In April Geneva Technology merged with the American billing giant Convergys in a deal that was reported to be worth £477m. The merger turned 12 of Geneva’s staff into paper millionaires, while the founders, Steve Edwards and his wife, Rosalind Smith, claim they netted more than £200m in shares. Geneva Technology develops billing software for telecommunications operators such as BT, Telewest and Thus. Its software takes the records produced by an operator’s network and calculates the cost of a customer’s calls or data transfers. It then generates a bill and manages payment. The company’s ‘convergent billing’ software gives operators a full view of all the services used by a customer. This can then be used to tailor tariffs to a particular package of services. The company was founded in 1989 as a consulting firm but later went on to develop its own software. Sales grew 68% a year from £2.8m in 1997 to £13.4m in 2000, when it had 167 staff.
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