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Yaniv started Nextiva in 2008. They detail the beginnings of their company in their Starter Story interview: 
Q: How did you get started on Nextiva?
The idea for Nextiva came from Tomas. He is an amazing entrepreneur, and after founding several phenomenal companies over the years, in 2008, he decided to take a crack at reforming the inefficient and antiquated business communications industry. He and I had worked together previously; I actually started in sales roles at another one of his companies. When he told me of his idea for Nextiva, I jumped at the opportunity to join him and the team.
The team was so small at the time -just a few of us- and there was a need for marketing right away. Even though I’d never worked in the business communication industry, I dove right in. Now, more than a decade later, I’ve loved what I do every day. Marketing is such a dynamic field; it’s been fun to come up with ideas to help Nextiva grow and work with some of the brightest minds in the business.
Nextiva itself launched as basically the tiniest player in the VoIP industry. We were surrounded by giants, and those giants were highly skeptical of our ability to stand on our own and compete with them. We welcomed this challenge and decided to do things differently. We never accepted outside funding; Nextiva is entirely self-funded. We focused on listening to our customers, developing solutions customized to their needs and moving forward. We developed authentic relationships with customers and designed a customer experience model we were so excited about that we even trademarked the term Amazing Service.
It was a confluence of all of those things that have helped us grow as fast as we have. Amazing Service has been the backbone of everything we’ve done -every product decision, every interaction, even how we treat one another on the Nextiva team. Instead of only focusing on delivering excellent service externally, we’ve made it our mission to also deliver service internally by treating our team members as well as possible. This has helped us earn many awards for company culture, and keep our retention rates high. Some of Nextiva’s early employees are still with us today.
Beyond our Amazing Service and the delivery of great business VoIP products, as time went on we started to notice our customers struggle with their business communications as a whole, beyond phone service. Customers were sharing stories of struggle around customer relationship management, of not being able to afford the same tools available to massive corporations, of missed opportunities in team collaboration, of their inability to track various forms of communication, and their constant struggle to keep up with dozens of communication applications that would monitor everything from phone to email to text to social media to chat.
We’ve learned a lot as it relates to company culture. We provided free snacks and a game room, but as we grew we realized that company culture isn’t built on snacks.
Tomas saw this as an opportunity to deliver better service than ever, and over the course of several years, our engineering team worked to create a never-before-seen software tool that would be both affordable and take away the need for so much communication confusion. We named that tool NextOS and launched it in spring 2018, right around our 10th anniversary in business.
The announcement has changed the game for Nextiva. With it, we’ve transformed from a business offering VoIP services to a business communications company that, while still offering VoIP, is now helping businesses more holistically. The reception from the industry has been overwhelmingly positive, and it has changed our company in profound ways.
I think Tomas speaks to this transformation best, saying, “VoIP is to Nextiva as books are to Amazon.” That quote captures it all. It also illustrates that even 11 years in, we are still just getting started.
Contributors to this article:
- Pat Walls, Founder @ Starter Story
- Wiki Updater