- Founded: 2002
- Located: New York, USA
- Industry: Computer Software
- Acquired: 2021
Ubersmith is a modular software suite for subscription billing, configuration, price and quote order management, infrastructure management, and helpdesk. A plug-in system provides flexibility for extending and integrating other software used as part of business operations.
Communication service providers worldwide rely on Ubersmith to better serve their customers and better run their businesses. Ubersmith customers include Endurance, Phoenix, Grafana, Namecheap and INAP, to name just a few!
When a new company joins Lumine Group, they gain access to a vast ecosystem of sister companies that can help open up new opportunities for its business in terms of new customers and new partners. Our businesses support one another to collectively grow by sharing the vast expertise and experience that is spread across the portfolio.
In our conversation with Kurt Daniel, former CEO of Ubersmith, we discussed the impact that access to our ecosystem has provided their business as well as what it takes to grow talent internally as they look towards their growth phase in the second year.
In October 2022, after seeing success and stability within Ubersmith, Kurt became CEO of Kansys, a sister Lumine company.
Access to the Lumine Ecosystem
We discuss the benefits of gaining access to a vast ecosystem of sister companies with Lumine and how that has impacted the business.
At Lumine, talent development is a key part of the success we achieve with our companies. We explore what it takes to grow talent internally and what the process looks like.
Looking to the Future
With over a year into their acquisition, we discuss the achievements so far and what's next for the business as they move into the next phase of their journey.
Reflecting on the First Year
Upon acquisition, what goals did you set to accomplish in your first year?
The first year post-acquisition was spent fully integrating into Lumine. This included all aspects from systems and people perspectives. We went in with an open mindset with the goal of being successful as early as possible. We were exposed to helpful experiences, advice, and coaching through Lumine’s collection of best practices, experts and content across several functions including finance, human resources, professional services, managed services, and more. We felt like these areas of Ubersmith in particular were now getting world-class support and guidance. It was an entire team effort, where the Ubersmith team welcomed new ideas and best practices and combined them with their own to create a more successful company.
What was the integration process like? How did your teams respond?
A lot of credit goes to Lumine for the well-managed integration process. The Finance, HR, legal team, and our group leader, Tony Garcia, worked with us very closely. We were also assigned a dedicated person who worked with us to walk through various presentations and other information to help us get up to speed as soon as possible. A well-organized weekly meeting was set up for the key people in my team that allowed us to set expectations and track our progress through regular touchpoints.
It's important to note that we had to not only integrate but also create as many processes within Ubersmith needed to be set up from scratch. For example, since we were a carve-out, we did not have a finance or human resources department in place. Lumine helped us accelerate the final building process of our company into a completely self-sufficient and well-supported company.
One year later, what is the biggest change in your business?
We are growing faster, we are more profitable, and we are a more complete business with the support of Lumine behind us. The company has strengthened through the integration process and reached this better state faster than we expected.
Have Lumine’s values and operations positively impacted any department specifically?
There were several departments that benefitted from Lumine’s best practices.
For Sales and Professional Services, Lumine helped us organize our renewal pricing strategies and develop a PS catalog, which has given us the courage and success to go after more profitable and bigger deals.
For Finance, we were introduced to experienced people in the group who helped us build out our reporting, forecasting, planning, and other key finance functions.
For Human Resources: We were given access to a world-class HR function that was set up at lightning speed and helped us avoid errors that may have occurred if we did it on our own.
Can you share more about the new Professional Services offerings you launched in the last year?
With the launch of the first formal catalogue that we could share with customers, we have the capability to immediately engage with them and try to create a solution for their unique & specific needs right away and in a more organized way. We offer development services within PS as well as integration, migration, upgrade, reporting and analytics, architecture, and consulting services.
There is almost nothing we are not willing to help our customers with, allowing us to better serve a wider range of customer needs with the more experienced Lumine approach.
Can you share more about the new Managed Services offerings you launched in the last year?
In the past, we did not formally offer managed services, though we did do it for one of our customers informally, and it certainly wasn’t an impressive stream of business for us.
Shortly after the acquisition, we were exposed to the best practices around managed services and were encouraged to create a managed service catalog. The team did a fantastic job of creating dozens of attractive offerings we could execute well on.
We almost immediately had success with our largest customer and now provide managed services to many other customers just within a year of being acquired. It’s been a wonderful combination of Lumine’s best practices and our team taking them, extending them, and optimizing them to make them our own ro better suit our specific customers and markets.
Access to the Lumine Ecosystem
What has access to the Lumine Group ecosystem meant for your business?
The Lumine ecosystem has been extremely useful to us in terms of domain experience. We have appreciated the access to a global network of people, customers, partners, and experts all around the world. It has allowed us to look within Lumine and learn about all of the other billing and related expertise and experience that exists, so we can better serve our customers and explore new segments we might want to consider.
We look forward to doing more with the other companies within Lumine to go to market with broader solutions than Ubersmith could provide on its own.
Is there a sister business you’ve worked with most closely? How so?
We have worked with several Lumine business units so far both in North America and Europe. It’s a little earlier in the process for us as the initial year was focused on integrating with Lumine and building up the functions we did not have yet to position us for accelerated growth and profitability.
We are continuing to make efforts in reaching out to other companies within Lumine. I’m expecting us to bring on at least one new logo during our year two at Lumine thanks to this collaboration and partnership.
Have there been any opportunities where Lumine has helped you achieve something that you may not have been able to do as quickly – or at all – prior to joining?
Yes, absolutely. It’s hard to isolate one area, but I would start with Finance and HR. We were able to set up our Finance and HR departments with high standards while improving other areas such as R&D, PS, Managed Services, and Sales and Marketing to achieve better results faster than we initially thought possible.
Can you tell us how Lumine provides talent development opportunities?
Within talent development, there is an annual process that involves a lot of collaboration across all the business units within Lumine. I got exposure to this early on, just four months into my tenure post-acquisition at Lumine.
It's not just a simple straightforward performance review. The team gets feedback from other people within Lumine who have interacted with the person and their team, to get a 360 view of the individual and how we can nurture their development and career. I think it's a great approach to talent, talent development, and talent management.
In terms of leadership, from talent management and development perspectives, we are also able to accelerate our own leadership through regular and ad-hoc coaching, mentoring, and planning.
Looking to the Future
What would you tell a fellow CEO about being part of Lumine Group?
I would encourage all CEOs to be open to the best practices developed by Lumine. Being ready for change is essential because Lumine doesn't want to acquire a company and leave it in a static position. They want to help you strengthen and grow.
What would you tell employees of businesses being acquired by Lumine about what they can expect in their first year?
I would recommend starting with the best practices and integration. There are a lot of tasks you're already doing for your customers on a technical level and on a business level, and you need to keep doing those because your customers and business are critical. You must also find a way to carve out time for the best practices and integration to quickly benefit from the process. The Lumine team will work with you on this, and while at first the approach may feel intimidating, it becomes second nature once you dive in and understand.
Next, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ask people to walk you through presentations or best practices. Don't try to ignore it or do it all by yourself in isolation. At Lumine, you have access to so many leaders with different areas of expertise, and most have been through the integration process, just like you’re going through, so there’s a lot of empathy and understanding for new businesses beginning their new chapter.
What does Ubersmith look to accomplish in year two? And beyond?
In year two, Ubersmith is focused on continuing to strengthen itself to benefit our customers and our business. The focus will be on further upskilling of ourselves and our teams, getting even better at the best practices and contributing to them, and accelerating our overall progress. In the first year, we were a little more focused on profitability and trying to meet and then exceed the standards targeted by Lumine, but now we'll be even more focused on growth.