A life in the day of... Richard Grohol, COO, Globetouch
The greatest challenge for Richard Grohol, chief operating officer of Globetouch, is spreading the word of Globetouch in an already crowded and convoluted connectivity market.
“Getting our message clearly into the market is one of my challenges, as well as the constant pace of development in the space,” says Grohol, who joined Globetouch in 2014 from software and services company Lumata, where he was CCO.
Prior to that, he served in the same role at Mach, a provider of mobile services. Grohol sees Globetouch, a “provider of connectivity services for business globally”, as a global MVNO. “We provide connectivity in all parts of the world through our cloud-based global ecosystem,” he says.
Some of Globetouch’s customers include mobile operators, M2M service providers, device car manufacturers and distributors providing end-to-end services for their own businesses.
Globetouch’s CloudSIM technology claims to remove barriers to global connectivity by creating an ecosystem of network operators with local rates and device manufacturers.
Globetouch solves two fundamental challenges, according to Grohol. One is the underlying wholesale cost associated with traditional roaming. As consumers and enterprises go from point A to point B, there is often a huge cost associated with traditional roaming. Globetouch tackles that by changing the identity of the device so it has a local profile, which in turn lowers the underlying cost and connectivity in that country.
The second challenge it addresses concerns device manufacturers through which they have the ability to provide local connectivity through the cloud ecosystem of Globetouch. An example can be when a large manufacturer ships a car for sale in Brazil. Once the customer signs the paperwork at the dealership, the car is then fired up with a local identity from a local operator in Brazil. “That solves a cost issue as well as a supply-chain issue for the manufacturer. They can deal and ship anywhere in the world without having to enter into separate contracts with connectivity providers in different jurisdictions,” says Grohol.
In June, Globetouch acquired additional funding from existing shareholders – such as CK Hutchison and Digicel – as well as new investors, NTT DoCoMo, 263 China and Qihoo 360 Technology. The funds will go towards the company’s continued expansion into new markets and products.
Grohol says investors find Globetouch attractive as it provides them with the ability to operate in other jurisdictions “so they can claim to have a truly global footprint”, he says: “Essentially they become a reseller of our capabilities.”