Ruth Bridger, the VP of Marketing at Xorcom, was a recent guest on the TechnologyAdvice Expert Interview Series. The series, which is hosted by TechnologyAdvice, explores a variety of business and technology landscapes through conversations with industry leaders.
In this episode, we discuss the latest version of Xorcom’s business telephony solution (CompletePBX), partner training co-located with IT EXPO, and their new entry-level IP-PBX called “Spark.”
Below are Ruth’s five key takeaways from the conversation.
1. Our hybrid (converged) solution is available in every IP-PBX model we manufacture.
The way that we have designed our hardware is that you can mix and match. If you are a brand new company, a small business, and you want to go SIP only, it’s definitely something that Xorcom can support you with. If we go back to the converged model, the hybrid, think of all those established businesses anywhere from hospitals and hotels to multi-branch industrial organizations. If they’ve already got cabling in place, if they’ve already got some level of the old style connectivity, PSTN and cabling, then they’ll want to gradually transition to perhaps a VoIP only network.
But in the meantime, making that move can be really painful if you have to start over. If you can take advantage of the existing infrastructure with one of the Xorcom systems, it will bring the price down and get your team up and running very, very quickly. That’s our suggestion, not the forklift but a transitional approach. We do address the requirements of established companies as well as the brand new ones. [Learn more about the transitional approach here.]
2. The most popular open source platform for telephony called Asterisk was actually the brainchild of a struggling student named Mark Spencer back in the late 1990s.
He wanted to set up a relatively simple phone system, and he was just strangulated by the costs of doing so with the proprietary systems. He thought — that’s crazy! How do small businesses survive if they have to pay these huge costs? And actually, it’s true to this day that if you want a proprietary system, any time that you want to add some kind of functionality, maybe something as simple as an additional extension or adding voice mail to an extension – not to mention the more sophisticated features like voice bridges, conferencing, call recording – you have to pay. You have to bring in a technician who is specialized from that one particular company. That vendor has you in their back pocket.
3. Spencer decided, in the age of Internet, why not utilize that to bring VoIP to the small business, to the modern consumer, to someone that doesn’t want to pay exorbitant amounts for phone systems.
They’re willing to roll up their sleeves and get down to the code level to get some features to work, but to get them all for free. Now of course that was 15, almost 20, years ago and the way that Asterisk has developed is that many companies have defined management tools for Asterisk. You no longer have to go to the code in order to set up your phone system anymore. You have a nice browser based GUI management tool. Even people that are not engineers can set up their phone systems in a very, very straightforward manner.
4. At ITExpo, we are going to be leading on-site training for a new management system that we at Xorcom, along with our partners Telesoft, have developed. It’s called Ombutel.
And it is exactly what I described. It’s a browser-based management tool, so that you can set up an Asterisk-based phone system in a very, very simple, straightforward, intuitive manner. We are using that new platform for the next version of our own branded systems, called CompletePBX. I’m really looking forward to being able to introduce that to our international partners at our on-site training in Ft. Lauderdale. [Click here for more information about Ombutel.]
5. ITExpo is one of the highlights of our year on the marketing side of things.
Being located very far geographically from our major markets, it’s very exciting for me personally to come face to face with these partners that I typically only speak to on the phone or at best have a webinar or video chat using Skype. That in-person opportunity to exchange ideas and comments and understand what’s going on is terrific. We are kicking off the week with two days of certification training on our new version of the CompletePBX – that’s version five – and we’re expecting dozens of partners from all over the world to converge on Ft. Lauderdale, taking advantage of the fact that they’d like to participate anyway in the ITEXPO to capture their attention before the actual expo starts. [Click here to view photos from Xorcom events in Ft. Lauderdale.]
This podcast was created and published by TechnologyAdvice, an Inc. 5000 company looking to help buyers find the best security software, telephony systems, and more. Interview conducted by Josh Bland.