We started by selling direct to SMBs, then broadened our sales model to serve SMBs through an active reseller program
Chicago (Vocus) April 21, 2009
Ifbyphone today began offering carriers the opportunity to provide advanced, "cloud" telephony applications to their customers at a level of investment that removes previous barriers to entry. All carriers, CLECs, ILECs, hosted PBX companies, and cable multi-system operators (MSOs) with softswitches in their architecture can now connect to Ifbyphone and expand their service offerings to include features like full-function IVR, Call Queuing, Call Tracking and "Find Me" Call Forwarding, and complete applications such as Voice Broadcasting, Store Locator, and Lead Distributor.
The key to this new sales model is Ifbyphone's launch of Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking, which allows carriers to connect to Ifbyphone and route certain calls to "smart ports" on the Ifbyphone platform, yet retain origination and termination. While in theory, a carrier could establish a trunk to Ifbyphone via PSTN to get access to Ifbyphone services, the setup and configuration would be prohibitive and costly: SIP helps make the routing logic at the switch (or in this case, softswitch) far simpler.
"Carriers who want to offer advanced services have previously faced a real investment dilemma: either make a six-figure investment gamble on hardware and software and hope that customers pay for the new features, or don't, and hope you don't lose customers to competitors," said Ifbyphone CEO Irv Shapiro. "Ifbyphone is changing the game. Carriers make a far lower investment commitment, get access to industry-leading features, add capacity with us as they grow, and keep their customers very happy by continuing to serve them directly. For CLECs that want to compete on services and features, this will radically change the competitive dynamics."
The white label offering enabled through SIP connectivity represents a logical evolution of Ifbyphone's sales channel strategy. "We started by selling direct to SMBs, then broadened our sales model to serve SMBs through an active reseller program," said Shapiro. "Now, by offering our services on a white-label basis to carriers, we have the ability to offer our easy-to-configure tools to millions of SMB customers through the carriers who service them."
To illustrate the new model, a small business customer of a CLEC might want an IVR for their business. They sign up for that service through their CLEC and configure the IVR using Ifbyphone's white-labeled web-based GUI. Then an inbound call to that small business will get routed to Ifbyphone for IVR call handling. In this example, the caller might say "agent" to reach a customer service representative, with Ifbyphone applying routing logic to the call, then passing it back to the carrier for termination.
The benefits to carriers of using Ifbyphone's white-labeled services include:
- Dramatically lower up-front investment, in both capital and provisioning effort versus typical offerings from softswitch vendors
*Access to complete Ifbyphone applications such as Voice Broadcasting, Store Locator and Lead Distributor
- Ease-of-configuration for carriers' end users in building custom solutions
- Flexible pricing and capacity options for intelligent call-handling from Ifbyphone
- Access to all Ifbyphone products and applications
In addition, carriers retain the service delivery components that are important to them, including:
- Origination and termination
- Customer management and service, with "level two" support available through Ifbyphone for advanced features
- Full control of marketing and pricing to carrier's customers
All of Ifbyphone's industry-leading products and services are available to carriers through SIP trunking, including: Hosted IVR, Voice Broadcasting, Call Tracking, Find Me, Click-to-Call, Google Analytics® Integration, Virtual Call Center and more. To see the complete array of Ifbyphone's services, please visit http://www.ifbyphone.com.
Ifbyphone provides businesses a suite of phone automation services to enhance customer conversations, drive sales and lower costs. Leveraging Ifbyphone's easy-to-use services, business users, marketers and developers can quickly create solutions ranging from simple call routing solutions to advanced interactive voice response systems. For more information, visit http://www.ifbyphone.com.
Cheryl Cink, for Ifbyphone