Thursday, October 28, 2010

InPhonex Selected by Nuance Communications to Stress-Test Custom Speech Applications

Using InPhonex Platform, Nuance Underscores Commitment to Delivering Positive Customer Experiences in the Contact Center

MIAMI InPhonex, which provides a comprehensive array of telephony services, today announced an agreement to supply Nuance Communications, a leading provider of speech solutions, with a robust, high-capacity platform to stress-test its custom speech-enabled contact center applications.

The InPhonex platform generates the sustained volume of incoming calls needed to prove the resilience and capacity of Nuance’s applications, which automate functions otherwise performed by human agents. Playing prerecorded clips of callers’ utterances during the calls, InPhonex enables Nuance to test its customers’ contact center solutions before putting them into production – to deliver the best customer experiences.

Nuance is using InPhonex’s platform to make thousands of simultaneous calls to applications that Nuance has designed and deployed for Fortune 500 clients in retail, banking, travel and other industries. These applications, tested on Nuance customers’ servers, automate common telephone transactions, such as prescription refill requests, bill payments and airline-ticket purchases.

“Given the caliber of our clients and the volume of calls handled on a daily basis, it is important that we ensure our speech-enabled contact center applications stand up under very heavy customer usage before we put them into production,” said Ken Arakelian, IT Solutions Architect, Nuance Communications. “With its channel capacity, InPhonex enables us to test, without having to purchase dedicated PSTN connectivity for our own test bed. And thanks to InPhonex’s willingness to learn and adapt to our particular needs, we are able to control our test methods and our budget.”

As Nuance performs its testing, it draws from banks of prepaid calling minutes set up for each of its custom clients, keeping a tight rein on costs.

“Once we understood Nuance’s very specialized business requirements, we built them something our more typical, private-label service provider customer probably never would have dreamed of,” said Matt Bramson, Chief Marketing Officer of InPhonex. “Interestingly, Nuance’s success with us makes a great proof case for the qualities most providers look for in suppliers: capacity, reliability and flexibility.”

About InPhonex
InPhonex is a global meta-carrier providing a comprehensive range of high-quality, feature-rich telephony services in more than 150 countries. Leveraging its flexible, high-capacity telephony platform, Miami-based InPhonex serves communications service providers, businesses of all sizes, value-added resellers (VARs) and consumers, under its own and other brands.

Offerings include multiple applications, services and utilities, such as VolP, hosted PBX, SIP trunking, product creation and provisioning. Easy to implement, InPhonex solutions help businesses round out their portfolios to attract more customers, manage more efficiently and generate more revenue per customer. For more information, please visit


Friday, October 8, 2010

So What Haven’t You Heard Before?

Yesterday I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Gary Kim, serial technology entrepreneur, journalist, and Mensa member (according to the backgrounder on him I was sent). Gary is the Editor-in-Chief of both Fat Pipe and IP Business magazines. Today I was a panelist in a session moderated by Gary. I enjoyed both the one-on-one discussion and the group discussion. One theme the two discussions had in common was “the death of the demarc.”

For a generation the demarc was the division between the service provider’s stuff/responsibility and the customer’s stuff/responsibility. IP telephony has started to change that and SaaS practically obliterates it. Whether you consider the death of the demarc to be good or bad probably depends on who you are and how satisfied you are with the status quo. It will be interesting, though largely predictable, to see who embraces the death of the demarc and who resists it.

The topic of the panel today was “The Business Case for VoIP – Going Beyond ROI/TCO” and I think going beyond the demarc to understand the needs and ambitions within the homes and businesses of your customers is one of the keys. This is what the launch of our new joint product with Ringio is all about. The Ringio On InPhonex (ROI) application is all about radically improving the way a business connects with its customers, collaborates internally, and assures its competitive edge. The dialog necessary for a business to appreciate the true value of ROI will be focused on topics like: Why do customers call you? What do your employees need to know about the customer as they answer the call? How important is it for you to be reachable and responsive to your customers? What business tools and information do your employees need when they are outside the office? How do you measure your communication effectiveness?

