Results That Matter Most - Portfolio Company Performance

Not all birds can fly. What separates the flyers from the walkers is the ability to take off.

Carl Sagan

z2m4 Advisors delivers portfolio company performance. We turn good ideas into great companies; we find solutions for the most complex problems and troublesome issues - during each phase of a company's life cycle.

Clients value our hands-on experience, disciplined thinking and time-proven z2m4 Advisors Method. Our partners and affiliates drive the initiatives leading to significant and sustainable business performance improvements.

Develop New Sources of Revenue

New sources of revenue come from entering new markets, launching successful new products or services and sometimes both.

  • For the leading provider of E911information, solved the complex problem of gathering location-based data at a time when first generation solutions were causing delayed and imprecise response to corporate campus emergencies. This led to design and implementation of a system to support the transfer of Automatic Location Identification (ALI) and Automatic Number Identification (ANI) information. Over four years, this added more than $40MM in new product revenues while enabling our client to significantly improve emergency response time and save lives.
  • Assisted a health care IT systems provider with their strategic initiative to consolidate a fragmented market by acquiring competitors. z2m4 Advisors identified investors to underwrite the roll-up, working with senior management on due diligence and buy-side negotiations.
Reduce Operating Costs

Operating costs and expenses frequently need to be adjusted to match changing business conditions. Linking costs to the appropriate business drivers is necessary for sustainable cost reductions.

  • Collaborated with executive management of a multi-billion dollar HMO to increase automation of their medical approval and authorization process. Previous approaches were labor intensive and inconsistent in the application of medical policy. The new approach drove development of a new medical management system for authorization and case management. The result: improved customer satisfaction, a 50% decrease in average transaction time and savings exceeding $3MM annually.
  • Supported a leading cable company's initiative to rapidly deploy telephony over cable services by automating service activation processes and systems. This proved critical for the company to cost-effectively enroll more than 2,000 customers per day. As part of the effort, performed a large scale integration of the customer care, billing, and service activation systems. The improved automation enabled a reduction of several hundred customer service representatives and a net $20MM savings, or 3% per subscriber per year. In addition, the client was able to decrease service order provisioning time from 3 days to minutes, substantially improving customer satisfaction.
Decide to Invest, Divest or Merge

Evolving industry dynamics and changing market conditions dictate that companies thoroughly evaluate all of their strategic choices.

  • For a leading provider of voice XML telephony gateways that had deployed most of their venture capital investment but not yet achieved cash flow or EBITDA break even: z2m4 Advisors assessed the technology, positioning alternatives and business strategy. Then, based on these findings, renovated the go-to-market plan, cut spending and reorganized the company around a restart. This led to the company's initial pilot installations, first revenues, deployment accounts and reference customers. As a result, the company closed a Series C financing with new investors and CEO to lead the next phase of growth. z2m4 Advisors served as interim CEO for this assignment.
  • Provided the CEO and Board of Directors of a failing collaborative e-commerce exchange with independent validation of plans for transforming the business into an application service provider. Included an assessment of the market, the probability for success and the sensitivity of key performance factors. Conducted a detailed review of all financial assumptions and models. Presented conclusions to the Board. Immediately thereafter the investors agreed to finance a market launch initiative. z2m4 Advisors was engaged to oversee all phases of planning and execution, leading to new clients, top line revenue growth and sustainable channel partner relationships.
Turnaround Weak Products and Struggling Businesses

When business results are significantly below expectations, conventional adjustments are seldom successful. Rapid and targeted efforts are required.

  • Engaged to renovate a company focused on the development and distribution of workforce management software products for the telecommunications industry at a time when they were not able to successfully deliver a product. The turnaround team stabilized the product and developed a new follow-on solution using wireless technology. This led to a next round of financing at a higher valuation with an ultimate sale to a public company.
  • Worked with venture capitalists and senior management to oversee a technical turnaround effort to create a telecommunications network manager software product. The turnaround involved focusing the company on a single software solution by first selling off ancillary software and hardware products. Drove the development of a new network management technology to manage heterogeneous private and public networks. The network management application became the core system used to launch a new company, leading to their successful IPO and $500MM market capitalization.
  • Completed a performance benchmark and gap analysis for leading web-to-wireless server software developer. Identified shortfalls in the execution of the company's business plan and provided recommendations for strategic and operational changes to improve demand creation, competitive positioning and sales effectiveness.
Start Up New Businesses and/or New Business Units/Divisions

Venture capital backed start-ups and corporate-sponsored subsidiaries and spin-offs have different characteristics and priorities; but both need a complete blueprint to maximize their probability of success.

  • Led the effort for a Lucent Technologies - Bell Laboratories spinout with development of their initial business model for entry in the data visualization marketplace. Identified the organizational infrastructure needed for direct-initiated, channel-leveraged distribution. Benchmarked existing competitors to define marketing communications initiatives to differentiate the company. Supported market entry with targeted lead generation efforts, enabling the sales force to target receptive prospects and close new deals.
  • From concept stage through commercial software deployment, managed every facet of product development, enabling our client to become the leading provider of telephony-based healthcare triage services. The applications became industry-leading products and the central system to manage the company's own national call center. The rapid timeline for product development and release resulted in the company becoming the premiere triage software supplier. The company was acquired by a competitor for $300M and was later sold, at an additional premium, to HBOC.
Grow Businesses Rapidly

Growth and rapid business expansion require working capital, people, processes, and information systems. During rapid expansion, business process cycle time becomes critical and often determines success or failure, especially in new or emerging markets.

  • For a leading provider of enterprise-wide backup/recovery and data-movement solutions, managed the company's marketing, distribution, and customer service operations in support of a Board mandate to achieve cash-flow breakeven. This necessitated reinvigorating strategic partnerships with leading storage equipment providers, renovating legacy product offerings and a new strategy for demand creation to compress sales cycles.
  • As a result, the German parent and US subsidiary aligned their objectives, established realistic expectations, significantly improved operating performance and achieved milestones. Shareholders have been rewarded, with the client's market capitalization haven risen 35% at a time when comparable companies and the NASDAQ lost more than 30% of their value.
  • Accelerated development of a new product to 9 months from the original schedule of 13 months. Being first to market enabled the company to go from concept stage to steady state profitability in 3 years
Create and Launch Winning New Products and Services

The success rate for new products and services is notoriously low: under 10% by many estimates. Using the right approach especially early in the process can improve the odds of success markedly.

  • Engaged by a lead investor and Chief Executive Officer of telecommunications software startup to develop a repeatable sales model for the sale of multi-million, multi-year contracts with incumbent local exchange service providers. Analyzed pipeline and revenue forecasts, interviewed staff and conducted deal reviews. Provided insight on the sales process and people necessary to ensure that client achieved their new customer objectives.
  • In less than six months, brought an entirely new information service to market. The service completed the client's core offerings and became a key differentiator for the entire product line, resulting in additional $8MM revenue per year. The product development was completed in less than 6 months.
  • Enlisted by a leading cable billing services company to create a product line targeted at the emerging telecommunications convergence market. Previous efforts by the company to envision and create products were stymied by conflicting internal priorities. The development team brought a new product to market eighteen months sooner than originally anticipated, dramatically accelerating new service and software license revenues.