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Edited Transcript of VG earnings conference call or presentation 8-May-19 12:30pm GMT

Q1 2019 Vonage Holdings Corp Earnings Call

Holmdel May 17, 2019 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of Vonage Holdings Corp earnings conference call or presentation Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at 12:30:00pm GMT

TEXT version of Transcript

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Corporate Participants

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* Alan B. Masarek

Vonage Holdings Corp. - CEO, Director & Interim Applications Group President

* David T. Pearson

Vonage Holdings Corp. - CFO & Treasurer

* Hunter Blankenbaker

Vonage Holdings Corp. - VP of IR

* Omar Javaid

Vonage Holdings Corp. - President of API Platform Group

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Conference Call Participants

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* Catharine Anne Trebnick

Dougherty & Company LLC, Research Division - VP and Senior Research Analyst of Data & Internet Protocol Networking

* Dmitry G. Netis

Stephens Inc., Research Division - MD of Equity Capital Markets & Senior Research Analyst

* George Frederick Sutton

Craig-Hallum Capital Group LLC, Research Division - Partner, Co-Director of Research & Senior Research Analyst

* Michael Rollins

Citigroup Inc, Research Division - MD and U.S. Telecoms Analyst

* Nandan Girish Amladi

Guggenheim Securities, LLC - Director of Technology, Media & Telecom equity research practice

* Richard Frank Valera

Needham & Company, LLC, Research Division - Senior Analyst

* Timothy Kelly Horan

Oppenheimer & Co. Inc., Research Division - MD and Senior Analyst

* William Verity Power

Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, Research Division - Senior Research Analyst

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Presentation

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Operator [1]

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Good morning, and welcome to the Vonage Holdings Corporation First Quarter 2019 Earnings Conference Call. (Operator Instructions) Please note, this event is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the conference over to Hunter Blankenbaker, Vice President of Investor Relations. Please go ahead.

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Hunter Blankenbaker, Vonage Holdings Corp. - VP of IR [2]

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Okay. Great. Thanks, Kerry. And good morning, everyone, and welcome to our first quarter 2019 earnings conference call. Speaking on the call this morning is Alan Masarek, Chief Executive Officer; and Dave Pearson, CFO. Also joining us is Omar Javaid, President of the API Platform.

Alan will discuss our strategy and first quarter results, and Dave will provide a more detailed view on our first quarter results and second quarter guidance. Slides that accompany today's discussion are available on the IR website. At the conclusion of our prepared remarks, we'll be happy to take your questions.

As referenced on Slide 2, I would like to remind everyone that statements made during this call may be forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on management's expectations, depend on assumptions that may be incorrect or imprecise and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. More information about those risks and uncertainties is highlighted on the second page of the slides and contained in our SEC filings. We caution listeners not to rely unduly on these statements and disclaim any intent or obligation to update them.

During this call, we will be referring to non-GAAP financial measures. A reconciliation to GAAP is available in the first quarter earnings press release or the first quarter earnings slides posted to the IR website. Additionally, during the prepared remarks today, all comparisons to prior periods are year-over-year unless otherwise noted as sequential.

So with that, I'll turn the call over to Alan.

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Alan B. Masarek, Vonage Holdings Corp. - CEO, Director & Interim Applications Group President [3]

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Thank you, Hunter. Good morning, everyone. I am pleased to report that first quarter results reflect a really strong start for 2019 and that our One Vonage programmable platform strategy is resonating well with customers.

During the first quarter, total Business revenues were $180 million and service revenue grew 23% on an adjusted constant currency basis. Consolidated revenue was $280 million, a 10% GAAP increase, and adjusted OIBDA was $32 million.

From a customer perspective, during the quarter, we accelerated revenue growth of application customers in mid-market and enterprise cohorts. We won a contact center contract with total contract value greater than $10 million, and we added the most API Platform customers ever.

This success is the result of Vonage's coverage of the entire cloud communications TAM-ed through our fully owned One Vonage platform, the integration of the customer experience across our products and our omnichannel sales approach.

We deliver solutions to our customers in 2 main product categories that leverage the same network infrastructure and underlying communication APIs. First, our applications group, which I am currently leading, consists of unified communication and contact center solutions. We have a combined go-to-market effort for applications because they are increasingly purchased together, particularly by mid-market and enterprise customers. And second, our API Platform, which consists of a broad set of programmable communication APIs, including voice, video, SMS, IP messaging and several workflow APIs.

Our first quarter results were driven by accelerating performance in 3 key areas of focus. First, within applications, our focus is to accelerate revenue growth among mid-market and enterprise customers. Second, within the API Platform, our focus is to accelerate overall revenue growth yet with specific emphasis to grow higher-value APIs even faster. And third, within product and engineering, our focus is to leverage our own technology stack across unified communications, contact center and programmable APIs to deliver winning products competitors cannot match.

