Connectiva’s Disconnected Line

Update: since this post was written, the news about Mara-Ison buying Connectiva has finally been acknowledged publicly. Sort of. There are none of the usual press releases, but the acquisition is mentioned in various places on Mara-Ison’s site; for example, see here. The Mara-Ison website links back to Connectiva’s old website, which still has not been updated.

Well, the rumours were correct, I think. The word on the street is that what little remains of Connectiva is now owned by Mara-Ison. However, I still have to report this as a rumour because Mara-Ison and Connectiva seemingly have no interest in telling the world what they are up to. So you understand that everything I write in this blog is conjecture, not verifiable fact. My conjecture is that the two firms are treating former Connectiva customers appallingly. I would also speculate that many of those former Connectiva customers have refused to sign up to a novated deal with the new legal entity that owns the ‘assets’ of the erstwhile Connectiva. In this context, ‘assets’ is a synonym for worthless code. I dare say that many of those former customers will go to court before they pay another penny to Mara-Izon Connectiva, or whatever the heck the new company is calling itself.

Normally I just like to write about comms risks and business assurance, not about myself. This is one occasion where I feel it is necessary to mention the process by which we circulate news on talkRA. We receive a lot of information about the state of the industry. Only a fraction of this gets publicly shared on the website. Why? Because a lot is told to us in strict confidence, and even more is unverifiable. I did not set up talkRA so it could tell tales. Nevertheless, a so-called ‘leading’ RA vendor has disappeared completely up its own backside, and the lack of official news means that we, like commercial news outlets, have written bugger all about it. (That said, we have written a whole lot more than the so-called media professionals, people who spend their lives copying and pasting press releases.) This is not an acceptable situation. Jokers like Connectiva spend disproportionate amounts on trying to get their marketing repeated by real journalists (do they exist?) pseudo-journalists (too many to count) and genuine sources of news (talkRA). It cannot be right that a supplier to many telcos just disappears and resurrects itself without that getting any news coverage. If it were not for the blog of disaffected employees, there would have been hardly any public updates about Connectiva since they collapsed in 2011.

So let me make a promise about the future of talkRA. In future, where appropriate, we will cover the absence of news as conscientiously as we cover the news that comes our way. We have learned our lesson. Businesses like Connectiva love to communicate when it suits them, but otherwise cannot be trusted to communicate to anyone – employees, customers, or the rest of the world. That puts us in a difficult position. The biggest stories may be the ones that nobody wants to talk about. But they still need to be talked about. And when it comes to learning our lesson, we really look forward to the moment when Connectiva-Mara-Izon-Whatever decides they are ready to market their services again. We will not do what the schmucks do. We will not act like our spouse went to fetch milk at the corner store, and returned 18 months later, with no further explanation needed. Oh no. Questions will be asked. The absence of answers will be ruthlessly pointed out.

Meanwhile, another rumour is that the former Connectiva boss, Avi Basu, is working for the resurrected company. He used to love telling the world what he thought about everything, though seemingly he has nothing to say about corporate turnarounds. So we thought former Connectiva employees, laid off and cheated out of their pay, might like this reminder of Basu’s former communicative glory. We found this excellent video where Basu explains the importance of being compassionate when firing staff…

Eric Priezkalns
Eric Priezkalns
Eric is the Editor of Commsrisk. Look here for more about the history of Commsrisk and the role played by Eric.

Eric is also the Chief Executive of the Risk & Assurance Group (RAG), a global association of professionals working in risk management and business assurance for communications providers.

Previously Eric was Director of Risk Management for Qatar Telecom and he has worked with Cable & Wireless, T‑Mobile, Sky, Worldcom and other telcos. He was lead author of Revenue Assurance: Expert Opinions for Communications Providers, published by CRC Press. He is a qualified chartered accountant, with degrees in information systems, and in mathematics and philosophy.