The questions that will not dominate a successful discussion include: How many phone lines do you have today? How much do you pay your current provider? How many minutes of calling do you do? These are the old, service-provider-side-of-the-demarc-questions – certainly not irrelevant but no longer the entirety or even the core of the discussion. It will not be easy for many service providers or their salespeople to make the adjustment. Many customers may also be slow to appreciate the importance of shifting their buying process away from simple price comparisons to more detailed reviews of capabilities and interfaces.

Walking out of the session I had a chance to talk with Gary one-on-one. I asked him, “So all day every day you talk to people like me about our companies and our products. Do you get tired of it? Does it all start to sound the same?” He had an interesting reply: “There is one question I never get asked that I wish I would. And it is, ‘How much of what I’m telling you is really unique?’” So, bravely, I did. “Gary, so what that I’ve said to you in our conversations yesterday and today haven’t you heard before?”

His reply was direct: “Everything you’ve said about the power and flexibility of your platform I hear from several different people every day – whether it’s more or less true in your case is hard for me to evaluate. But what is different and exciting is your vision. You and InPhonex really seem to have your strategy figured out. Your clarity of vision is a powerful differentiator.

It made me think back to the presentation by Simon Sinek at the SAP Executive Partner Summit in Cancun. I wrote about it in August. I think InPhonex has our Why figured out while nearly every other company Gary talks to is fixated on What and maybe How.

Discussions with people like Gary are really helpful – if a bit intimidating. What it reminds me most of is the months I spent writing my Philosophy thesis in college. I’d spend weeks reading and thinking and writing and then I would go into a meeting with my thesis advisor, a professor and, in my case, the Chairman of the department. This was the moment that the previous weeks of thinking and writing were tested. Was I making any sense? Was there anything original to my thinking? How close was I to proving my argument?

So, at least according to “Professor Gary Kim”, we’re on the right course. In college that kind of feedback would have sent me in search of too much beer. Today it will send me into the office tomorrow with even more enthusiasm.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Press Release - InPhonex, Ringio Join Forces to Deliver Intelligent, Virtual PBX Functionality to SMB Market

October 5, 2010

InPhonex, Ringio Join Forces to Deliver Intelligent, Virtual PBX Functionality to SMB Market
Ringio On InPhonex (ROI) Reseller Offering Provides Advanced Telephony Features at Reduced Cost

MIAMI and HERNDON, Va., Oct. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- A new partnership between InPhonex and Ringio is giving small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) access to PBX features and functionality previously only available for large enterprises. Both companies will introduce the new service at ITEXPO, which runs Oct. 4-6 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Ringio On InPhonex (ROI) incorporates features from Ringio, a cloud-based Rich Calling Service, and InPhonex, a telephony platform service provider, to create a unique offering for SMBs, including:

  • Server-free advanced call center functions designed for SMB users, including personalized greetings; the ability to intelligently route and forward calls based on the caller's history; a learning knowledge base about callers and other advanced collaboration features, such as presence, notes and contact sharing.
  • A fully featured mobile application.
  • Intelligent screen-pop capability, which presents CRM data in the context of calls.
  • The ability to use existing soft phones and VoIP phones with Ringio.
  • Local number portability (LNP) in 15 countries.
  • Integrating all PBX and telephony services from one provider, eliminating the need for multiple vendors and lowering costs.
  • Designing customized managed calling plans, including bulk calling, worldwide calling and personalized calling plans.
  • A global telecommunications footprint that includes 75 countries.

"Unlike most hosted PBX providers, which take existing on-premise PBX platforms and move them to the cloud, Ringio was developed from the beginning as an intelligent, cloud-based PBX to address the unique needs of SMBs," said Ringio Co-Founder and Chairman Michael Zirngibl. "Ringio On InPhonex builds upon that goal by giving SMB customers a single provider for their telephony, call center and PBX needs."

InPhonex is recruiting and selling ROI through channel partners, which can white-label the service and resell it to SMBs, while Ringio is selling the service directly to SMB customers.

"ROI is an attractive addition to the offerings we provide our thousands of value-added reseller partners," said InPhonex Chief Marketing Officer Matt Bramson. "Not only does ROI enrich resellers' opportunity to target SMBs – the largest segment of the enterprise market – but it also gives them a set of features unlike any other in the market."