I'll expand on each of these 3 focus areas. In the first key area, our applications group is driving accelerated growth among mid-market and enterprise customers, defined as customers with more than $1,000 of MRR. This cohort generated service revenue growth of 20%, a sequential acceleration. This cohort is now 52% of total applications revenue. It's the first time it's been more than half.

For enterprise customers or those with greater than $10,000 in MRR, service revenues grew 25%. Also, we closed 6 application deals with contract values greater than $1 million during the quarter.

Mid-market and enterprise customers continue to be our area of focus. And bookings from new customers won in these cohorts increased more than 50% during the quarter, laying the foundation for further acceleration in application group service revenues.

As I mentioned earlier, during the quarter, we won a contact center contract with TCV greater than $10 million. Vonage was selected because of our deep integration with Salesforce, the scalability of our solutions and our ability to help the client engage their customers in new and modern ways.

Another important win was a highly competitive $800,000 TCV deal with a large home improvement retailer that included our unified communications and contact center solutions. Notably, our key differentiator was our ability to improve customer engagement with solutions from our API Platform.

In the master agent channel, our investments continue to generate excellent results. Channel bookings in the first quarter more than doubled, and our sales pipeline is at record levels.

Now moving on to the second area of accelerating performance. The API Platform delivered adjusted revenue growth of 42% based on constant currency. Within this result, revenues for higher-value APIs like voice, video and verify grew even faster. Our ability to drive accelerating growth rates is a function of our product transformation as well as sizable investments in go-to-market.

Regarding product, we have transformed our API Platform from its roots as a programmable SMS platform into a complete communications platform across voice, video, SMS, IP messaging and workflow APIs.

Within sales, positive API Platform results are being driven by investments across all facets of our go-to-market with particular focus in areas where we are naturally advantaged versus competition. For example, we are leveraging our substantial expertise serving enterprise customers. We invested heavily in enterprise distribution, including account managers, quota-bearing sales staff and solution engineers, to support complex enterprise use cases.

In the first quarter, we won many exciting enterprise deals, including one of China's largest cloud infrastructure-as-a-service providers. With this win, Vonage now powers the top 4 cloud providers in China.

We also won a Fortune 500 global media company who will use our voice API and call recording feature for their contact center operations as well as a Fortune 1000 payment solutions company who selected our voice API for use cases targeting several industry verticals.

In addition to our enterprise efforts, we continue to invest heavily in our partner program. We grew to 220 partners in the first quarter, and partners leverage our APIs to power applications across almost every vertical.

Finally, developers continue to be the foundation of our platform ecosystem. Over the last year, we doubled the size of our developer relations team and focused marketing efforts on increasing developer awareness. We ended the quarter with 788,000 registered developers. And during the quarter, we added the most new customers in our history.

Now moving on to the third area of accelerating performance. We made substantial product development progress. During the quarter, we announced significant new product solutions that highlight the advantages of owning our own technology stack across unified communications, contact center and programmable APIs. Notably, we launched CX Cloud Express, a NewVoiceMedia-based contact center solution fully integrated within Vonage Business Cloud. CX Cloud Express targets mid-market customers with advanced contact center functionalities not typically available at mid-market price points.

Another important product release was phone number programmability, which demonstrates the power of building our solutions from the One Vonage platform. By building functionality at the platform level as programmable APIs, we can market and sell that functionality 2 ways. First, we can sell that functionality to developers as an API or second, as embedded functionality within Vonage Business Cloud. Said differently, we build once, sell twice.

In addition, by virtue of building our communication applications from programmable APIs, app applications in fact become more extensible and customizable than competitive offerings. For example, number programmability enables all Vonage Business Cloud phone numbers to be intelligently programmed to support a business' unique needs.

The use cases for number programmability are extensive. As just one example, we recently won a $400,000 TCV unified communications deal with a large security company. This was a highly competitive deal against several competitors. The customer needed a compliance solution to record employees' calls and then split and store them into 2 separate CRMs. Leveraging our number programmability API, the customer was able to address their compliance requirements with just a few lines of code, and this functionality was the key differentiator enabling our win.

So to summarize, our strategy is working. Every day, we see more and more examples of how the One Vonage platform is changing conversations we have with prospects as they look to us to help them future-proof their communications. Industry analysts are also recognizing Vonage as a leader. In the first quarter, Aragon Research named Vonage a leader in the Globe for Unified Communications.

I am proud of our team's performance across our major initiatives, and I am pleased to report that Q1 results reflect such a solid start to the year with accelerating growth rates across the Business segment. While much work remains, the execution of our strategy continues to improve, and we are well positioned to deliver on our 2019 growth initiatives and financial guidance.

I'll now turn the call to Dave to discuss our financial performance in more detail.

