About Mercator Partners LLC

Tech-tastic tips

Boutique strategy consulting firm Mercator Partners uses all of its 25-person brain power to provide expert advice for clients in the information, communications and technology sectors.  The Concord, Massachusetts-based firm works with clients to address issues such as portfolio strategy, merger and acquisition assessment, campaign mapping and process improvement.

Clients include telecom and tech giants such as Verizon, Samsung, Sprint, Alltell, Motorola, Lucent Technologies, Bechtel and AT&T, as well as network operators, internet service providers, software developers and private equity firms that invest in companies in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector.  In recent years, especially, the firm has worked with leading service providers, equipment makers and media players who hope to capitalize on the growing convergence between technologies across telecommunications, tradition, new media and the internet.

Mapping unmarked territory

In one of the world’s fastest changing markets, tech-focused companies need objective help in setting and meeting their goals.  To meet that need, Mercator’s core services focus on strategy development, solving strategic challenges and assisting in strategy execution.

Strategy development, according to Mercator, can mean anything from corporate to business strategy development, from designing new investment strategies to assessing new opportunities.  In one major client engagement, Mercator’s experts worked with a venture capital firm to fill a gap it saw in the U.S. telecommunications market for value-added directory services.  The firm worked to develop a directory services provider business plan, recruited a management team, raised capital and signed corporate development deals.  It even participated in the initial funding of the company, taking equity and gaining seats on the board.  The result: a new telecom directory services provider that, today, runs successful businesses in the United States and Europe.

Strategic challenges include any issues related to marketing and sales, product and service design, finding new partners and/or alliances, and improving a company’s organizational design.  And, when it comes to strategy execution, Mercator offers business development support and program management assistance.  For example, in another client engagement with a federal systems integrator, Mercator helped prepare for a bid on an $870 million government contract.  The client ended up winning the contractâ€"the largest it had ever won.

Number crunching

Ever since Mercator opened its doors in 1998, it has collected information on all its client engagements and data from market research.  As a result, it has developed its own proprietary data sets with statistics and information on mobile devices, converged products and services, and customer needs and behaviors.  This data is now used in all of the firm’s business dealings and is available to its clients.

Down to the core

Mercator co-founder and CEO Charles Gildehaus knows a thing or two about the information, communications and technology sectors.  Not only has he steered the Mercator ship since 1998, but he has also been part of multiple successful mobile business startups, continues to serve on the board of several of these enterprises, and continues to apply the knowledge and skills he picked up in his pre-Mercator days as an opportunity-hungry Wall Street investment banker and lawyer.

Gildehaus is also the brains behind his firm’s fundamental core needs framework, a toolkit for using the customer as a starting point for strategic decision making, product development and market intelligence.  The framework involves a needs-based approach to product innovation, latent demand analysis, market segmentation, and long-term product and service differentiation strategies, and is based on the fundamental idea that people buy products or services to fulfill needs.

According to Gildehaus, there are eight core customer needs in the ICT universe: the need to sustain one’s ability to communicate; the need to communicate thoughts and messages; the need to be entertained for amusement and leisure; the need to be informed, receiving and distributing facts and ideas; the need to be productive at work and achieve results; the need to be safe and prevent risk or injury; the need to be transported from one location to another; and the need to be recognized or accepted in a specific manner.  “Every dollar of consumer spending can be categorized across these eight needs,†Gildehaus wrote in the Mercator briefing paper, "How to Win in a Converged World? Put the Customer at the Center."

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Mercator Partners LLC

30 Monument Square
Suite 155
Concord, MA 01742
Phone: (978) 287-7500
Fax: (978) 287-7600


  • Employer Type: Private
  • CEO: Charles Gildehaus
  • 2009 Employees: 25

Vault Company ID: 27925

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