Ringio On InPhonex has an average cost per user of about $40 per month for unlimited calling and an end-to-end solution.

Now in beta release, Ringio On InPhonex is expected to become generally available by the end of 2010. For more about becoming a channel partner for Ringio On InPhonex, visit

About InPhonex

InPhonex is a global meta-carrier providing a comprehensive range of high-quality, feature-rich telephony services in more than 150 countries. Leveraging its flexible, high-capacity telephony platform, Miami-based InPhonex serves communications service providers, businesses of all sizes, value-added resellers (VARs) and consumers, under its own and other brands.

Offerings include multiple applications, services and utilities, such as VolP, hosted PBX, SIP trunking, product creation and provisioning. Easy to implement, InPhonex solutions help businesses round out their portfolios to attract more customers, manage more efficiently and generate more revenue per customer. For more information, please visit

About Ringio

Located in Herndon, Va., Ringio is the first cloud-based Rich Calling Service to intelligently route calls to any phone in the world along with relevant information about the caller – making conversations more meaningful and productive. Integrating intelligent call routing and CRM data, Ringio provides capabilities previously available only through call centers and proprietary customizations – bringing Rich Calling Services down market to small and medium-size businesses for the first time. By enhancing conversations with context about the caller, Ringio enables companies to significantly improve their interaction and service with the people that matter to their business. For more information, please visit

Thoughts from IT Expo West

Today was a busy one at IT EXPO. I had the opportunity to address a group of potential resellers and participated on two panels. In addition I was interviewed for a podcast (

As I reflect on the day, three thoughts stand out:

  1. I am excited about the relationship with Ringio we announced today (press release). We are calling the joint offering ROI: Ringio On InPhonex. The opportunity to offer a uniquely powerful hosted business application – one that combines a PBX, IVR, and CRM – to distributors as a white-label product is receiving an enthusiastic response.
  2. There is tremendous energy in the next-generation telecom space right now. The IT EXPO show is well-attended; all the sessions I was in were full; and the exhibit floor was busy this evening.
  3. Cloud-based telephony services represent an opportunity that is without precedent in the recent history of telecom: widespread profitability. Never before has it been possible to launch a telecommunications service offering and deploy it to tens of thousands of customers without spending millions of dollars on infrastructure. In the past the huge upfront debt crushed most start-up service providers. Many that survived had to go through bankruptcy restructuring in order to do so.

The downside of lower barriers to entry is a crowded marketplace (hence a busy trade show). The key to success – as it nearly always is – remains execution. The companies that can market and sell their service and retain their customers will have the opportunity for rapid, profitable growth.

It seems to me that execution is about creativity and hard work (also known as “inspiration and perspiration”). The creativity I am focused on right now is thinking about the all the companies that have the right resources and relationships to sell ROI but aren’t currently selling telecom services at all. More to come on this thought . . .

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO West 2010

I am looking forward to attending TMC’s IT EXPO next week in Los Angeles. I have attended the last several IT EXPOs and have found them well-run and well-attended. This time I am looking forward to being able to participate in a number of the sessions.

Tuesday, October 5th at 10am – Presenting at Reseller Day 2.0
This is an innovative session. Typically trade shows have lots of sessions about technology segments or other somewhat abstract topics and it falls on the attendees to figure out how the content can benefit them. The intent of this session is to allow attendees to hear a series of brief presentations about products and services that they can practically run right out and resell. Given that InPhonex pioneered private-label VoIP resale eight years ago and has more than 3,500 resellers today, I am especially excited about being able to speak directly to a room full of eager potential resellers.

Tuesday, October 5th at 10:30am – Moving from Concept to Cash Flow with SaaS-Based Switching & Network Management Services
For this session I will be on a panel with other executives discussing the evolving technical and business models in the cloud-based business environment. It’s tough to predict the actual direction that a panel will take (and that’s part of what makes them interesting) but I expect to offer input from the InPhonex perspective which is that we have entered “the era of applications” and the demands on telecom service providers have changed. The competitive battleground has shifted. For a generation customers’ telecom decisions have been based largely on the “price” leg of the three-legged product, price, support stool. Today the “product” or application leg is bearing a lot of weight: consumers and businesses are demanding advanced features, powerful integration, and ease-of-use. For a clear illustration of this shift look at the mobile service/device/application marketplace(s). Many Internet telephony service providers are so consumed with managing their telecom platform (which they perceive to be essential to maintaining control of their service and its cost) and maximizing their distribution that they haven’t prioritized creating competitive applications. InPhonex offers an alternative: outsource your telecom platform needs to InPhonex and focus your resources to succeed in “the era of applications”.

