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Published on March 11th, 2014 | by Alexis Argent

VoIPon interview Xorcom on the Xorcom Blue Steel range, Xorcom-Surf Alliance + what’s new at Xorcom

Craig Herrett catches up with Ruth Bridger, VP of Marketing at Xorcom on the Xorcom Blue Steel IP PBX range, Xorcom-Surf Alliance + what Xorcom have planned for the next 12 months. 

VoIPon: Broadcasting from various countries around the world using Voice over IP Technology, this is VoIP Uncovered, a VoIPon Solutions UK Podcast, I’m Craig Herrett. Today we are interviewing Xorcom, and here with me is Ruth Bridger, the VP of Marketing for Xorcom. Thank you for taking our podcast today, Ruth.

Xorcom, Ruth Bridger: Thank you Craig for the opportunity.

VoIPon: Please can you tell the VoIPon audience what Xorcom have been up to over the past 12 months?

Xorcom, Ruth Bridger: Our 2013 activities culminated in a string of partner events held recently in conjunction with the IT EXPO East in Miami, Florida. During those events we officially launched a new product line of IP-PBX called Blue Steel, announced the release of the next version of our “one stop shop” communications systems (CompletePBX version 4.0), introduced our new alliance with SURF Communications Solutions in the field of multi-point video conferencing, and demonstrated our “plug & play” solution, which addresses an issue on the drivers level for Asterisk-based systems.

On the business side, we have signed up new master distributors in Italy and Turkey, and are working on several very interesting projects in Africa. By the way, 2014 marks 10 years from the date Xorcom was established. So, we also celebrated our 10th anniversary with a gala dinner and Distributors Conference, which was well attended by our distribution partners from around the world. Several distributors sent video clips of greetings from their home offices. We screened these at the gala, and also posted them on our YouTube channel, which is http://www.youtube.com/xorcompbx.

VoIPon: Can you tell me more about Blue Steel? Where exactly does it fit in to your existing product line of IP-PBX systems?

Xorcom, Ruth Bridger: Blue Steel is a robust, heavy-duty IP-PBX that supports up to 1000 users and 550 concurrent calls. It is supplied with our CompletePBX version 4 distribution, which offers great efficiency tools for organizations, including desktop call management, an in-bound entry-level call center, cell phone integration, conference bridges, call recording, video calls, unlimited auto attendants, and much more. On the hardware side, and this is what sets it apart from other members of the Xorcom IP-PBX family, Blue Steel includes:

    • Two hot swappable, 24×7 server grade HDDs which are both easily accessible from the front panel, and lockable
    • Two hot swappable, 250 Watt power supplies
    • Fault notification for both components:
      • On LCD panel
      • Buzzer sounds
      • e-mail to admin
    • In addition, the Blue Steel provides built-in redundant power for up to four Xorcom Astribanks.

VoIPon: The Blue Steel sounds fantastic, and I take it that’s available shortly or is that available now?

Xorcom, Ruth Bridger: It is ready for shipment now, we already have orders for several dozen of the units and we’ve commenced our shipping, so bring it on. 

VoIPon: Can you elaborate on the Xorcom-Surf Alliance? What does it mean for your distribution partners, and how does the Xorcom video conference range fit into your current portfolio?

Xorcom, Ruth Bridger:  SURF Communication Solutions has been a provider of high capacity multimedia telecommunication solutions for almost two decades. Under the new alliance agreement, each company will maintain its own identity, products and partners while jointly capitalizing on each other’s technology, operations and market presence. Xorcom has successfully cooperated with SURF for many years now, and this new coalition will allow us to bring more top quality products to more customers in more places around the globe.

The recent trend to adopt video conferencing as an organizational communications tool fits right in with our current product line and capabilities. Due to the enormous growth in smart phone use and the widespread adoption of multimedia applications, in recent years video conferencing became a very popular communications platform in the larger enterprises. It is used to conduct cost-effective meetings by cutting down travel expenses, to improve communication by adding the visual dimension to audio only phone calls, to keep meetings focused since video is engaging, increasing participants’ attention span, to keep remote workers involved, to provide remote training and update staff on the fly, and think about the benefit to customer support – video conferencing allows businesses to provide more timely support and troubleshoot issues in real time, without the time and resource consumption required by onsite visits.

Until recently, these benefits were only available to large enterprises with budgets for costly “room systems”. The Xorcom-Surf Alliance proposes a different option. With our solutions the MCU (Multipoint Control Unit) works with a wide variety of SIP devices — from room systems, to desktop video phones, to video software clients running on smart phones and tablets – so customers can use their existing devices and don’t need to spend a lot of money on a proprietary system. Let’s use the industry term BYOD – Bring Your Own Device – to best describe the benefit.

So, for our current partners our video conferencing product line is an excellent opportunity to revisit existing customers, who have already purchased Xorcom IP-PBX, and complement their communications system with multi-point video conferencing capabilities.

VoIPon: Could you tell us what Xorcom have planned for the future and are there any future products in the pipeline?

Xorcom, Ruth Bridger: We are already working hard on the version 5 of our CompletePBX IP-PBX solutions. Although I cannot discuss any details, I’ll tell you that the focus is on even more built-in security. Also, we are paying a lot of attention to feedback from our partners regarding improvements in the implementation process and general “ease of use”.
In addition, and based on the comprehensive training sessions we recently held in Miami, we are establishing on-line certification training for interested partners. Since our channel is growing rapidly, and internationally, we want to provide an easy way for dealers to learn about our products, on a technical level, and be certified to sell and support them. The online training will be separated into modules, each with their own explanatory video, documentation, exercises and quiz. We think this will be a great tool for keeping our channel up-to-date and enthusiastic about our products.

VoIPon: I’d really like to thank you for your time today and for bringing VoIPon listeners up to speed with the developmentsa in Xorcom. This has been a VoIP Uncovered Podcast. For more information, please visit www.voipon.co.uk.

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