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David T. Pearson, Vonage Holdings Corp. - CFO & Treasurer [4]

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Thanks, Alan, and good morning, everyone. As Alan noted, we had a solid start to 2019 delivering guidance, moving up market and innovating products. With that, let's begin with a review of the first quarter on Slide 10.

Vonage Business total revenue was $180 million, representing 64% of total revenues and a 31% GAAP increase. As we stated last quarter, Business Service revenue growth is our focus as we deemphasize access circuits, sell fewer desk phones that pass through USF revenues to the federal government.

Business Service revenue on an adjusted basis increased 20% in the first quarter. Constant currency, that service growth number was 23%.

These organic growth numbers adjust revenue in 2 ways. Pro forma for the acquisitions of TokBox and NewVoiceMedia as if we owned both assets for the full year 2018 and add back the write-down of approximately $2.5 million of NewVoiceMedia's deferred revenue balance under GAAP purchase accounting rules.

As we are committed to doing each quarter this year, we have included tables in the press release and on Slide 20 through 25 of today's presentation providing added detail on the adjustments I just noted and the disaggregation of our Business revenue that I will now discuss.

Revenue from applications was $120 million for the quarter, of which $100 million was service. Application service revenue was up 34% on a GAAP basis and 13% adjusted.

API Platform revenue, all of which is service, was $60 million, up 43% GAAP, 34% adjusted and 42% adjusted constant currency.

Overall, Business Service margin for the first quarter was 56%, up nearly 2 percentage points, the result of lower termination costs across all products and the growth of higher-margin products.

Moving to Page 11. First quarter Business Service revenue per customer was $408, a 24% increase from $328 a year ago, reflecting our successful move up market and the acquisitions of NewVoiceMedia and TokBox, both of which further improved our upmarket position. Business revenue churn was stable at 1.2%.

Moving to Slide 12. Consumer revenue for the first quarter was $100 million, down 15% as projected. Consumer customer churn was 1.9%, stable year-over-year. Tenured customers, who we define as being with us for 2 or more years, now represent 88% of our Consumer customer base, and engagement remained high with over 90% of all customers making outbound calls. We ended the quarter with 1.2 million Consumer subscriber lines with an average revenue per line of $26.43, down less than 1%.

Consumer service margin for the quarter was 90%, up from 87% due to lower international and domestic termination rates and the increased allocation of certain shared network costs to the Business segment as that revenue becomes a greater proportion of the whole.

Turning to Slide 13. Consolidated revenues for the first quarter were $280 million, up $26 million or 10% on a GAAP basis and 4% adjusted. Importantly, as our Business segment is now significantly larger than Consumer and growing at a higher rate than Consumer's declining, we expect to exit the year with double-digit consolidated adjusted revenue growth.

On Slide 14. Consolidated gross margins were stable at 59%, reflecting an improvement in the margins of both segments, offset by the changing mix of segments and the deferred revenue write-down.

Now moving to income statement cost items on Page 15. Consolidated sales and marketing expense for the first quarter was $96 million, up $18 million. This is the result of the additions of TokBox and NewVoiceMedia, increases in organic media, developer relations and international marketing spend and sales force expansion. Engineering and development costs were $17 million, up $6 million, reflecting primarily the acquisitions and the significant investments we are making in the One Vonage platform. General and administrative expense for the first quarter was $35 million, up $7 million. All of this increase is attributable to the acquisitions and their G&A and resulting transformation and integration costs.

GAAP net loss was $1 million, down roughly $26 million, and adjusted net income for the quarter was $15 million or $0.06 per diluted share and down $16 million. The decline was primarily due to higher acquisition-related costs, including operating, depreciation and amortization and interest expense. Note that the adjusted net income metric removes noncash items and transaction-related costs.

Turning ahead to Slide 16. First quarter adjusted OIBDA was $32 million, consistent with our guidance, and down $11 million. The decline was due to acquisition-related factors I discussed earlier, including the deferred revenue write-down, which directly reduced OIBDA by $2.5 million.

Moving to Slide 17. CapEx for the quarter was $11 million, up $4 million due to higher capitalized software, driving adjusted OIBDA minus CapEx of $21 million.

On Page 18. We ended the first quarter with $541 million of net debt, up $26 million sequentially, driven by seasonal tax- and benefit-related cash payments.

As of March 31, net debt was 3.2x LTM adjusted OIBDA. Last quarter, we noted that our net debt balance would increase in the first quarter before declining through the remainder of the year.

Moving on to guidance on Slide 19. Given the dynamic nature of our business, we will provide quarterly guidance for the remainder of 2019. Accordingly, our expectations for the second quarter of 2019 are as follows: Vonage Business revenue of between $194 million and $196 million and Consumer revenue of between $96 million and $97 million. This equates to consolidated revenue of between $290 million and $293 million.

