Take a Deep Breath

Take a Deep Breath

Steve Davies of Vegastream

It’s not that we can ‘fix up’ patients attending the Comms Business Magazine surgery but we can listen and report back what they consider to be their news stories and announcements first hand rather than wading through the spin of countless press releases.

At the time of writing we have held three day surgeries in Basingstoke and have a two day surgery in Manchester to come. In essence the surgery offers channel players an open goal in to which they should kick their ball – so to speak. It was therefore amazing to see people turning up late – as much as 45 minutes for a 60 minute meeting, or in the case of BT distributor DMSL, not turning up at all. I know now where dentists, doctors and hospitals are coming from when they stress the need to let them know if you can’t make it.


Prime Business

First through the door was reseller Prime Business, now part of the 2e2 Group of companies, albeit the largest part at 40%. Basically, all prime wanted to do was let the magazine know they were there. How were they feeling then about VoIP?

Prime’s Nick Grossman said the company was on the CPE side of the fence and that he belived that companies had been burnt with BT’s Featureline VoIP service. “We

see some demand from SMEs for a hosted service and may host a Mitel or Cisco switch ourselves to serve these users. The managed service market is more of a play for Prime where we can provide adds, moves and changes, software upgrades and put a roadmap in place for our customers.



David Jackson Browne has made a market for his company by becoming UK distributor for Czech based innovator 2N who manufacture a number Take a Deep Breath June 2006 comms business 57 Steve Davies of Vegastream of products including GSM gateways. Browne says that Wavelink will re-launch in the next twelve months and that the gateway business will then only represent around 10% of his business. “Door entry systems are going really well right now,” says Browne, “in fact we now have a 2N GSM door entry system which has a SIM card inside that calls the desk phone of the person being visited. It can also be set to open doors remotely from a GSM and prices start from around £400 RRP.

2N has also come up with a new PBX system called Netstar which Browne showed at Comms Channel Expo. It’s a hybrid 50 to 1000 user system, although we were told that there will also be a baby version due.

“The unique points to the PBX are that it has a GSM SIM card for FMC applications and offers free calls between twinned mobiles to the desk phone. This will provide huge cost savings and attack the DECT market.”

Finally, Browne outlined a new product he will be marketing called TxTel. The idea here is to replace 118 xxx by texting ‘company name’ to 89752 and then getting a call back from that company in ten minutes.



Let firstly say that anyone who drives from Manchester to Basingstoke for a one hour meeting is keen. Voice4Ip marketing manager Maria Goggins say the company is the voice arm of Netservices and provides a fully managed and hosted IP telephony offering to the channel.

Netservices was established in 1996 as an ISP but is now a voice and data solution provider who bought the assets of Telefonica in the UK in 2005. Telefonica had a datastream network and it is this that is used to run their VoIP over.

Goggins says her company has developed their own Linux based softswitch and that they have two of them. The Voice4IP proposition is to offer a white label provisioning and management portal where the reseller can manage their own user pricing strategies. Add to this a 45 day trial proposition for users, a £15.00 per user per month cost for a wide range of telephony features and it all looks pretty sound.

Goggins says that there are a number of challenges ahead, not least of which is a change of attitude and culture in the channel. “VoIP is just another application running over the network and the channel should stop being afraid of the technology and instead regard it as just another phone system.



This was the first time I had met Steve Davis since he left Mitel last autumn. Now VP of Sales & Marketing at the VoIP gateway vendor Davis was keen to point out that the market for IP gateways was huge. Distribution in the UK is handled by Equip and Vcomm “

The churn of the old TDM PBX base has a long way to go. Estimates by analysts MZA say that only 30% of the base will be churned by 2010. VegaStream is investing in a management system for their gateways that will allow remote management by resellers. The most important thing for resellers to be able to see is that the gateway is working effectively and still sending our call minutes. If this is not the case then our management system will send out an SMS or email alert to the reseller service department. That’s just four of the eight we saw on day one. More to follow.


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