In the world of communication services and VoIP technology there are a lot of companies out there providing services to large businesses and enterprises to help streamline their communication needs and offer them money saving options that will benefit the enterprise and help increase profits.
What seems to lack is the company that serves the SMB‘s as a provider of similar services in both an easy to use and affordable package.
Of the few companies out there, Allworx is dedicated to offering a seamless, easy-to-use service that extends the benefits of a VoIP and an integrated communication infrastructure that SMB’s can focus their attention on doing what they were set up to do, focus on the business.
In a conversation with President of Allworx, Jeff Howe, he explains why they’ve focused on the SMB market,”If you look at IP as an industry all together there are a lot of moving parts right now. For example, from a pure industry perspective, a lot of the key features for the SMB space from a lot of our other competitors are typically missing.”
The missing part is what he hopes Allworx is able to fulfill for their clients. He notes that many companies have older communications systems in place that make it difficult to to integrate from a TDM to VoIP.
Integration and Use
Despite the complexity what Allworx has determined is that companies are looking for mobility and flexibility, along with scalability with their systems.
Whether a phone call needs to ring on multiple lines, a call needs to be forwarded to another extension or another phone, or if a customer needs the use of a remote phone, these services are vital for a VoIP communications company and necessary to thrive in today’s fast paced industry.
Jeff Howe makes sure to point out during our discussion that he is currently communicating with me on an Allworxs phone that he simply plugged into a public internet connection with a unique IP that taps into a remote phone application.
Excited at this prospect Jeff shares his enthusiasm,”So we give them exactly everything they have today but we’re going to give them all the flexibility that VOIP brings to them to enhance their productivity and allow them to be more flexible as they are becoming more of a mobile environment.”
Making the Switch
It’s not uncommon for a company to be uncertain when making a large adjustment to existing standards that perhaps have been in place for a long time. Especially difficult, technology is something many fear, and making the switch sometimes takes some convincing. Two of the key factors that become a selling point for VoIP is the ease of use and, secondly, the cost savings.
Allworx President, Jeff Howe, breaks it down in simple terms, “An Allworks system is really a server and phones. Within that server you have all the capabilities that you’d normally need.”
He goes on to include, “We talk about the fact that it’s easy to install, simple to install, very simple to maintain because in a server environment, certainly with remote access, the customer doesn’t have to wait for the service trucks so to speak. With remote access I would say that 90% of the issues that arise are all handled remotely and then certainly for the server there are no blades, there are no gateways, everything is right within the Allworks server so its very very simple.”
In terms of value to the customer, Jeff feels that the packages that Allworx offers are surprising to many because they are robust. Offering many things that competitors typically charge extra for.
An extra added value for Allworx is their continued success in award winning products from their equipment to their handsets that have been repeatedly awarded for their sound and durability. Jeff truly believes because of the quality of service and quality of product, this helps keep Allworx a viable solution in the SMB market.
When asked about the industry as a whole, Jeff was quick to note that adoption of VoIP technology is still fairly knew for many SMB’s so he’s not seen a tidal wave of new entrants in the market. He does note that with the status of the economy, he’s noticing that the integration into the IP industry is starting to crest, more so than in “normal” times.
Specifically discussion adoption rates of SMB’s, Jeff Howe says, “I think initially there is a bit of a resistance to migrate to an IP based service for customers right now because at the end of the day it involves investment in the infrastructure with significant capital and then compared to all of the competitors out there, whether its the capable companies or other providers, there tends to be an initial reduction in overall margin.”
He notes that customers are now being forced to look into options, and IP is becoming more and more attractive to many SMB’s worldwide.
A transition to new services can actually save enough money that those savings can be added to a company’s bottom line as opposed to being spent on service visit fees.
In response to whether technology is moving faster than the customers needs, Jeff notes that he does believe this is the case, but it does not necessarily represent a bad thing.
“I think its just a matter of time before the customers either take on the adoption rate as to what the technologies are. There just seems to be a lot of technology being developed in a lot of different ways,” Jeff notes.
He continues, “There’s a lot of technology being developed and I think it just depends on what the customer is looking for and for them to pick and choose which technology meets their particular needs.”
Like any other industry in the market, Allworx is no stranger to conferences. They will be speaking and displaying at the Comptel Plus Fall 2009 Convention & Expo.