Tuesday, October 5th at 11:30am – Minutes Merchants: Peering from Arbitrage to Outsourcing
This panel will be hosted by Hugh Goldstein who is someone I always enjoy having a conversation with – especially about our industry – because he is so knowledgeable. Again, predicting the content of a panel is tough but this one should be interesting because it is focused on an interesting topic about which I expect there are passionate views. It seems to me that the central question at issue is whether the wholesale “minutes merchants” business is dead or dying. I have my opinion: which is that predictions of this sort are inherently risky. Sometimes a “dying” business or segment is just one innovation away from a new peak. What I do know is that InPhonex is not focused on being a wholesaler. We believe that while remaining aware of wholesale pricing levels – and their psychological impact on our customers – InPhonex needs to remain focused on the value-add that our platform delivers. A wholesale minute or DID is not a solution. It’s like a single piece of a puzzle that many current and aspiring service providers don’t fully appreciate. To continue the analogy, many tend to think they are building a 10-piece puzzle when the reality is closer to a 100-piece puzzle.

Wednesday, October 6th at 9:30am – The Business Case for VoIP – Going Beyond ROI and TCO
This should be a great panel. I will share the dais with executives from other Internet telephony service providers to discuss what could be the Big Question for all of us right now: what are benefits of VoIP services that don’t show up on a lower monthly bill and how will these benefits get communicated to the marketplace? We have or are soon to reach the end of the opportunity to “pick the low-hanging fruit” of businesses and consumers that can reap huge savings with a switch to VoIP. We need to get proficient having a persuasive conversation about increased productivity, improved reachability, lower administrative costs, and the like. The providers that succeed at this have an opportunity for tremendous growth. Those that fail will be left fighting tooth and nail over the price-focused buyers. InPhonex’ core offering is to liberate service providers to focus on product excellence and advancement – by allowing them to outsource their telephony platform. The service providers that focus on the power and innovation of their offerings will be in a better position to have a credible dialog beyond “here’s how much lower your monthly bill will be with us . . .”

So next week is shaping up to be an active and exciting one for InPhonex and me. I hope to see many of our current customers at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Please attend one or all of the sessions above and, if you do, come up and introduce yourself – I am always eager to speak with a current or prospective customer.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thoughts from the SAP Executive Partner Summit

by Matt Bramson, InPhonex CSO

I spent the day today at the SAP Executive Partner Summit in Mexico and three experiences stood out:
  1. Singh Mecker of SAP provided some worthwhile perspective. For perhaps thirty years businesses have been capturing and storing data. There are now 4.6 billion mobile devices in the hands of consumers and they are demanding fast, effective access to that data. SAP wants to "orchestrate" (their current buzzword) that interaction. In Latin America (the focus of this Partner Summit) SAP has a massive marketshare lead (four times the share of their next competitor). The SAP ecosystem of customers and partners seems to have tremendous momentum. Curiously voice applications seem to be largely overlooked -- good thing I am suffering at a luxurious beachside resort for a few days to be here.

  2. The keynote speaker was Simon Sinek, a Columbia professor and author. His presentation was very focused (which is a rare treat). He drew a target with three concentric circles and wrote "What" in the outer ring, "How" in the second ring, and "Why" in the center. His point was that most companies approach their customers with the What -- the products and services they provide -- then they go to the How -- that they have superior manufacturing processes or service quality -- and if they get to Why it is something like "to make money" or "to generate a high return on invested capital". But, Sinek argues, the Why is what connects emotionally with customers and this "outside-in" approach doesn't inspire anyone -- not customers nor employees. Great companies, on the other hand, “Start With Why” (the title of his book). Great companies make sure their customers and employees focus on the Why and then the How and What follow from that. He gave a few examples (like Apple -- of course) but I thought I'd try the exercise on InPhonex . . .