We expect adjusted OIBDA to be in the $35 million to $37 million range, which takes into account the loss of roughly $2 million of revenue and OIBDA from the required NewVoiceMedia deferred revenue write-down. There is no change to annual guidance.

In conclusion, we feel very good about our financial performance for the first quarter and positioning to deliver on our 2019 strategic and financial objectives.

I'll now turn the call over to Hunter to initiate the Q&A.

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Hunter Blankenbaker, Vonage Holdings Corp. - VP of IR [5]

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Great. Thank you, Dave. Kerry, can you please log on the first question?

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Questions and Answers

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Operator [1]

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(Operator Instructions) Our first question will come from Rich Valera of Needham & Company.

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Richard Frank Valera, Needham & Company, LLC, Research Division - Senior Analyst [2]

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Dave, you previously talked about your MME portion of your applications business as being about 1/3, I guess, of the total with 2/3 being kind of in the SMB side, and now you're talking about more of a 50-50 split. So just wanted to first make sure that we're talking about sort of the same thing apples-to-apples and try to understand why that shift happened so quickly. I guess clearly NVM, or NewVoiceMedia, would help. But if you can just talk about what's going on there with that mix shift.

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David T. Pearson, Vonage Holdings Corp. - CFO & Treasurer [3]

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Yes, absolutely. We used to talk about this on a seats basis and think about 50 seats and below and 50 seats and up. And I think you're quoting the data that came from that. That with the addition of NewVoiceMedia and the growth that's coming from that, we are much more geared towards the MME market. But also it's required for us to think about things in MRR terms at this point because it's no longer seat based because the ARPU difference between the UCC -- a UCC and a CCC is very significant. A CCC can be $100 to $125. A UCC can be anywhere from $20 to $40 on a -- basis. So the change is from the acquisition and from the fact that it really needs to be MRR based at this point. And we think it's important that we did cross over to the point where MME is now 52% of the base. And obviously, that aspect of the base is growing a lot faster.

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Richard Frank Valera, Needham & Company, LLC, Research Division - Senior Analyst [4]

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Got it. And then one more follow-up just on the growth rate of the applications business at that 13%. If you factor in again the faster-growing NewVoice, that would suggest that UCaaS growing something less than that. So understanding you're getting some decent traction on the MME bookings, can you kind of talk about what's going on in the UCaaS business. And are you seeing unusual pressure on the SMB side of that? Or what's kind of keeping that from accelerating as you see some improvement on the MME side?

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David T. Pearson, Vonage Holdings Corp. - CFO & Treasurer [5]

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Absolutely. So the vast majority of the revenue in applications still is UCaaS. Although it is true that CCaaS, the older NewVoiceMedia, if it were its own company is -- when we bought it, was growing in the 20s, but the complexion of that business is primarily UCaaS. It really is about the growth of applications in general. And UCaaS specifically, if we still had that really is about the cohorts. The lower cohorts, sub-$1,000 MRR, that market is simply growing more slowly right now. We believe that our share that we're still over-indexing in that market -- and actually, bookings were up for us 4Q to 1Q in that market. But fundamentally, it is growing slower, whereas the upmarket, I think you've seen from us and our competitors, is growing well, and that's where we're in the 20s. I think Alan noted that the $10,000 and up MRR is growing even faster than the $1,000 and up.

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Operator [6]

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The next question will come from Dmitry Netis of Stephens.

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Dmitry G. Netis, Stephens Inc., Research Division - MD of Equity Capital Markets & Senior Research Analyst [7]

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I'm going to ask a similar question to Rich's just to level the playing field here. If I may ask you maybe to look at it this way since now this is how you're providing data going forward. On the $1,000 MRR revenue Business -- in the Business segment, $10,000 plus, and I assume there is under $1,000 MRR business there as well. So can you give us a mix of those 3 categories so that we understand what it looks like? And if you put -- if you want to kind of talk about the growth potential of growth rates in those 3 categories, that would be also helpful.

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David T. Pearson, Vonage Holdings Corp. - CFO & Treasurer [8]

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Yes. Absolutely. And we are committed to the reporting structure that we're rolling out today to talking about the below $1,000 and above $1,000, and we'll give anecdotal data on top of that when it warrants each quarter. So the $1,000 and above cohort grew at 20%, which is a sequentially accelerating growth rate, and that includes all of MME. The below $1,000 MRR grew at 6%, and that represented 48% of the applications business, with the above $1,000 representing about 52% of the applications business. Significant -- a material portion of $1,000 is $10,000, although that growth number of $10,000 tends to be fairly chunky. It does move around quarter-to-quarter because that is big deal driven.

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Dmitry G. Netis, Stephens Inc., Research Division - MD of Equity Capital Markets & Senior Research Analyst [9]

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And what's the mix of $10,000? Is there any sense of what that...

