Hal Edwards came to the Internet Telephony Conference & Expo for different reasons from many.
For exhibitors, speakers and attendees, the ITEXPO (News - Alert) is a chance to get up to speed on the latest telecommunications technologies, see what other companies are doing, forge channel partnerships, connect with media members and buy and sell products and services.
As TMCnet reported, telecom veterans called this week’s three-day event the most focused ever, with exhibitors showcasing finished IP telephony products instead of more general ideas and reference designs.
But until this week, Edwards – chief marketing officer at ConnectWise, a Tampa, Florida-based provider of workflow-driven automation for the IT industry – hadn’t spent much time around VoIP professionals.
Through its flagship automation solution – ConnectWise PSA – the company serves more than 2,000 businesses information technology service providers. Now, as the cost-saving, increasingly high-quality and reliable technology gains traction in this economy, and major players such as Microsoft Corp. seek to carve out their territories, about 50 of those ConnectWise clients are beginning to provide VoIP services.
“We know that there’s an opportunity,” Edwards told TMCnet during an interview at the show. “We’re interested in finding right kinds of potential clients to talk to. We’re not looking for the very big guys. Our sweet spot is the give to 50 user group that may have 100 or 200 clients themselves, and they’re managing VoIP or telephony services that are too small to have their own in-house solutions.”
With ConnectWise PSA, Edwards said, the company solves what he calls “the chaos of running a business efficiently.”
“They may be killing themselves trying to head a business in a profitable direction,” Edwards said. “Our solution captures time, profitability, management of SLAs, generates reports, invoicing, provides a lot of solutions so you don’t have to go and pull these things together from disparate places.”
ConnectWise’s timing couldn’t be better, as more and more businesses are turning to Internet telephony and VoIP-based unified communications systems – and, by all accounts, the ITEXPO show, as a barometer of the market, demonstrated the technology’s strength.
As TMC Vice President and CTO Tom Keating (News - Alert) writes in a new blog entry here, properly deployed VoIP has an extremely fast ROI and can result in cost savings in just a short period of time.
“One thing everyone could agree upon when it comes to ITEXPO is that this show brings ‘buyers’ to the show,” Keating writes. “It’s why exhibitors keep coming back. Exhibitors actually generate ‘leads’ and close deals at ITEXPO where as VON (R.I.P.) and other IP communications shows were more about networking and trying to strike partnerships.”
That’s just what Edwards and ConnectWise showed up to do.
“It’s a great opportunity for us,” Edwards told TMCnet. “Virtually everybody in our space is running quickly to VoIP as another service, so we’ve got to accommodate. Our quest is to build something for them.”
And ConnectWise PSA itself is “very transferrable,” Edwards said.
“One area that we know is important for us to develop is an inventory control mechanism,” he said. “As you get into telephony, the number of objects, handsets and servers goes up, and many companies don’t have a way to manage serialized inventory. Our product’s 8.0 version just came out, the beta finished in November, and we feel we have a lot to offer.”
Specifically, Edwards said, ConnectWise is seeking English-speaking service providers with wide industry experience.
“This is a great market and this is the future,” he told TMCnet. “We’re happy to be here and we’re committed to doing what we do.”
Edwards can be reached at Hal@ConnectWise.com and at (813) 463-4749.
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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