Winning Through with SIP - Comms Business Magazine August 2012 Issue
Comms Business Magazine talks to Warren Stroud, Managing Director of Stafford based reseller Voice 2 Voice, about his business, the awards they have won and why he believes that SIP trunks have come of age.
Established in 2003 Voice 2 Voice is a successfully reseller employing 12 people and achieving a turnover of around £2m a year. The company was formed by Warren Stroud a few years after he emigrated with his British born wife and family to the UK from South Africa where he also ran a comms firm.
“Voice 2 Voice was set up as a reseller of Avaya and SpliceCom communications systems. We added lines and minutes to our portfolio in 2008 and became a BT Tier 1 reseller in 2011."
We met up with SIP trunk provider Voiceflex and were very impressed with their offering. We want flexible partnerships with any of our suppliers; relationships where we could rely on them to deliver quality working solutions. We have never lost a customer since we started in 2003 and would never risk deploying unproven technology with them. I have to say that Voiceflex has delivered that flexibility of relationship and quality of product from the outset.
Since then the market for SIP trunks has really accelerated. Today, with EFM connectivity becoming a standard for users we really encourage users to deploy SIP trunks. To illustrate how things have changed, a few years ago we would have used SIP trunks as a back-up for ISDN whereas today we would lead with SIP and sometimes put in an ISDN2 circuit for resilience.”
Voice 2 Voice specialises in muti-site customer deployments and Stroud is very forthcoming about what the company has achieved to date.
“We are currently the SpliceCom reseller of the year and in the UK Deloitte Fast 50 list of technology companies we are number one in the Midlands and ranked ninth overall in the UK. In EMEA we listed at 48 in Deloitte’s top 500.
In our view the SpliceCom product was ahead of its time. We installed their first Vision Call Centre application for them across three sites and Voiceflex SIP trunks are just perfect for these types of application.
The success we have achieved is based on being different to our competitors and SpliceCom stands out in this respect as does our Voiceflex SIP trunk offering. More recently we have begun selling Siemens OpenScape and the systems are just perfect for SIP trunk deployment as well.”
Stroud acknowledges that his team of engineers are very much up to speed on SIP applications but stresses the relationship his company has with Voiceflex is very conducive to winning business.
“It’s very personal with Voiceflex. They respond to problems and opportunities really well so when it comes to support they ‘do the job’. We find this collaborative approach to business works well. All too often you find suppliers that basically say to you ‘It’s our way or the highway’ whereas Voiceflex is open for discussion about everything.
When SIP trunks were first introduced many resellers just saw them as a cheaper alternative to ISDN30. It’s not just about cost however and whilst there is a breakeven point between ISDN and SIP, which is lowered when the user has a data requirement as well as voice, we do find that SIP trunks are cheaper in about 70% of cases depending upon user configuration.
When it comes to business continuity customers are aware that most voice services are ultimately dependent upon BT. On data services the fix times (SLAs) are generally better than ISDN and there’s not a lot that anyone can do if a JCB digs up a cable.
With SIP trunks, the ability for the user to push a number to another office or a mobile device is a god send. Whilst this can be done with ISDN it takes much longer and can’t be done by the user themselves.”
According to Stroud when it comes to selling SIP trunks it’s very much dependent upon the user.
“Our guys here are very confident in 21CN type products. If there is a data requirement we always talk about SIP as a possibility - we discuss the pros and cons versus ISDN, check the post code for EFM or FTTC, and then we can steer the user.
Our future plans are to drive sales and increase the turnover of the company organically. A large proportion of our user base is in the government sector and based on long terms contracts.
The market is pretty good at the moment – we won those awards in the midst of a double dip recession which we did not feel. Why? Well we don’t pay attention to politicians; we save users money and focus on growth. Government departments are always looking to save money and the Voiceflex SIP trunks will do that for them so we make money at the same time!”