In an engaging discussion with CanadianSME Small Business Magazine, Sean Dogen, the President, CEO, and Founder of Expertel, delves into his compelling journey from a local Rogers store employee to a business tycoon. Drawing from his 20-year career in the telecommunications industry, he provides insights on utilizing AI and insider knowledge to help companies save up to 35% on wireless bills. Sean shares the trends shaping the future of telecommunications, from pricing to contract structures. The conversation ends with sage advice for budding entrepreneurs and his perspective on essential skills for business success.
Sean Dogen, a telecom expert, and entrepreneur, began his career as a Corporate Account Executive before founding Expertel. Passionate about saving companies money and simplifying telecom management, Sean’s company has saved businesses over $200 million through contract negotiations, a SaaS product for optimization, and a white glove managed service. His expertise and dedication have established him as a trusted leader in the field of telecom cost management.
Can you share with us the story of how you transitioned from working at a local Rogers store to becoming the President, CEO, and Founder of Expertel? What motivated you to start your own business?
My transition from working at a local Rogers store to becoming the President, CEO, and Founder of Expertel is a journey that reflects the power of recognizing opportunities and seizing them with determination.
During my time at the Rogers store, I found joy in helping customers save money on their cell phone expenses, and my dedication to exceptional service led to an ever-growing circle of satisfied clients. Word of mouth spread, and soon people were specifically coming to the store, seeking my assistance based on referrals.
One day, driven by curiosity and a bit of boredom, I decided to test the waters by posting a simple ad on Craigslist, offering to help individuals save on their cell phone bills for a small fee. To my delight, I received responses from five interested individuals. This was the turning point that sparked my entrepreneurial spirit.
As those initial five Craigslist customers were delighted with the savings I provided, they became my champions and began referring me to larger businesses all across Canada. It was an eye-opening moment that made me realize the true potential of this venture.
Motivated by the immediate demand and inspired by the endless possibilities for growth, I recognized the opportunity to turn this passion into a full-fledged business. With determination and a clear vision, I took the leap and founded Expertel.
Today, as the President, CEO, and Founder of Expertel, I take pride in our mission to help businesses both small and large, and I continue to embrace every challenge as an opportunity for growth.
Throughout your 20-year career, what were some key lessons you learned from working in the telecommunications industry? How did these experiences shape your approach to founding and running Expertel?
Over my 20-year career in the telecommunications industry, I learned the importance of customer-centricity, adaptability to technological advancements, and the value of building strong partnerships. These experiences heavily influenced my approach to founding and running Expertel, where we prioritize customer needs, embrace innovation, and foster collaborative relationships for sustainable growth.
Expertel utilizes AI and insider knowledge to help companies save up to 35% on their wireless bills. Could you explain how the company leverages AI technology to achieve this? What are some specific examples of how AI has benefited your clients?
Expertel utilizes AI in our wireless expense management product called Expertel iQ. AI analyzes usage patterns, predicts costs, audits invoices, and recommends optimized plans. Clients benefit from cost savings, efficiency gains, better decision-making, enhanced visibility, and proactive expense management. AI technology empowers businesses to make data-driven decisions and achieve long-term financial growth.
How do you see the future of the telecommunications industry evolving, particularly in terms of pricing and contract structures? Are there any trends or developments that companies and consumers should be aware of?
In the future, I anticipate a mixed effect on costs for customers in the telecommunications industry. On one hand, there is the likelihood of data costs going down as competition intensifies, leading to more affordable data plans for end customers. As technology advances and data becomes more abundant, service providers may be driven to offer cost-effective solutions to attract and retain a broader consumer base.
However, this potential decrease in data costs could be balanced by the added expenses associated with accessing faster technologies, especially with the widespread adoption of 5G. While 5G promises unparalleled data speeds and enhanced capabilities, the initial deployment and ongoing maintenance of the infrastructure may lead to premium pricing for customers seeking access to such cutting-edge technologies.
Another factor contributing to customers’ overall spending is the growing number of devices that rely on cellular data. With smartwatches, connected cars, IoT devices, and various innovations becoming increasingly prevalent, consumers are likely to consume more data across multiple devices. This surge in cellular data-enabled gadgets will likely result in an overall increase in customers’ expenses for telecommunications services.
Moreover, the cost of new smartphones is expected to continue its upward trajectory due to rapid technological advancements. As mobile devices become more sophisticated, featuring advanced features and hardware, their manufacturing costs will rise. Consequently, customers may need to allocate a larger budget to acquire the latest smartphones offering cutting-edge experiences.
Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs who are looking to start their own business? Based on your own experiences, what key qualities or skills do you believe are crucial for success in the business world?
For aspiring entrepreneurs, starting their own business requires passion, persistence, and a clear vision. Being adaptable and customer-centric is crucial in navigating the ever-changing business landscape. Building a strong network and collaborating with others can open doors to valuable opportunities and mentorship. Understanding finances and maintaining resilience will help entrepreneurs weather challenges and setbacks. Embracing innovation and effective communication are key to staying competitive and building trust. Continuous self-reflection and a commitment to personal growth are essential for long-term success in the dynamic world of entrepreneurship.