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Interview with Angie Reed - Digium Switchvox Product Manager Part 2

Posted by Randy Kremlacek on Oct 19, 2012 4:48:00 PM

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In this second part of the interview, we get into how companies that buy Switchvox-based systems can get up to 60% cost savings compared to Shoretel, Avaya and Mitel.

We also talk about the rapid acceptance of the Digium Phones introduced earlier in the year and how well they integrate with the Switchvox server. Finally we talk about how Switchvox is moving up market to support larger 400+ companies.

You can watch Part 1 of the interview here.  And the third part of the interview here.

 

Video Transcript


Randy:
 Understand. That's great. As much as some people think that Switchvox is trying to catch up with the big boys, it sounds like from what you are saying is maybe the Shortels and the Avaya's of the world need to catch up with Switchvox and join the open world of SIP.

Angie: We'd like to think so, yeah. 

Randy: That's great. So, as we discuss this we talked about the technical elements and the architectural differences between the two different approaches. What does that really mean to a customer? Why is it a compelling argument to chose the Switchvox?

Angie: That's a  good question in the sense that most of our customers tell us they appreciate the value of Switchvox. Meaning you purchase the solution and all the features will be included. So oftentimes when you're looking at competitive bids between, for instance between a Switchvox product and a Shortel product that's of like product families and so forth are user basis numbers.

We have the ability of providing  up to sixty percent, sometimes even greater than that, cost savings over those competitors and that's just, for instance looking at the number of features included, so with Switchvox you purchase the product and if you want to add SIP Trunk then you could do that at no extra charge. So there's no charge for the number of SIP Trunking connections you have to Switchvox or if you would like to add mobility that's going to be included with the product.

So all of the features, call queues IVR functionality, those are all built into Switchvox and we have the ability to offer the product at such a cost advantage or provide that advantage to our customers because we have the open source community. So when you think of the cost of developers and you think of the cost of people who do quality assurance on your product, we actually have a lot of that resource occurring within the Asterisk community and we can take those features and integrate them directly into our Switchvox product and provide that at a real value to our customers.

Randy: Wow, that's great. So it sounds like you have a fundamental competitive advantage from a cost structure versus the proprietary folks and I, just the other day, read an article that said that cloud computing has pretty much been made possible just by the mere fact of open source. The expense to it would have been so extraordinary using proprietary technology that it just wouldn't have happened and sounds like you are doing that same thing with telephony and kinda turning everyone on their ear. So, good to hear. Nice disruptive technology. We love it.

Angie: Thanks, Randy,

Randy: So this last spring, you introduced your first line of telephones and that was a little bit different for Digium, they had never done something like that before. Introduced their own telephone. Somewhat possibly in competition with some of the SIP telephone providers. Could you tell us why you rolled that product out and how it fits in and probably most important what it would mean to that end user customer?

Angie: With the Digium phones that we introduced last or earlier this year, these particular phones actually allow you to take the capabilities of Switchvox to your end point, so they are also offered at quite a cost discount as you would see some of the other competitive phone solutions. But what they allow our resellers and our customers to have access to is a very simple configuration, automatic updates and so forth of the phone software etc, but then have the ability to have many of those features that you would normally have on the switch board extended right to the IP handset or right to that particular desk phone.

They are all HD quality voice phones we do have three models available today. We have the D-40, the D-50 and the D-70 products. And these particular products allow you to extend things like call queues, you can see real time presence on the phone. Whether your employees are on their phone or not.

You can access your contacts easily, many of the capabilities of the mobile devices are also incorporated that you would see typically on a mobile device you would see on this type of interface, so the ability to use that same type of search capability is similar to the T-9 that you would see on a mobile device  you could access directly from these phones.

So, again, it allows our partners to have a solution that's very easy to install and integrate very tightly with the Switchvox products, so as features are integrated into that solution we can incorporate all of those into the IP handset, where as previously, while we worked very well with many other providers, we were dependent on their software upgrades or firmware upgrades, etc and having to backward integrate that into Switchvox so it wasn't always the smoothest integration although they worked fine together.

Randy: Great, so it sounds like the best of both worlds. You've got the advantages of a purpose built Digium telephone that's tightly integrated, but yet the customer and the reseller still has access to the full range of SIP based telephones. Couldn't be better. Lots of choice. We always like choice. So, what has the market acceptance been of the new telephones?

Angie: Actually, vary well. Many partners have started adopting these products with Switvox immediately, so it was beyond what Digium had expected initially, so that was surprisingly good and we've had great success with the phones as they have been implemented and integrated. In fact, I am speaking on a Digium phone right now. So many people are pleased with these products and it'd really taken off well.

Randy: Excellent. Excellent. I know certainly our customers have taken to them. The build quality seems equal to the best in the marketplace, the speakerphone is great and ascetically it is a very pleasing phone, so hats off to your folks at Digium for designing that product from scratch the first time around. You did a great job.

Angie: Well thank you, good to hear.

Randy: So Angie, let's go big picture here if we can. How do you see the evolution of the Switchvox? We already talked that it was a GUI for an Asterisk box. It's evolved to a serious contender for small to medium sized businesses. What does the future hold?

Angie: When looking at Switchvox, we continue to develop a product that would integrate into the way people work today. So I've mentioned mobile integration and we recently introduced six mobile convergence allowing people to really transfer calls, record calls remotely from a cell phone or any other type of device.

So we recognize that people are working in various ways today so we recognize the fact that people are wanting to communicate, you mentioned cloud based types of applications or integrate other types of solutions into Switchvox. So, we will continue to develop the product to accommodate that feature type of growth that businesses are seeing and wanting to implement into their solutions today.

So we'll see more integrations and more tighter integrations with our party solutions, we'll see, obviously, an advancement into the mobile market and a presence in some of the other applications collaboration that people are looking for.

But we also recognize the business users don't stop at 400 users today, so we're looking at solutions that would provide Switchvox into larger organizations.

 

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About the Author

Randy Kremlacek

President | Head Chef

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Randy Kremlacek is president and Head Chef of TeleDynamic Communications and is a Digium Select Partner and 2013 Pinnacle Award winner. TeleDynamic Communications provides turnkey premises-based PBX and hosted PBX, SIP Trunking and Unified Communications. Randy Kremlacek prides himself on knowing the telecommunications industry as well as he knows his way around his own kitchen. READ MORE

 

 

Randy Kremlacek 

Topics: Digium