I recently had the opportunity to ask Warren Sonnen, director of Product Management and Marketing at Epygi (News - Alert) Technologies, about the evolution of IP Telephony, the role of IP PBX, Epygi’s business as a whole and more.
Epygi Technologies designs, manufactures and distributes globally feature-rich IP PBXs, voice over IP gateways and cost-saving conference servers. The privately held U.S. corporation was founded in 2000.
What has been your company’s biggest achievement in 2008 so far?
The introduction of two new products and our latest major software release. Earlier this year Epygi launched the Quadro6L, which provides all legacy Key System users a migration option to IP Telephony. The Quadro6L is an IP Key System telephone system offering customers all the features of a Key System and our original feature set based on a digital PBX design. Another key product introduction is the QuadroM32x which increased the Epygi portfolio from a maximum of 66 total users to 194 extensions. This solution has had great success in only a few months and has been labeled by our VARs as “the reliable alternative to Asterisk products”. Since the Epygi solution is not based on Asterisk, we are able to carefully control the software for maximum reliability. During the launch of the QuadroM32x all our products received a major upgrade from 4.1 software to release 5.0. This upgrade adds more features and support for the latest VoIP tools on the market, like Microsoft OCS.
What can we expect to see for from your company for the next 12 months?
Epygi is constantly taking feedback from the market and our VARs to enhance the Epygi solution. With over 100 engineers constantly working on the Epygi products, we can quickly adapt to the constantly evolving demands of the VoIP market. There are future plans to enhance our Softphone and PC Receptionist Console. Introduce a larger capacity IP Conferencing Server and add ACD to the QaudroM32x for Call Center support.
How do you see the communications market evolving?
Recently I complete a global tour training all of our major channels on advanced sales techniques and was able to get a unique perspective on the individual markets. What I noticed is there is a general understanding from many VARs and end-users the VoIP is the inevitable future and a valuable step forward for more success as a company. However, there are some road blocks for certain countries. One of the major concerns is a poor infrastructure supporting the local internet in certain countries, but this will not be the case as the demand increases for more reliable and accessible internet options. The one key observation I had from the training tour, is that the communications market is not slowing down at all. There is more demand than ever for the latest tools developed by the industry leading manufacturers such as Epygi Technologies.
What company made the biggest contribution to communications this year?
The answer to this question really depends on the interpretation of contribution. If you look at marketing expenditures, Microsoft, Cisco, and even Nortel (News - Alert) have invested large amounts of funds and effort to continue drive the VoIP message. On the other hand if we concentrate on a technology contribution, Microsoft with Presence Management and Collaboration Tools could be a primary contributor this year. Unified Communications is a heavily overused buzzword, but Presence Management is a key step to true UC
How about Apple?
The Apple solution has had a lot of buzz this year and has proven that people are still hungry for new communication devices. Most users of the iPhone (News - Alert) have probably found the phone to be a very exciting device, especially for normal cell phone users. The business user probably looked at the iPhone from a different perspective. If someone was searching for a device that allows them to run a business remotely, the iPhone may not have hit the mark. Replying to many emails from any accounts, using Unified Communications tools such as Voicemail to Email and managing many calls or even conference calls from a cell phone could prove more challenging on the iPhone. A RIM solution still holds the market as a true business solution with the focus on doing business as normal when you are out of the office and not new exciting ways to browse the internet.
What mobile phone(s) do you use?
Since my days at Nortel and having the luxury of being able to manage my global Presence from any Nortel terminal or Blackberry, no mobile solution thus far has proven more successful in allow myself to manage business activity and successfully make calls in any country. I currently use a Blackberry 8830 World Edition.
Who will win in an Apple/RIM war?
I am not so sure I could label this as a war. The iPhone will be heavily used as a fun device by most general users; however it does not provide a reliable solution for most business customers. Blackberry products have been a key solution in that market for some time and I have not seen another option that competes yet. I have also spent a fair amount of time on a few Palm Treo version with poor success.
What do you think the communications market might look like in five years?
Your guess is as good as mine.
What will attendees see in your booth at ITEXPO (News - Alert) this September?
Epygi Technologies will be displaying all of the solutions we offer today and discussing some of the future tools. We will also be displaying some of the products of our partners like Aastra, Snom and Polycom. Attendees will also have the opportunity to learn about all the other benefits Epygi offers as a global IP Solutions manufacturer. Some of the benefits include support and training resources not offered by most of the competing products and 3rd party integration options via XML utilized by many of our successful VARs who are able to provide unique solutions for their customers.
What sorts of companies should come to your exhibit?
Considering the wide range of VARs and Integrators that attend the IT Expo, I am not so sure I would limit the companies that should attend. Manufacturers such as Epygi are always a common exhibitor at this show; however, financial firms offering leasing options would also be a great fit. So again I am not so sure I would begin to restrict the companies that attend.
Why should customers choose your company’s solutions?
Epygi Technologies has been working hard to constantly provide our customers with the latest IP Technology. Our focus is to give our customers the ability to appear larger than they might be, thus increasing their customer’s perception, raise revenue, while saving money on the operation expenses. Our customers can rest assured that Epygi will continue to provide cutting edge solutions, reliable products and dedicated support from our very large engineering team. The Epygi Quadro solutions are all manufactured in the United States of America and are sold globally with great success.
Please make one surprising prediction for 2009.
With the ever growing market of free tools from companies like Google (News - Alert) and open-source products, there should be a shift in the future from companies like Microsoft. If there could be one very powerful move, it would be the introduction of free software provided by Microsoft which would overwhelm the current software market and allow Microsoft regains any lost grip on the software market.
Rich Tehrani is President and Group Editor-in-Chief of TMC. In addition, he is the Chairman of the world’s best-attended communications conference, INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO (ITEXPO). He is also the author of his own communications and technology blog.
Edited by Tim Gray