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Main Business — Interview with Steve Osler, Founding Partner of Wildix


Interview with Steve Osler, Founding Partner of Wildix

29 Jan, 2021
Interview with Steve Osler, Founding Partner of Wildix

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Steve Osler, Founder of Wildix, the international provider of Unified Communications, accepted to share with The Odessa Journal some insights of his professional and life experience.

When did it start your passion for information technology, which made you create Wildix?

I was a 10-years-old boy and my mother took me to an IT shop. The salesman was a big talker, who spoke a lot and tried to explain what a computer was to my mother, but she did not understand anything. It was 1985, the computer was very new for that time. And I was listening behind the door to this guy and I caught the idea that information technology was something incredibly powerful. From that moment, I started to study and followed the IT path. My mother bought me my first computer: a Philips MSX home computer, a sort of keyboard connected to the TV.

There are companies that sell their services for their domestic market and others that have the ambition to work on an international level. How did Wildix become a world player?

When we started Wildix, we did not have the idea of becoming a world player. But, when we saw the booming success, the spontaneous demand created by the product, we understood that we developed something bigger than we initially planned. Once we got that international interest and demand, we could no longer be a purely Italian/ local company, we needed to go further so that the product could get international credibility for our customers in other countries.

Dimitri and Steve Osler, UCC Summit 2019
Your brother Dimitri and you are Italians, born in the city of Trento, near the Austrian border. Today, you live and work in Tallinn and Dimitri in Odessa. Is it a professional necessity? Which are the advantages?

Why Tallinn and why Odessa? We chose the best country for R&D, Ukraine, and one of the best countries to run a business. We come from Italy. Unfortunately, Italy is probably the worst country for both. I mean in terms of running an international business. We wanted to remain inside Europe from a business side and so we chose Estonia because it is the most business friendly country in Europe. And Ukraine was chosen before, because it is one of the best locations for R&D. Ukraine is among the 5 main exporters of IT in the world.

Which are the more favourable markets for Wildix today? And which are your next targets?

The most favourable markets are the US and the UK. Our next target is Asia. We had to do it in 2020, but because of the Covid we decided to wait a little bit. It was too complicated to start a new business during this changing situation. So the project was postponed. We will start, hopefully, June 2021.

What the Covid-19 international crisis brought to your company: losses, more clients, new challenges?

All three of them. We lost some old kind of business products we used to sell for offices, because in 2020 their attention to improve offices was much lower. But, on the other hand we got more clients, with those products we made especially for people to work from many locations. So, we lost some business but we got some more customers and more modern business. We had a lot of challenges, because we were used to traveling a lot, our business was based on in person meetings, and we replaced all of them with remote interactions. At the end, for us it was a big opportunity to improve our products and to make them even more useful for a new way of doing business.

During 2020, we had to sell more Cloud solutions. So, our market moved faster. What we expected to happen in 3 to 5 years, happened in 3 months. The crisis was an accelerator, because our market is mainly for small-medium size companies and especially in European countries, many of these companies are owned by 1 or 2 shareholders, who are a kind of old-style thinkers. They were not about to move to the Cloud. But, then we showed them that the Cloud is the solution to keep working in any situation and they got it.

Do you like your job? What makes it interesting?

I like it and what it makes it interesting is our network of partners, about 500 companies, whose business relies on Wildix, and what I like, together with my staff, since we share the same views, is to see how our solutions are helping people to work better, to improve their lifestyle, to avoid risks and personal travelling. We were very happy when we received information from Peru, where a hospital thanks to Wildix succeeded in reducing contacts between doctors and patients, to avoid the Covid transmission. So, they are doing as much as possible remote consultation through our video conference tool and this is what we love about our work, that it impacts people’s life.

Then, going back to the network of our partners, who resell the Wildix solutions, we love to see how happy they are, because not only they are making money with Wildix, but the customer satisfaction with Wildix is much higher than with our competitors. At the end is not only about making money but also making something good and being rewarded for the good work we did. And then we go to the users, that for us is still business, to see the impact on all these people, working happily from home, with less stress, with more productivity. We are happy for them.

Can you tell us an event at work, or an important deal, that you like to remember?

What I still remember is when we started our first international branch. It was in France in 2007. For us it was something incredible. When we started Wildix, we never thought we would have been so successful to open another subsidiary in another country. For me, to be in Paris to start a new business in the French market was something very emotional. It was the first time we sold our products abroad. Because we were born in Italy, I spent all my life in Italy and it was easy for us to have business in Italy. Outside Italy it was something not planned and it really shocked us. It was overwhelming. We were not prepared. We created a product and sold it to friends in Italy and suddenly we received a request of information from abroad, not only from France. In our mind of young guys, born in the middle of the Alps the idea to have created a product that was interesting not only in Italy but also abroad was really something we did not expect.

If you were born again, whom would you like to be?

I would like to be the first worldwide Prime Minister. Not of one country or a union of countries, like the US or Europe, but of a United World with single government, that could proceed without wars and fighting between the countries, to improve the quality of life of people, maybe looking at the sustainability of this world, where we are living, and focusing to find a new home for the time when this world will not sustain us anymore.

Is there a song that you never get bored of listening to?

There are two: one is a piece of classical music, “Winter” from Vivaldi, part of the “Four Seasons”, and the other one is the theme of “Once upon a time in America” by Ennio Morricone. Actually, two Italian composers.

In case of nuclear cataclysm, is there a book or a movie you would save?

If it was for myself, I would keep the book “Thinking, Fast and Slow” (Daniel Kahneman, 2011) a book about human behaviour and taking economic decisions, and I found it very useful both for business and human interaction, family and friends. But for humanity, I would save a book about medicine or agriculture. After a nuclear cataclysm, you do not read literature. If it was a movie, I would choose again “Once upon a time in America”.

A journey or an experience that you would like to do, but never had the time to do it.

I would like to have a meditation retreat, but I never did. A place where you stay 10 days without speaking to anybody; a kind of monastery. I wanted to go, but then I had the kid and I failed to go, but this plan is still on the list.

A dream of yours has not yet come true.

To be the number one Provider of Unified Communications in the world.

Which is the best way to contact Wildix to get information about your services?

Just check our website, it is literally the best way to start using our technology and get in touch with Wildix: https://www.wildix.com/contacts/

The Odessa Journal

The Odessa Journal

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