Kathleen Reed of VoIPon catches up with Ruth Bridger, VP of Marketing at Xorcom
Kathleen Reed speaks to Ruth Bridger, VP of Marketing at Xorcom. The pair discuss what Xorcom have been up to for the past 12 months, the Xorcom video conferencing range plus what Xorcom have planned for the future.
You can Listen to the Xorcom Podcast and see the full transcript below:
VoIPon: Broadcasting from various countries around the world, using voice over IP technology, this is VoIP Uncovered – A VoIPon Solutions UK podcast. I am Kathleen Reed. Joining us today is Ruth Bridger from Xorcom. She’s their VP of Marketing. Thanks for joining us today, Ruth! Xorcom is a privately held IP-PBX manufacturer that harnesses Asterisk Open Source IP-PBX to design and produce leading edge hardware and telephony solutions for commercial installations. Today, we’re just going to be brought up to date with what’s happening at Xorcom. Could you please tell us what Xorcom has been up to over the last 12 months?
Ruth Bridger, Xorcom: Has it really been that long since we spoke? Well, on the products side, we’ve put a lot of effort into the launch of our video conferencing line – what we call the XV Series. We have released the bundled solution, which is Multipoint Control Unit (sometimes called an MCU) for video conferencing. It’s bundled in with our top-of-the-line IP-PBX. We did that last summer. Very recently, we launched a standalone solution – that’s our XV500, which is interoperable with various IP-PBX systems, because it is based on the SIP standard protocol. In addition, we’ve had some successes with telcos, particularly in the Latin American market.
I’m sure you know that getting certification from this type of organization is a really long and drawn-out process, so we look at that as a great success. In addition, we would have some nice projects coming specifically through the retail vertical. Some examples would be Grupo Monge in Central America or Cost Plus, if you’re familiar with the USA brand.
VoIPon: Okay. Sounds good. Can you give us a little more information on the Xorcom video conferencing and PBX system recently released, and how has the launch gone?
Ruth Bridger, Xorcom: The video conferencing systems are attractive because they make this type of communication affordable to small and medium-sized businesses. I think everyone is pretty much familiar with the benefits of video conferencing for business, but I can give a short list here. It provides for most cost effective meetings, because you can cut down on travel expenses. You improve the actual communication over an audio call, because you have the video aspect such as body language and you can display objects – and that promotes a better understanding of the concepts. You have more efficient meetings because video is more engaging and it increases the participants’ attention span.
It also helps keep remote workers involved if there’s a problem – when you have teleworkers or road warriors, that they’re kind of ‘out of the loop.’ It allows you to do remote training, because you can keep your staff updated on the fly. You don’t have to organize these great meet-ups. On the customer support side, it can also be used as a tool to troubleshoot issues without having to go on an onsite visit. What inhibited the penetration of video conferencing into SMB was the high price tag – since proprietary solutions required that you purchase all of the components from the same vendor. That’s not so with the Xorcom solutions, because they use standard SIP protocol to communicate.
This opens up tremendous opportunities for cost savings. It’s what we call ‘end-point freedom.’ You can connect to a wide variety of video devices, all the way from freesoft phone clients such as land phones, smart phones, desktop video phones, tablets, laptops, all the way up to Aver room systems. As long as they are SIP compliant, they can communicate with our MCU. In addition, you asked about the PBX system that we’ve released recently. We talked about it at the IP Expo. We announced there that we’re going to deliver a new telephony platform.
This is beyond just the simple IP-PBX. To give a little background, for the past two years, our subsidiary in the States at Xorcom USA has been promoting a bundled product called ‘Complete PBX.’ It is based on the Xorcom IP-PBX hardware that’s available globally, but it features a specially designed graphic user interface with an embedded operator panel. We’ve taken the next step; version 3 of Complete PBX will be available globally. This product line is a complete telephony solution. It’s designed, configured, produced and supported by a single manufacturer, which is Xorcom.
We’re taking open source to the next level. We provide this platform. We don’t hide the fact that it’s based on Asterisk, the open source operating system. We do provide access to the root, so that anybody who wants to benefit from the open source platform (by being able to do their own development or integrate applications) can still do so – but still, you have a commercially supported solution from a single manufacturer.
VoIPon: Okay. Let’s get back to the IP phones. What integration benefits are there for Xorcom IP phones with the Xorcom PBX?
Ruth Bridger, Xorcom: What we’ve done over the past couple of years is we’ve developed the heart and soul of the telephony system, the PBX. It turns out that may be well and good, but when people think about their phone systems, they look at their desktop unit and they see whatever brand it is, they think that that’s their telephony system… So we realized that we’re losing out on some of the branding opportunities. Also, IP phones are on the rage. It really makes sense to get all the benefits of an Xorcom IP phone in an organization that’s already using an IP-PBX. We decided to introduce our own line of IP phones. We’ve developed certain tools to make them easy to integrate. We have an end-point manager there, so that the configuration is very straightforward. We support a remote phonebook for the phones.
It’s basically just giving an end-to-end communication solution for a company. When they have the PBX and the phones, they have the complete set there that pretty much insures they get the most out of their telephony system.
VoIPon: Okay. What does Xorcom have planned for the future, and where do you see the market headed?
Ruth Bridger, Xorcom: I think as in years past, everybody is going in a direction of mobility – to be able to use your smartphone both inside the organization and outside, just to have all of the capabilities of communication on one device. That’s where we’re going. The video conferencing launch and the other peripherals that we’re developing are basically bringing communication to the mobile user. Smart phone is definitely is where it’s at.
We’re even developing these QR code-based applications that will allow people to get information on the Xorcom unit that they have installed – what is its warranty status, product information, how to set it up and configure it, to watch a video about it, to download a Getting Started guide – all in the smartphone, because we understand that this is the main communication tool of the standard business person and pretty much in any country where we are currently selling our products.
I really want to thank you for your time today, Ruth. Ruth Bridger is the VP of Marketing for Xorcom. This has been a VoIPon, VoIP Uncovered podcast, brought to you by VoIPon Solutions. For more information, please visit www.voipon.co.uk.