In 1995, Anton Mendoza and Siva Sanmuga were attending University of Waterloo Civil Engineering co-op program. They met during one of the work terms as they shared the same employer.
While traveling in Anton’s car for almost one hour each way, they started to talk about starting a business together. The intention was to find developers overseas to work on software projects. On one of Anton’s trips, one of the contacts informed the need of setting up a callback switch to process calls from emerging markets to Western countries.
At that time, Siva introduced Mamoon Rashid to Anton. Mamoon, also a Civil Engineering student, had software development experience and was the leading brain in developing the first switch platform.
The first hardware was a 386 Tandy computer donated by Anton’s father. Mamoon developed the first callback switch and billing using Visual Voice software and a 4 port Dialogic analog card. This platform was used to provide telecom service to a dozen multinational companies.
Founders were operating part time for more than 2 years while still attending school. Right after graduation in 1998, Anton started to work full time, becoming the first employee. The company acquired about $15,000 capital from the founder’s families and used it to setup equipment at a collocation space in New York, buy a digital card and pay deposits to carriers. And this is how it all started.
- Company was founded by Siva Sanmuga, Anton Mendoza and Mamoon Rashid.
- The company purchased a voice card, developed a basic call processing software and built a web site in order to provide international callback service. The first 5 clients were contracted that year, billing about $6,000 USD/month.
- The founders graduated from University and Anton started to work full time. His salary was partly subsidized by Siva and Mamoon, who had full time jobs as engineers in other companies.
- The company moved to an office.
- The company had 5 employees.
- The company was providing international callback service to resellers around the word as well as selling the service online.
- The company started providing calling cards, toll free numbers and virtual PBX using its platform to end users, agents and private-label resellers in the US/Canada market.
- Callback was still the main business providing most of the revenue for Callture.
- Callture started focusing on VOIP technology.
- The first VOIP application was developed.
- Callback business considerably declined and toll free service was still strong.
- Callture was divided into two departments Retail and Wholesale. Retail would provide business phone services to SMBs. Wholesale would provide prepaid platform services to entrepreneurs and service providers.
- As callback revenues continue to decline, Wholesale focused on VOIP call shop services to international dealers mainly in Middle East and Africa.
- The company invested heavily in developing the platform, focusing on calling cards, VOIP, PBX and retail portals.
- New Tollfree site with easy quick set up wizard was launched
- The wholesale department shifted focus on marketing the platform for prepaid phone cards and prepaid retail portals for pin-less services in North America, as these products showed maturity.
- The company adds new international carriers to the LCR, dramatically improving pricing, redundancy and voice quality.
- Adds a wide array of reporting tools for service providers
- Introduces value-added services to its white-label ecommerce offering.
- Launches IVR apps for activations, credit card recharges and promotional programs.
- Adds international mobile top up to its platform
- Dramatically improves its VOIP phone service
- Introduces wireless MVNO services to its platform clients.
- Launches new POS portal
- Revamps web site www.callture.com
Mr. Herter is an ardent technology fan and self proclaimed “geek”.
If it’s electronic-beeps, blinks and or makes noise he has either purchased or plans to purchase it.
In addition to his large family, his passions include sports (US professional football (Patriots and Giants), Baseball (Red Sox), Basketball (Celtics), Hockey(Bruins and Devils), Soccer and home renovation projects.
He came to Callture after a 9 year career at Fonality Inc, serving in multiple senior sales/channel sales roles.
He’s a 20+ year technology industry veteran having held numerous strategic direct and channel sales positions with notable organizations such as Merisel Inc. and Lucent Technologies.
Additionally he has also held various Senior Level Channel Sales/Direct Sales roles for notable startups such as Vitts Networks, New World Technologies and has actively been used in project based consulting roles concerning channel development, channel creation and sales processes.
He has guest lectured on sales and marketing topics at area colleges and has been a key presenter at numerous technical seminars and vendor shows throughout the country.
Michael loves the notion of business building through sales processes ; in particular building and growing channel focused enterprises. He believes that the best sales results come from organizations that build solid relationships- that are earned over time (some of his channel partners have been with him for a decade or more).
He has a B.S. in Economics with a Minor in Marketing from Fitchburg State University He is a founding father of Sigma Pi National Fraternity, Eta Tau Chapter and currently is serving a two year term on the Alumni Advisory Council.
Linked in Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/michael-herter/0/16b/b90