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David T. Pearson, Vonage Holdings Corp. - CFO & Treasurer [10]

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Yes, it's about 1/4 of the total.

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Dmitry G. Netis, Stephens Inc., Research Division - MD of Equity Capital Markets & Senior Research Analyst [11]

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Got you. Super helpful, Dave. And then one for Alan maybe, if I may. Alan, with Dennis and Kenny out now, how are you making sure there's no disruption in the sales function? Your bookings number looks solid heading into this year in Q2. But anything you're doing, you can walk us through that -- to ensure there is no disruption there?

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Alan B. Masarek, Vonage Holdings Corp. - CEO, Director & Interim Applications Group President [12]

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Yes. There is no disruption. The key thing to remember is that the route-to-market leaders across inside field channel, the Salesforce channel international with EMEA and APAC, the customer success organization, the sales engineering organization, all of the -- all that leadership has been in place for some time and is unchanged. So the exit of Kenny was orderly to Dennis. Again, Dennis is a very fine executive, we wish him well in his new role. But I'm driving this as I've done in the past. And again, because we have had consistency among the route-to-market leaders, we're seeing no interruption. And so we're obviously searching for a replacement. That search is underway. And think about it, this is a -- on the application side, is a $0.5 billion business with a global remit with over 1,000 employees, and we're going to get the best person on the planet from an enterprise SaaS perspective who can help us drive that.

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Operator [13]

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The next question will come from Nandan Amladi of Guggenheim.

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Nandan Girish Amladi, Guggenheim Securities, LLC - Director of Technology, Media & Telecom equity research practice [14]

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So a question on channel development. As -- your product mix has transformed quite a bit over the last year. So what changes have you made on how you develop the channel, the master agents and the subtending value-added resellers and so on, both in terms of product differentiation and also perhaps if you can talk about the economics?

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Alan B. Masarek, Vonage Holdings Corp. - CEO, Director & Interim Applications Group President [15]

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This is Alan. So over the course of the last several quarters, we have made a very concerted effort to improve our performance in what we all refer to as the master agent channel. That has included new leadership under Mario DeRiggi who is a very well-known leader in the telco channel; a new partner portal to makes it easier to buy so that partners can track the status of installations, their commissions, et cetera, et cetera; the creation of a partner program, which again provides more benefits as you sort of go from bronze, silver, gold, platinum based upon the amount of business that you bring us. And we've also added staffing underneath in terms of just the regional channel managers. From a product point of view, we've begun to develop product that we think what we're seeing from market reaction sort of hits the mid-market, which is the sweet spot of the channel, very effectively. And that's why I mentioned on CX Cloud Express, which is this integration of NewVoiceMedia fully integrated into Vonage Business Cloud. So we believe we have a better solution that's more suited for the mid-market where many other contact center solutions are really much more heavier weight, they require a lot of professional services and such. And therefore, we don't think as suitable for the mid-market, so we believe we've addressed products that fit them really well.

From an economics point of view, in terms of what we pay the channel, it's really relatively consistent. There is -- across all the vendors, it's not dramatically different from one to the other. There are some vendors who will occasionally pop up with [SPIFF] programs that are very high. We have not generally played in that type of market. We've been trying to do this with a very simple philosophy, which is if we can collectively, ourselves and channel, serve the downstream customers so that they stay on the books forever, that's the key for us having a successful relationship with the channel.

Last thing is we've also teamed our direct sales organization with our channel organization, so there's never any contention in a market between whether something was registered as a channel deal or a field deal. All of those changes have just generated quarter-after-quarter substantial improvement both in terms of bookings growth, the size of deals that we see and currently what's in the current pipeline.

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Nandan Girish Amladi, Guggenheim Securities, LLC - Director of Technology, Media & Telecom equity research practice [16]

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And a question for Dave on capitalized software. How has that approach going to change now with your product portfolio having changed so much in the last year or so?

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David T. Pearson, Vonage Holdings Corp. - CFO & Treasurer [17]

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Yes. Absolutely. So in -- the rest of the year is going to look a lot like the first quarter. The first quarter capitalized software was up just about $4 million, and that's because we're doing significant work on the One Vonage platform, and that's worked on a new functionality. That norm that we just established in the first quarter is what we'll see unfold for the rest of the year.

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Operator [18]

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The next question will come from Catharine Trebnick of Dougherty.

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Catharine Anne Trebnick, Dougherty & Company LLC, Research Division - VP and Senior Research Analyst of Data & Internet Protocol Networking [19]

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Nice work, gentlemen. You had mentioned that you had 200 partners when you went through the API on Nexmo section. Are those 200 partners just strictly for Nexmo? Or how does that divvy up between your new application business?

