Comms Business talks to Steve Harris of SIPHON and discusses their recent acquisition of VCOMM and provide an insight into what makes VCOMM a key voice and unified communications Distributor
SIPHON, the provider of unified communications technology, acquired VCOMM at the end of 2012 and VCOMM now operates as the Distribution business unit within SIPHON as a 100% owned subsidiary.
VCOMM is a trade-only, value- add voice and unified communications distributor and provide specialist IP Telephony and convergence products. Their focus is on delivering innovation to their customers through a consultative and solution led approach. VCOMM has now moved to a new office and warehousing facility in Newbury and doubled their staffing.
Comms Business (CB):You recently acquired VCOMM- Why was VCOMM the right business?
Steve Harris (SH): We had already been working with VCOMM for a while and from our experience it was very evident that they had a similar philosophy to SIPHON in providing extended technical support to their customers rather than simply just reselling or distributing products. In addition, VCOMM had an interesting product portfolio that complemented SIPHON and both companies are solely focused on unified communications technology and selling indirectly through Partners so it was quite a straightforward decision to acquire VCOMM.
CB: Why was the time right for SIPHON?
SH: We had been asked by several of our existing customers to provide extended support in deploying CPE based solutions and VCOMM represented a good investment opportunity and an ideal vehicle to support this activity. SIPHON has developed close partnerships with our existing hosted telephony customer base and VCOMM has a good history and pedigree in providing solutions to telecoms and IT resellers. Ultimately the requirements of all three customer types are converging and they are all looking for the same type of extended technical support that both SIPHON and VCOMM are able provide.
CB: Is there an intention to merge the two companies?
SH: Both companies remain separate legal entities and we don’t plan to change this in the short term. However, we have made considerable progress with regard to integrating the two companies at an operational level. VCOMM can now leverage the extended scale and skills of SIPHON engineering resources and where relevant the SIPHON product portfolio has now been fully integrated into VCOMM.
CB: What changes can we expect to see from VCOMM now?
SH: We have made several new investments into VCOMM already including significantly increasing previous staffing levels, integrating all VCOMM technical support and engineering services with SIPHON plus moving into a new larger warehousing and demonstration facility in Newbury. Innovation is important to our customers in this market and we have some genuinely compelling and disruptive new products ready for release in the next few months across mobility, UC security and call recording.
CB: What makes VCOMM different?
SH: In our view, distribution requires a completely different engagement and fulfilment model for unified communications. Our telecoms/IT resellers and service provider customers don’t just want a product catalogue, part codes and associated pricing but they want to partner with someone that can demonstrate innovation and then help deliver this with the associated expertise and engineering resources. Customers come to VCOMM to deliver a mobile PBX solution on an iPad, an SBC or Gateway for SIP Trunking, or, a PCI compliant call recording solution and they want our extended capabilities to deliver and support these platforms and services and to speak to a company that knows how to successfully deliver this.
CB: What are you offering that is compelling at the moment over your competitors?
SH: VCOMM is continually working closely with all our suppliers to deliver new innovative and disruptive solutions that our customers can easily monetise. We are certainly already regarded as market leaders in delivering UC security and session border controller platforms, we will launch a very disruptive SIP based call recording offering this month and we have just launched a new soft phone solution based on BRIA across IOS, Android and Windows Desktop which comes with automated provisioning and based on a monthly subscription model. Lastly we have built on some of the initial work by VCOMM and have developed some unique product bundles and engineering services surrounding Microsoft Lync Enterprise Voice.
CB: What can we expect in the future?
SH: VCOMM will continue to be at the forefront of UC technology and innovation and certainly the focus will be to continue to deliver extended technical support and expertise as well as market leading products. We are fortunate to have a unique insight into UC solutions across hosted telephony, traditional telecoms resellers and also IT resellers with Microsoft Lync environments. This ensures we maintain and continually develop our knowledge base and expertise and can provide the type of support all our customers depend on. Lastly we will only sell indirectly so our partners know they can work closely with us without compromise.
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