In early December, voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) company Vonage said that it would establish a tech center of excellence in New Jersey, after the renewal of the lease on its corporate headquarters in Holmdel. Vonage noted that it extended the lease until 2023, reaffirming the company’s commitment to the state.
Originally located in Edison, Vonage has been a New Jersey-based company since it was founded in 2001. The company moved its headquarters to Holmdel in 2005 to accommodate the growth of its employee base.
Vonage considered other cities and states before deciding to stay in its current location, according to a statement. The company will remain in Holmdel because of its proximity to New York City, just an hour away and thus an optimal location for attracting talented employees, said CEO Alan Masarek.
“Vonage now has offices across the nation and internationally, but Holmdel has been our home for the last decade, and we are very committed to this town and its surrounding communities,” said Masarek.
“We are a rapidly growing company, and this facility will allow us to continue to expand right here in New Jersey. We’re transforming our company inside and out as we work toward making Vonage a destination place to work,” he added.
NJTechWeekly.com asked Masarek for a window into what the company’s tech center of excellence will look like.
What does Vonage mean by a “tech center of excellence”? Are you speaking of a physical space or something else?
Vonage is a technology company. Our mission is to transform how people connect, whether at home, in the office or on mobile. We are bringing more of our technology, and more ways to use our technology, into the physical space in Holmdel.
We’re also transforming our culture at Vonage to return to our innovative and disruptive roots. We believe physical improvements are an important part of that transformation: Where you work helps to shape how you work.
We’ve already made a number of improvements as part of our “Employee First” initiatives, including making our fitness center free to all employees; introducing a bike-share program; and making fresh fruit, light snacks, soft drinks and premium coffee free for our employees.
Our plans to modernize our corporate headquarters will bring about exciting new space improvements that will further build upon our Employee First initiatives by helping to spur innovation through greater collaboration.
The state-of-the-art technology training facility that we are building will be used to create greater customer experiences and strengthen our relationships with customers, educate prospective customers on our services and train employees from across the company.
What will you be doing at the center of excellence?
When Vonage was founded, in 2001, the company helped shape a new form of communications — one that had no boundaries, delivered unprecedented value and forever changed the telecommunications industry.
Over the years, Vonage evolved to include mobile calling products and services, such as voice, video, messaging, and mobile apps that allow you to take your home phone anywhere.
In 2013, the company began a historic transformation, building on its legacy as a pioneer in internet communications to enter the unified communications and cloud communications business markets.
In just two years, Vonage has become a top leader in the business market, both organically and through acquisitions.
The company is now disrupting the business communications market by providing cloud communications that offer more features, more functionality and more value than traditional business telephone services to tens of thousands of businesses.
Vonage’s revenue from business services has gone from 0 to 25 percent of total revenue since the company pivoted into business, less than two years ago, and it’s growing at 36 percent organically, faster than anyone else in the industry.
Vonage added 8,500 new business customers in Q3 2015 and now has 60,000 business customers and 514,000 business users, in addition to 2 million residential customers.
As we continue to grow in this market, and grow as a software company, new technology development and the ability to demonstrate the benefits of that technology to our customers (whether directly or through sales training professionals) will be critically important. The training facility we are building here will help us to do that.
A significant number of our developers and engineers are housed here, and a considerable number of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-based products and services that we develop for business customers, as well as residential customers, will come out of this facility. While we have offices throughout the U.S., we view Holmdel as the technology hub of the company.
What do you do in your Network Operations Center (NOC)?
The Vonage NOC operates 24/7/365, managing the company’s international network, which connects billions of calls each year around the world. Our NOC manages the command, control and reporting functions of the company’s vast and diverse voice and data networks. It primarily provides monitoring, tier 1 and 2 support, incident management, and change control; and it drives problem resolution.