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Alan B. Masarek, Vonage Holdings Corp. - CEO, Director & Interim Applications Group President [20]

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It's Alan. Those 220 partners are all Nexmo, and I should have clarified before my question -- my answer to Nandan. The -- our indirect approach -- our indirect channel approach, there really are 3 efforts. So you have the 220 channel partners, which are on all the Nexmo side, these are SIs and ISVs who take our API tools and then embed them into the applications for their client enterprise customers. That's a global footprint of those partners, and that's growing very quickly. I mentioned already the master telco channel. What I failed to mention before is the third effort is what we do principally around Salesforce. So with NewVoiceMedia, we have a very, very substantial relationship with Salesforce where -- from both a go-to-market and a product perspective. And so we've got a team of 12 people led by a senior executive who now reports directly to me, Robert Gavin, who is driving that Salesforce channel to very good results. So that's the approach that we make across indirect distribution.

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Catharine Anne Trebnick, Dougherty & Company LLC, Research Division - VP and Senior Research Analyst of Data & Internet Protocol Networking [21]

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So how many master agents you have now this year versus when you started revamping the program starting February, March of 2018?

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Alan B. Masarek, Vonage Holdings Corp. - CEO, Director & Interim Applications Group President [22]

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We have all of them. So the key is not whether you -- in all seriousness, Catharine, we have all of them. It's not a function as to whether you have a master or not, all the vendors do. There is no exclusive relationship with the master nor the subs who then deliver their business under a master's contract. The function is how -- the challenge is simply how you build your visibility and your performance and your recognition as being a solid vendor on behalf of the channel partner. And that's where the effort has gone. It's not about establishing new contracts. Whether it's Intelisys, Telarus, Sandler, ARG, AVANT, TBI, on and on and on, we have contracts with every relevant master.

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Catharine Anne Trebnick, Dougherty & Company LLC, Research Division - VP and Senior Research Analyst of Data & Internet Protocol Networking [23]

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So then within that -- all of these -- and you -- I understand you went through your whole -- with the last question, all the new things you've done to change the channel to make it perform better. Of all these, any particular partners you feel are accelerating more than others, you feel you have tighter relations with some than others? I'm just curious on that answer.

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Alan B. Masarek, Vonage Holdings Corp. - CEO, Director & Interim Applications Group President [24]

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Simple answer is, of course we do. The -- we are targeting masters where we have -- rather than taking a shotgun approach, it's always smarter to take a more rifled approach, targeting the masters who have and can deliver us greater volume. And so that's precisely what we do with specific leadership representing those significant partners out there. And so as we track our growth in the targeted masters, it is -- we're seeing -- as reflected in the bookings numbers that I reported, we're seeing very substantial improvement within those targeted masters.

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Operator [25]

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The next question will come from Will Power of Baird.

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William Verity Power, Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, Research Division - Senior Research Analyst [26]

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Yes, look, the continued strong API growth generally, and I think you all called out a record number of new customers. I wonder if you could provide any further color as to the key drivers there. Is there particular geographies that are doing better than others, particular products that are standing out? Maybe any color on what's driving that. And I guess within that, I'd be interested in any update on the VAPI product and how adoption is looking there.

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Alan B. Masarek, Vonage Holdings Corp. - CEO, Director & Interim Applications Group President [27]

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Let me -- Omar is on the phone. He is the President of our API Platform. I may ask Omar to take that question.

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Omar Javaid, Vonage Holdings Corp. - President of API Platform Group [28]

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Sure, sure. So to your first question, we're actually seeing a lot of interest across our product line. Obviously, we -- the messaging product has been doing well for us from the beginning. But I think particular standouts, so I'll go through some of the products themselves and then the geographies. As you may recall, we acquired TokBox for video APIs late last year. That's been just a phenomenal product for us. So we've seen good -- a lot of interest and growth both in terms of selling that to our existing base of customers and new customer wins around video. We've seen that with our updated messaging API as well. And I would say particular standout for us from a geographic perspective, we had some really great wins in both Asia Pacific and in EMEA. And we've seen some really encouraging traction as well in North America. I'm sorry, what was the second question?

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William Verity Power, Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, Research Division - Senior Research Analyst [29]

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Well, yes, just trying to -- on the VAPI product, just trying to get a feel for what the trend lines looked like there, particularly in North America, which just seems like an upside opportunity for some time.

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Omar Javaid, Vonage Holdings Corp. - President of API Platform Group [30]

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Yes. It is. Exactly. I think that's the best way to put it. It's an upside opportunity. We've seen some really good traction there. I think the way to look at that particular product and how it's adopted is a lot of the prospective customers and, let's say, the volume use cases are going to be in contact center-like use cases, so customer care, inside sales, just as 2 examples. So we have been pushing that and have seen some good success in North America. We've seen it in other parts of the world as well. But the -- I think Dave had talked about the nature of this business. You get this -- you have these API developers incorporate them into apps, then those apps get distributed. And so there is a lag time before you see volume build up. So -- and those are some of the enterprise use cases. We do have -- given the nature of the business, there's also companies who are enterprise customers of ours but are sort of B2C use cases, the rideshare companies, for example. So we are seeing good growth in that product, but I think it's just going to take time to percolate some more.

