VoIP to the Rescue: Asterisk-Based Products Aid Strike Out Productions
August 06, 2009
Small businesses often lack the capital to invest in hardware such as T-1 lines for voice and Internet, but they still need to be able to compete with larger companies that do.
That’s a large part of the reason why Scott Phillips – the owner of Buena Park, Calif.-based customized video production company Strike Out Productions – says he’s coming to ITEXPO (News - Alert) West 2009 in Los Angeles from Sept. 1 to 3.
“VoIP technology competition out there has helped our company save thousands of dollars on telephone costs per year alone,” Phillips told TMC (News - Alert) CEO Rich Tehrani in an interview, printed in full below. “As fiber technology comes down in price we will be investing in faster Internet speeds and potentially high-definition video transport via FTP. The ideas and options are endless when you have a platform rich with options.”
A self-described natural when it comes to technologies such as electronics and phone lines, Phillips launched his business six years ago – and quickly discovered the IP telephony represented an important avenue toward cost-savings.
“Naturally, I started looking at alternatives to expensive phone and fax lines, high priced but slow Internet service and even computer technology,” Phillips said. “From that point I invested my off-hours into learning how VoIP and Internet Telephony (News - Alert) works, Asterisk and the re-branded products based on Asterisk such as Trixbox Pro.”
The full interview with Phillips – who says he’ll be in Los Angeles to browse VoIP, security and video over broadband technologies – follows.
Rich Tehrani (News - Alert): How did you get involved in the communications technology industry?
Scott Phillips: I have always had a knack for figuring out how things get from point A to point B, whether it’s in the form of electronics, video, telephones, you name it. When I officially launched my video production business back in 2003, I realized that every basic element needed to successfully run my business like any other was way overpriced.
Naturally, I started looking at alternatives to expensive phone and fax lines, high priced but slow Internet service and even computer technology. From that point I invested my off-hours into learning how VoIP and Internet Telephony works, Asterisk (News - Alert) and the re-branded products based on Asterisk such as Trixbox Pro.
RT: How does your company benefit from communications technology?
SP: As a privately owned small business, we don’t have a ton of capital to invest in common overhead such as T-1 lines for voice and Internet but we needed to have the ability to compete with the companies that do. VoIP technology competition out there has helped our company save thousands of dollars on telephone costs per year alone. As fiber technology comes down in price we will be investing in faster Internet speeds and potentially high-definition video transport via FTP. The ideas and options are endless when you have a platform rich with options.
RT: What changes are you expecting in your tech budget next year? Why?
SP: We will be upgrading our server and post production desktops to handle high definition video transport via FTP so that our clients can upload any video format to us for post-production and quick turnaround at a fraction of the cost of normal fiber video transport. The costs are much lower than they were even five years ago when we upgraded our current platform, so custom options to suit our business model are much easier to work with.
RT: President Obama has said the $787 billion economic stimulus package will help the economy this year. What do you think about that? In your view, how will that money impact the communications market, if at all?
SP: Depending on how the money is allocated for each particular interest in our economy, I believe it could seriously help small and medium business stay afloat during this deep recession. Communication is our most powerful tool in life and in business. It’s especially important to help small CLECs and VoIP companies such as Vitelity or FlowRoute (they are two companies I currently use for wholesale VoIP service, for example) because, like any other small business, they have a dedication to helping sell feature-rich services at a lower cost. In turn it helps businesses such as ours.
RT: Following up on that, we’re now formally starting the process of broadband stimulus money allocation and spending. What do you think of that activity? What effect will broadband stimulus have on technology spending, if any?
SP: We need better competition in the broadband field, especially in urban neighborhoods where one or two companies have exclusive infrastructure for broadband communications. Investing in this field will sprout new ideas and ways to “get around” the high-priced incumbents and therefore drive competition, leading to better services at lower prices.
RT: One of the exciting opportunities we’re presenting attendees at this year’s show is a fast way to find and network with companies they’re interested in, through ITEXPO DealCenter. What, specifically, is bringing you to ITEXPO West 2009? What kinds of companies or professionals do you want to meet?
SP: I want to keep up emerging communication technologies. Attending this event will help steer me to the right companies and their representative to network with so that I can continue running my business efficiently and with low overhead. It also will help me with recommending companies to my clients to help them lower their overhead costs.
RT: What specific products or services do you intend to research or select?
SP: Internet telephony technology and security, video over broadband using the Internet as a platform.
Learn more about Strike Out Productions at ITEXPO West — the biggest and most comprehensive IP communications event of the year. ITEXPO West will take place in Los Angeles, Sept. 1 to 3, 2009, featuring three valuable days of exhibits, conferences, and networking opportunities you can’t afford to miss. Don’t wait. Register now.
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Michael Dinan is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Michael's articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Michael Dinan
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