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Value-Conscious Consumers Target VoIP Apps from XCast Labs

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July 01, 2009

Value-Conscious Consumers Target VoIP Apps from XCast Labs

By Michael Dinan, TMCnet Editor

Creating VoIP applications that are designed to run off-the-shelf is helping one Los Angeles-based provider of advanced Software-as-a-Service navigate this slumping economy, officials with the company told TMCnet in an interview.
Officials at XCast Labs, Inc. say today’s more value-conscious customers are demanding low-cost apps that deliver stability, high availability and consistency.
As the company’s chief executive officer, Cliff Rees, told TMC President Rich Tehrani (News - Alert) in an interview (printed in full below), XCast is still investing during this downturn, especially in video-over-IP and increased network capacity.

For Rees – whose company in two months will demonstrate its voice and video services, among other solutions, at ITEXPO West – any CLEC, RLEC, marketing company, ISP, Cable MSO or reseller seeking to embrace the VoIP business in a substantial, cost-effective way may want to see his booth at the show.
“Also, any agents looking to sell SIP Trunking or IP-PBX services to SMBs should stop by,” Rees told Tehrani. “We have a very competitive commissioned agent program backed up with excellent support.”
Their exchange follows
RT: What has the economic crisis taught you, and how has it changed your customers?
Cliff Rees (pictured left): The economic crisis has taught me that having our VoIP applications designed to run on off-the-shelf on Dell (News - Alert) servers, combined with having developed all our own core technology, has given us a cost basis lower than that of any of our competitors. It’s nice to know that no one can underbid us.
Its effect on our customers has been to make them more value-conscious – they want stable, consistent, high-availability applications for the lowest possible cost. We can deliver that.
RT: How is this down economy affecting your decisions to reinvest in your company or market, if at all? Where will you invest?
CR: We’re continually investing in expanding our technology, particularly in the area of video over IP. We also recently invested in doubling our network capacity.
RT: What’s the strongest segment in the communications industry?
CR: I have no idea. I know what’s strongest for us is providing white-label, hosted VoIP services to Cable MSOs, CLECs and marketing companies, along with developing custom interactive IVR applications for media companies.
RT: With the rise of smartphones and netbooks, many wireless technologies, such as WiFi, appear to be poised for rapid growth. For example, we’re seeing more and more airlines add in-flight WiFi. In general, how widespread should WiFi be, in your view?
CR: Ultimately WiFi – or its successor – will end up with a footprint very much like that of mobile telephony. People use both. Both go where the people are.
RT: Which nation or region of the world will present the largest opportunity for your company in 2009/10?
CR: The largest opportunity for XCast Labs remains the US, but we plan on opening up Europe in the next 6 months, as well.
RT: In what ways is President Barack Obama helping or hindering the technology markets? What more can he do?
CR: Government generally manages to screw up pretty much anything it puts its attention on, but that screwing up can create enormous opportunities for those positioned to take advantage of it. A rational market wouldn’t support paying tiny CLECs in Iowa tens of millions per month for hosting conference calling services – it takes government to insist on something that stupid.
RT: What device or devices do you use, and what do you wish you used?
CR: We recommend Polycom, Linksys and Yealink for SIP phones, Arris (News - Alert) for cable EMTAs, Calix for fiber MTAs, and Grandstream for ATA and multi-FXS port equipment. We use what we wish we used.
RT: What has the iPhone 3G taught us? I know it’s very new, but what about the Palm Pre? What are we learning from the smartphones based on the open source Google Android platform?
CR: The iPhone (News - Alert) 3G has taught me that my wife really wants one. I’m not familiar enough with the other two to have learned anything from them yet.
RT: I understand you are exhibiting Sept. 1 to 3 at ITEXPO West in Los Angeles. What will you show there? Describe the companies or people who should come to your exhibit.
CR: XCast Labs will be demonstrating the quality of its voice and video services along with our complete white-labeled, hosted suite of services. Any CLEC, RLEC, marketing company, ISP, Cable MSO or Reseller that wants to be in the VoIP business in a substantial way but who doesn’t have the millions of dollars and significant engineering skill it takes to put together and run their own VoIP service should stop by for a look. Also, any agents looking to sell SIP Trunking or IP-PBX services to SMBs should stop by – we have a very competitive commissioned agent program backed up with excellent support.
RT: Why should customers choose your company’s solutions? How do they justify the expense to management?
CR: Our white-labeled Reseller solution blows away the competition in terms of both cost and service quality. For companies buying for their own use, our hosted IP-PBX and SIP Trunking services will save anywhere between 40% and 80% when compared to traditional, TDM-based solutions offer.

Learn more about XCast Labs, Inc. at ITEXPO West — the biggest and most comprehensive IP communications event of the year. ITEXPO (News - Alert) 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. Visit XCast Labs at booth #439 in the exhibit hall. Don’t wait. Register now!

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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