ConteXtream

Banking your startup on a relatively new technology is a bold move. Even bolder is targeting a traditionally hard-to-break-into market with unproven new technology. ConteXtream was a very early entrant into the software-defined networking (SDN) and network-function virtualization (NFV) software markets. ConteXtream chose service providers and their data centers for initial deployment providing centralized management of their network. Not an easy undertaking from the business perspective and even harder from the communications side. We set out to show service providers and the industry the benefits of SDN. We knew that the program would require long-term education and, ultimately, the voice of a carrier using the solution so we developed a two-phased approach: initial education and proof of concept. Through ongoing confidential interactions with key industry analysts we were able to share important progress on initial deployments that couldn’t be discussed publicly. This deep analyst relations effort kept influencers abreast of ConteXtream’s work with a major carrier and gave them confidence in the technology and the company itself. We also worked patiently with the carrier customer’s internal communications team to ultimately build enough confidence to tell the story to the media. From there we parlayed the work that had been confidential into strong industry visibility that led to ConteXtream’s acquisition by Hewlett Packard Enterprise.