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As a founding member of Alteva, a pioneer in cloud communications, Mark Marquez has watched a company of five driven individuals doing a couple hundred thousand in annual revenue blossom through multiple acquisitions into a 500 employee company with more than 400,000 voice seats and more than $150 million in revenue a year, now as part of Momentum Telecom.
“When you own a company, you realize the capital and experience it takes to grow,” says Marquez, who is currently executive vice president of technology at Momentum. “Through each acquisition, it’s increased our ability to grow and expand. It’s not just about growing revenue, but also watching the people who started here evolve and develop is really a gift.”
Marquez is that rare breed of tech-mind that is able to translate his side of the business to more easily understood concepts. “One of the things that might be a little different about my own journey is that while it’s been highly technical, so much of what I do is to be an active part of the customer engagement process the EVP says. “That means I’ve been out on a ton of sales appointments, in addition to talking to our existing customers about what vendors they’re looking at, the technology they’re interested in, and the business problems they’re trying to solve.”
In short, Marquez has cultivated a proactive approach that sees technology as much more than a help center, it’s an integral business partner.
The very “un-IT”, white-glove approach that Marquez and Momentum take is in-part informed by the massive amounts of consulting work Marquez did in the nineties, working to learn each individual client’s unique needs and where the right solutions could be applied.
“I’ve always found that the more customers and employees that I connect with, the more complete the picture I have from all of these different angles and perspectives,” Marquez says. “We get to see the vastness of the landscape, but also can identify when customers are asking for the same things over and over again. It really influences the products that we build and sell.”
Marquez has been in the tech-solutions game long enough to have watched the continued evolution of what is now commonly known as unified communications. Before the birth of the big data movement, it was simply a voice venture.
“Companies were out there providing PBX systems just to make and receive calls,” Marquez remembers. “When voice communications went digital, all of a sudden we had this data we could gather about businesses. We started talking about integrating other applications, instant messaging, shared desktops, and multi-point-video. Customers continue to look for more efficient ways of communicating, and we’ve continued to move forward into technologies such as automated interactive voice response, team collaboration, and the migration into contextual data.”
Momentum’s bread and butter is providing cloud-based solutions, and Marquez says that means finding new and innovative ways of streamlining and simplifying businesses’ migration to the cloud offering them access to the latest technologies while increasing redundancy, efficiency, and cost savings.
“Business data and communications is increasingly moving to the cloud. Access to mission critical information is of the utmost importance. Enterprise networks used to be really complex and costly with products like MPLS, which is a private IP network,” Marquez explains. “You can now use cost effective overlay software like SD-WAN to replace it.” Technologies such as this enable Momentum to design solutions for all customers with business continuity in mind.
Lessons from Table 5
Marquez’s wide breadth of experience has also informed his leadership at Momentum. “I think I’m always concerned with taking everyone’s ideas and bringing them to the table,” Marquez says. “I want to make sure that everyone is thinking broadly about the way we’re gathering information, the way we’re processing it, and how we’re putting it into action.”
It wasn’t either IT or consulting that grounded the EVP’s approach to embedding deep with his clients and constituents, though. Straight out of college, Marquez wound up managing a handful of restaurants and nightclubs.
“I think that’s where I developed my philosophy that if you’re really involved, you’re going to better understand what’s going on,” Marquez says. “If you’re talking to the people that are coming in, the staff, the more you’re going to know what your hurdles are and what gaps you’re trying to fill.”
When it comes to filling gaps, Marquez’s D2 college football career certainly doesn’t hurt, either. It’s where the EVP learned how to get his team on the same page, and it’s a lesson that continues to pay off at Momentum.
Commute by Sky
Mark Marquez grew up milking cows. The farm is where he feels most at home. But when Alteva was sold and eventually became part of Momentum Telecom, Marquez wound up splitting time between his Pennsylvania home and Virginia. He’d commonly fly with his Alteva partner who had both a pilot’s license and a plane.
It wasn’t until the company was sold that Marquez took his friend’s advice to get his own pilot’s license, cutting down his travel time from eight hours to something much more manageable and on his own timeline.
“It wasn’t for any other reason so I can get home to my family quicker,” Marquez says.