    1. Why? To provide consumers, businesses, and partners with the tools they need to create powerful, flexible, and profitable voice solutions without requiring them to invest significant capital, build and maintain infrastructure, or establish relationships with multiple telecom service providers.

    2. How? By building the InPhonex platform that has components to support the communication and collaboration needs of consumers, small businesses, enterprises, resellers, and service providers; that has online interfaces and payment tools for end users, administrators, entrepreneurs, and carriers; that has a scalable SOA architecture and complete APIs; and that is supported by an experienced, passionate team.

    3. What? Calling Plans, SIP Trunks, Hosted PBXs, worldwide DIDs/LNP, and many, many more products and services.

    So our goal, according to Sinek, is not to do business with everyone possible but rather to do business with the people who believe what we believe -- the people that connect with our Why. So the InPhonex customers we want are the ones that value our powerful, flexible platform and what we allow them to do with it. The consumers that don't connect to our Why may become our customer through manipulation (unbeatable pricing, fear, peer pressure, etc.) but not by inspiration. Some may even be repeat purchasers but they will never be loyal customers.

    Philosophically, I think he's right on. At first it seems counter-intuitive that the goal is not to have as many customers as possible. But if a majority of your customers are not on-board with your core mission and are only with you because you have successfully manipulated them, it is almost impossible not to lose your way (create and endless parade of products or promotions or other incentives to keep them). But if most of your customers believe in your vision and are loyal to it, how can you go wrong?

  3. Lastly I had a chance to spend almost an hour talking privately with Patricia Hume, SAP’s dynamic Senior Vice President of their Global SME Indirect Channel. Our conversation covered a wide range of topics but, given her background as a senior executive at Avaya (where we crossed paths when I was with XO – an Avaya Platinum Partner), I was particularly interested in hearing whether she would validate my observation that the SAP ecosystem seems to have a dearth of voice applications. I think it’s fair to say that she agreed that SAP-integrated voice applications could be a fit for the ecosystem – particularly with SMEs. So it seems as soon as I get back from the beach we may have some work to do.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

'Us, or A Whole Group' for Voice Services: InPhonex CSO

Recently TMC's CEO Rich Tehrani had a chance to sit down and interview the Chief Sales Officer of InPhonex, Matt Bramson.

The company's seven years old, and according to Bramson, the vision was to create a platform that could be used to create and resell Web services. READ FULL ARTICLE >

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

'Us, or A Whole Group' for Voice Services: InPhonex CSO

Recently TMC's CEO Rich Tehrani had a chance to sit down and interview the Chief Sales Officer of InPhonex (News - Alert), Matt Bramson.

The company's seven years old, and according to Bramson, the vision was to create a platform that could be used to create and resell Web services. READ MORE >

InPhonex: 'We Are Entering a New Era'

For today’s service providers, there’s no time like the present to invest in lucrative next-generation communications, from video to HD voice.

In turn, there’s no better time to be a company like InPhonex, which is focused on helping service providers create telephony products without having to dig their heels too deeply into telephony. READ FULL ARTICLE >

InPhonex Offers the Total Solution for VoIP Services

Miami, Fla.-based InPhonex (News - Alert) is a global carrier providing comprehensive telephony solutions since 2003. The company first made its mark as a creator and reseller of VoIP services. Today, they offer a “total solution” for what Matt Bramson, chief sales officer at InPhonex described as, “a whole new species,” looking to add telephony services but without the burden of hosting and maintaining the services on their own. READ FULL ARTICLE >

InPhonex in the News: Juliana Kenny with the TMC Newsroom

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Interview with Matt Bramson, CSO

Erin Harrison of TMC interviews our CSO, Matt Bramson at ITExpo East 2010. Bramson speaks about VarPhonex Partner Solutions, the successes of 2009 and outlook for 2010. See full interview here.

Monday, January 18, 2010

TMC Interview with Matt Bramson

Susan Campbell, TMC Editor interviews Matt Bramson, CSO of VarPhonex. Read the full article here.

VarPhonex to Particiate at ITExpo East 2010

Come visit us at ITExpo East, Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami, Florida from January 20-22, 2010 at Booth 124.

For more information about ITExpo, visit TMC's website.