Senior recruitment internationally for a UK telecoms software vendor acquired for $425m: a 47x return on capital deployed
Cramer Systems was a Bath, England headquartered telecoms inventory management software (OSS) vendor founded in 1996 by Jon Craton (CEO) and Don Gibson (CTO), who recognised that all telcos were facing a significant problem as they expanded: no centralised platform existed that would enable them to manage their most expensive asset, their network resource.
Adopting a ‘bootstrapped’ approach by feeding consulting revenue into product research and development, and utilising funds from angel investors Mark Farmer and Dave Embleton, the Cramer business began to grow. Venture capital funding came later, initially led by Kennet, and of the $27m raised, only $9m was deployed.
The business was acquired ten years later for $425m cash by Amdocs (NYSE: DOCS), representing a 47x return on capital deployed. Today, Cramer’s products represent an integral part of Amdocs’ OSS product suite, and OSS development work still takes place at Cramer’s former offices in Bath.
Spectrum worked for Cramer from 2002 to 2005:
- Under the direction of CEO and Co-Founder Jon Craton, hired Regional Sales Directors for Iberia, Scandinavia, and the German speaking territories.
- Under the direction of CTO and Co-Founder Don Gibson, hired Cramer’s Vice President, Research in the USA, Adan Pope, who went on to become CTO at Telcordia Technologies (now Ericsson). Also a number of senior highly specialised technical architects in the UK and Germany.
- Under the direction of HR Manager Rachel Hansen, hired a number of professional services leaders, including the Global Head of Consulting, Global Head of Customer Care and Global Head of Partner Delivery.
The geographic coverage of Spectrum’s search activity for Cramer was the UK, mainland Europe and the USA. All research, approach and candidate development work took place from London, with face-to-face interviews with Spectrum then conducted locally.
One of the things I did throughout the history of the company was to lead by example with regard to cost control. On the other hand, I believed that we should never scrimp on the hiring we did. We were fortunate to find an effective headhunter, and that money was well spent. When we found our star talent, we would hire them at any cost because lesser people would end up costing more in the long run.
Jon Craton, Co-Founder & CEO, Cramer
Cramer was one of Europe’s most successful software vendors. It was a privilege to work for a UK-headquartered global organisation who were pioneers in their market. Don and Jon would never compromise on the quality of the individual they brought into their organisation, and this commitment took Cramer from start-up to widely respected and admired industry leader, and a very rewarding exit via an all cash trade sale to Amdocs, within a decade of launch.
Daniel Osmer, Managing Partner, Spectrum