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Operator [31]

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The next question will come from Tim Horan of Oppenheimer.

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Timothy Kelly Horan, Oppenheimer & Co. Inc., Research Division - MD and Senior Analyst [32]

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So Dave, you've had a pretty amazing product lineup improvement. Can you just give a little bit more color what customers really like about the product? I know you said you have a very unique product that others can't replicate. Can you just dive into it a little bit more, please?

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Alan B. Masarek, Vonage Holdings Corp. - CEO, Director & Interim Applications Group President [33]

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Let me ask Omar to take that as well, Tim.

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Omar Javaid, Vonage Holdings Corp. - President of API Platform Group [34]

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Yes. I think in -- if you refer to Alan's opening comments, what we did -- and this has been a multiyear strategy and investment for us starting with some of the early acquisitions that we made. I think if we go back to the acquisition of Nexmo, which was us really getting into API platforms. So the way to look at it is the -- so we sell a set of products as APIs and then we have applications, right? And you see -- and in contact center. And what we've done, starting with UC, is build that product and rebuild that product. We've talked about being first to public cloud as an example. But we've taken aspects of that product, for example, messaging, and started leveraging the APIs that we ourselves have. So those are APIs that we market to third parties, but we use them ourselves internally. So the point is that we have multiple areas where we can scale and leverage. So the people, for example, in our VBC product, which is our flagship UC product, we don't need to build another messaging team. We don't need to build, say, another videoconferencing team. They can use those APIs that we have that are deployed globally at scale, right, with big, big customers on them. So there's a tremendous amount of leverage there that we can employ. So in terms of one vector of it. The other side of it is we've kept growing the product by and itself. So for example, one of the areas that we thought we really needed to build and scale on was video, and we fixed that with getting -- with acquiring TokBox last year, mid-last year, late last year. So I'm not sure if that fully answered your question.

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Timothy Kelly Horan, Oppenheimer & Co. Inc., Research Division - MD and Senior Analyst [35]

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Yes. Well, just one clarification. Do you think the One Vonage programmable platform, is it basically complete at this point? I mean I know you'll always be tweaking on it, but when was that really completed? And is the go-to-market strategy now pretty much aligned around that One platform?

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Omar Javaid, Vonage Holdings Corp. - President of API Platform Group [36]

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Yes. I think -- so I think just putting my product hat on for a second. I think you're always going to be working on products, so this is an investment that we'll continue to make. So I think we're -- given where we started and where we are today, we're in a very, very good place. So I think we have the core set of capabilities. But like any product and technology company, we're always evaluating either products that we -- product areas that we should get into that we currently aren't in or take the existing products and build them out in new ways. So I think this is going to be the investment that we continue to make. So that's one. And I think you're going to hear that from probably any product company, ours is no exception in that regard.

Now in terms of the alignment with go-to-market and a lot of those, it -- the way to look at it is we have a scaled platform both in terms of geographic scope and products that -- on APIs. Those APIs in turn are being increasingly incorporated into our applications themselves. I mentioned VBC and messaging as an example. So we've done it in stepwise function. And so the go-to-market, that's embedded in those products, and so it's able to leverage the existing go-to-market for those -- for both APIs and applications. We are beginning to look at ways to sort of augment the go-to-market itself around One Vonage, but I think this will be more around marketing sort of the -- how we market and message it as opposed to sort of changing the sales mechanics, if that makes sense.

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Alan B. Masarek, Vonage Holdings Corp. - CEO, Director & Interim Applications Group President [37]

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Tim, this is Alan. Just real quickly. The key thing from an applications point of view, you think about core PBX and contact center, much of the functionality is tried and true not particularly different from one supplier to the other. Where you win deals, and I've cited these in my examples in my script, is in the -- because of the way it's built from the programmable APIs, it has a level of extensibility and customizability that others that are not built the same way cannot do. So the go-to-market strategy in applications is a product differentiation effort that is rooted in that One Vonage platform.

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Operator [38]

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The next question will come from Michael Rollins of Citi Investment Research.

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Michael Rollins, Citigroup Inc, Research Division - MD and U.S. Telecoms Analyst [39]

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Alan, just going to ask you something that you and the team discussed the last call. You described the expectation for Business Service revenue growth to approach 30% exiting 2019. So is that still the plan? And how should we think about the trajectory for Business Service revenue growth?

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Alan B. Masarek, Vonage Holdings Corp. - CEO, Director & Interim Applications Group President [40]

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Let me ask Dave to take that question, Mike.

