the partner ecosystem to boost new bookings.
2. Cross-Sell: We are committed to exploring internal synergies, where a joint effort with another VBU could create 1+1>2 value for our customers. We’re currently engaging with WDS in a KaaS offer (Knowledge-as-a-Service integrated with NextGen Contact Center). If we combine these two we create those “aha” moments for the customers.
3. Acquisition Awareness: We are keeping an eagle eye for potential acquisition opportunities that may be of strategic value for Collab or Lumine.
What would you tell a fellow company about being part of Lumine Group?
We will repeat something Pedro Quintas said at the time of the acquisition, which we know today stands true: “If someone looking to be acquired values what they have now, and they want to evolve, the Lumine approach empowers that.”