Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bird, founder of Wu Yimin information: only 40 person-years team 1 million yuan profit

"A few years ago, I find the wind to vote, no one knows what I do. Now it has become one of the most popular concept internationally." Looking back on the road traveled his own company, founder and president, Wu Yimin hearing birds on the financial weekly press emotion.
Concept is always enigmatic. Internationally, Wu Yimin core technology used is called "cloud computing." This technology is the software he Tsinghua Institute of learning, and Tsinghua University to teach computer science major when the research topic. However, customer referrals, he rarely used the concept. In his view, does not matter what technology, what the key is to gain.

Large customers, small customers

In 2001, the Internet myth has begun to burst, and was stationed in Tsinghua University, Hewlett-Packard (HP) the work of Wu Yimin options business, founded hearing birds, then bird's main business is telecommunications software and equipment to help enterprises to establish a call center.

"At that time the business actually do better, we are big list of every single customer only a few hundred, but highly profitable."

Wu Yimin told financial weekly newspaper reporter, "then our team is only 40, but every year about 10 million yuan in profits."

However, when in 2004, Alibaba has become a big customer of telecommunications birds, when Alibaba has 6,000 seats needs. Through this cooperation, Wu Yimin see a wider market - many SMEs.

A call center's construction and maintenance costs are extremely expensive. Wu Yimin calculations to reporters: In addition to a one-time purchase of an early switch, system software, middleware, repeaters and other equipment and resources needed to conduct the appropriate follow-up to the professional maintenance, in addition to the equipment costs, construction costs and operating costs than also need to pay telephone charges various fees.

This is a demand for many SMEs, is an expensive deal. Alibaba major customers, especially SMEs. Therefore, even though they have this need, it would not spend such a huge cost to the construction of a call center.

At the same time, hearing a bird's "customers" are the path meets a bottleneck. "Income is essentially fixed. Exception of some large enterprises, the development of more customers is difficult to go up."

This situation led to Wu Yimin more inspiration. 2005, he re-develop their own products.

Call center to move online

Wu Yimin new product technology is very advanced at the time of "cloud computing." In 2007, hearing birds today's flagship product, "Qi Tong Bao," the successful development, Wu Yimin moved the entire call center online.

"Kai Tong Bao and international calls are very popular Skype software is somewhat similar, but Skype is for personal, one account per person; and Kai Tong Bao targeted at the enterprise, each enterprise a number." Wu Yimin description.

However, the information includes not only the bird's main business selling "Qi Tong Bao," the software, more behind the sales of its services internationally, this model is called "SAAS model" is defined as "software as a service . "

A "Kai Tong Bao" software includes the following services: a national unity "400" number of resources, and calls missile screen, customer management, reporting and a series of applications. The terminal is a computer software, installation, as long as users access the Internet, you can achieve a single office in a particular location (as in head), remote multi-office locations (as in all branches) or travel (such as in hotels) to use "Qi Tong Bao, 2009." At the same time, it also supports traditional fixed line, mobile phone interaction, and support Web Call, Web text communication, text messaging and other communication means.

"In other words, as long as the coverage of the Internet, call centers can create, not office bound." Wu Yimin description.

Such a way that saves them the cost of obvious: build a call center business to pay the initial equipment costs, construction costs and maintenance costs were later transferred to the News Bird Corporation, the software company only pay royalties and service fees.

The completion of construction of a one-time after hearing a bird can be copied to the service and sales to more companies.

"Overall, the cost savings come from improved equipment utilization." According to Wu Yimin introduction, "to rely on a scale, the overall cost of each business before only 1 / 10."

In addition, sales of telecommunications services birds rely mainly on "rental" model. Normal office enterprise purchase used computers, network lines, Mike later, according to their length of time required and the volume of business, monthly payments to the News Bird's product costs 300 yuan, you can have a "Internet call center."

In addition, Kai Tong Bao also provide telephone filters, automatic switching of calls and other services for the various services, care staff, state, work in real-time monitoring and real-time recording and other services. "In the past, after dialing the call center, there will be a wait for the user answers the call process. But only in the phone Kai Tong Bao Tong was carried out after the transfer, the time consumed in this process to save it." Wu Yimin description.

"From the principle point of view, a software bundle of seating is unlimited expansion of the number." Wu Yimin description.

But other Internet voice communications software and the same restrictions, "Kai Tong Bao" The biggest factor is the Internet's transmission speed is the bandwidth. News Bird Company has a limited bandwidth formula, according to the formula, a bandwidth of 1 Mbps in office environment, can use up to five seats.

In the current Internet bandwidth environment, the seats are hard to meet the seating requirements of large enterprises demand more. Therefore, when sales Kai Tong Bao mainly for small and medium enterprises, while banks, insurance, tourism and other needs of the enterprise is more or to sell traditional products.

By Dell, the agent

"Kai Tong Bao" against small customers with scattered, small-scale characteristics, and previous hearing birds big projects for big clients compared to sales of Kai Global Express is more like a "wholesale" to "retail" process, of which, Cost of sales and team will consume a large amount of manpower and resources, as to avoid this, hearing birds select and set the size of a sales team: Over the past September, a high-profile hearing birds and Dell in a number of occasions. "Dell will assume the sales of our products." Wu Yimin said.

As at present, "Kai Tong Bao" platform in the country already has more than 1,000 customers, the scale of the overall number of close to 10,000 seats.

"Business for so many years, I have experienced a loss and then to earn profits from the process." Wu Yimin laugh laugh. 2001 to 2004, by selling the traditional call center operations, telecommunications birds have maintained good profitability. 2005, as demand for new products, increasing the cost of hearing birds, in 2007, when the technology is mature, birds emerged in the hearing loss. Wu Yimin memories, then, they have invested research and development Kai Tong Bao thousands of yuan.

In early 2008, from U.S. venture capital AGPF-I of the first of about 10 million U.S. dollars in financing to the rhythm of birds began to speed up information, including marketing fees and other costs increased significantly. However, with Kai Tong Bao represented SAAS service has occupied the hearing birds income 1 / 3. And every year more than doubled the rate of growth.

"I guess I needed before the public at least two rounds of financing. Plans listed in two or three years." Wu Yimin said.

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