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David T. Pearson, Vonage Holdings Corp. - CFO & Treasurer [41]

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Mike, yes, we stand by that statement. The statement was that Business Service revenues would grow the number approaching 30%. And that still is our plan, and that's what's baked into our -- the annual guidance that we did not change today. In order to do that, we'd have to finish with service revenue kind of the $200 million area in order to get into the kind of high 20s, approaching 30%. That means putting on about $40 million of revenue between the first quarter and the fourth quarter. What's embedded in the guidance we just gave is we're putting on $15 million, 1-5, just in the second quarter. Now we do have a business that is dynamic on API. That API business also has seasonality. So I wouldn't necessarily straight line that or say that the addition each quarter, the sequential addition will be the same, but we had been adding each quarter anywhere between kind of $8 million to $9 million and $15 million per quarter. So if you think about that and what's happening in 2Q, you can get that $40 million sequential increase, which gets you to the number to hit the objective that we set forth.

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Operator [42]

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The next question will come from Mike Latimore of Northland Capital.

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Unidentified Analyst, [43]

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This is [Vijay Dewar] for Mike Latimore. Two quick questions. One is on the NewVoiceMedia. Could you tell us how much was its contribution? Is it as per your expectations? And second, how is the cross-sell of Vonage Business Cloud into the NewVoiceMedia international base and channels?

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David T. Pearson, Vonage Holdings Corp. - CFO & Treasurer [44]

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Yes. Taking the second one first, we have started cross-selling. We launched the new -- a new product, CX Cloud, which is actually in the bag of the full application sales force, and so that cross-selling has begun. And I think as Alan discussed and you just see in the slides, there were a number of examples for the year -- already in the year that show that there are dialogues happening in actual -- we're getting customers who are taking multiple products.

In terms of NewVoiceMedia itself, that's now totally intermixed into what we call the applications group or that revenue stream. So it's not broken out. The organizations are fully integrated on the org chart at this point. There is no distinction between sales force. So really it's more of a product difference, and we are substituting increasingly our own product, which is NewVoiceMedia, and the product that we launched instead of selling a third-party contact center software. So there's some substitution effect, which also makes it difficult to break out NVM itself. All that being said, NVM is performing, if it were its own company today, absolutely to plan. And in the first quarter, we achieved about $1.5 million of actual hard dollar synergies on the cost side with the integration that I talked about.

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Alan B. Masarek, Vonage Holdings Corp. - CEO, Director & Interim Applications Group President [45]

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[Vijay], well, this is Alan. I think you asked about international. So VBC has now been brought to the U.K. It went live 1st of February in Australia. It'll come to Continental Europe probably by Q1 of '20. The -- it is the go-forward unified communications platform, and it'll be increasingly globalized as we move forward in future periods.

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Operator [46]

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(Operator Instructions) The next question will come from George Sutton of Craig-Hallum.

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George Frederick Sutton, Craig-Hallum Capital Group LLC, Research Division - Partner, Co-Director of Research & Senior Research Analyst [47]

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I jumped on late, so I apologize if you addressed components of the sale. I only have one question, but it's a little complicated. I agree One Vonage is a next-gen platform. And I haven't felt you've been seeing your fair share of deals largely due to the low channel index that you've had. Can you help quantify what percentage of relevant deals do you think you're seeing today? And what kinds of percentages do you think you need to see to hit the near-term guidance? And then ultimately, how much more significant do you think you can expand the distribution side?

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Alan B. Masarek, Vonage Holdings Corp. - CEO, Director & Interim Applications Group President [48]

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It's Alan. The -- I think it's -- I mean you have to start with the notion that we are omnichannel. And so -- and even within being omnichannel, we team field with the macro agent channel. I had answered the earlier question about all the specifics that we've done to basically accelerate what's going on in the master agent channel over the course of the last several quarters, which has reflected itself in much, much faster bookings growth, larger deal size, and at this moment, I talked about sales pipeline, which is at record levels. So it's all heading absolutely in the right direction. And so as we look at what Dave just commented on in terms of our ability to hit our guidance, we feel very comfortable about that because of the success on an omnichannel basis.

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Operator [49]

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And this concludes our question-and-answer session. I would now like to turn the call back over to Hunter Blankenbaker for any closing remarks.

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Hunter Blankenbaker, Vonage Holdings Corp. - VP of IR [50]

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Great. Thanks, Kerry. That wraps up the Q&A portion of today's call. We look forward to seeing many of you in the coming months at various investor conferences. And for those unable to attend in person, these events will be webcast and you can follow our comments at the Vonage Investor Relations website. Please contact us if you need any additional details, and thank you again for joining.

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Alan B. Masarek, Vonage Holdings Corp. - CEO, Director & Interim Applications Group President [51]

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Thank you.

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Operator [52]

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The conference has now concluded. Thank you for attending today's presentation. You may now disconnect your lines. Have a great day.