Voxox consumer unified communications service users recently faced a dark day. The company announced in a quiet press release that it was shutting down its free consumer service, instead turning its attentions to growth and putting a particular focus on business users. Under the new plan of attack, Voxox's Cloud Phone (News - Alert) business service will be its new flagship product, which should help drive it to a greater market presence.
Voxox won't just offer Cloud Phone, however; it's also set to offer session initiation protocol (SIP) trunking systems, along with hosted private branch exchange (PBX (News - Alert)), short messaging service (SMS) and even a slate of wholesale options. Voxox also has a set of co-branding options available, and will continue its work with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and others to allow other markets access to the Voxox line of services.
Interestingly, Voxox discovered—following a slate of surveys performed over the last couple of years—that most of Voxox's users were putting the free consumer system to use for work. Said users also increasingly needed greater business-related options, and so Voxox went to work accordingly. It offered up a version of Cloud Phone for small business users in February 2014, and saw nearly 300 percent growth year over year, driving its business telephony offerings accordingly. Those who were enjoying the free service will get a special offer for Cloud Phone, complete with the ability to transfer the phone number to the new service.
“In this era of app overload and siloed ecosystems, free apps are a dime a dozen and difficult to monetize,” said Voxox CEO Bryan Hertz. “Businesses, on the other hand, are stuck with expensive, outdated communication tools. Our users understand the value of the advanced business phone features we offer with Cloud Phone, as well as our other products and services, and they are willing to pay for these features. We can now focus all of our resources on transforming business communication.”
It would be easy here to suggest that one of the reasons Voxox's systems were so popular with small business users is that said systems were available free rather than for any particular level of functionality. Given the growth the system experienced after it started offering Cloud Phone to small business users, however, it may not be that Voxox's popularity was spurred on by bargain hunters. Throw in some particularly impressive figures in terms of quality—Voxox, for example, can continue offering high-quality transmissions even at packet loss rates that would render several competitors completely unusable—and its value shines through on its own merits.
While the loss of a free service is seldom welcome, its replacement with a more powerful for-pay service may be worthwhile for most users. Undoubtedly Voxox will see some losses here, but it may well gain a slate of new subscribers in the bargain.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson