Estech Systems, Inc. (ESI) gained instant entry recently into the cloud unified communications (UC) market by acquiring Vintalk hosted PBX and SIP trunking services from San Diego-based Vinculum Communications (News - Alert).
Vinculum has been providing hosted communications services since 2001, including hosted IP-PBX, SIP trunking, audio conferencing, fax services, disaster recovery, Internet access and international calling, to over 50 countries.
Specifically, ESI has purchased the retail assets of Vintalk, namely the infrastructure and the customer base associated with Vintalk’s SIP trunking and hosted PBX solutions. The transaction closed on January 9, 2013, and ESI is already offering the SIP trunking service, as well as audio conferencing, fax services and disaster recovery (these services are available as of January 20, 2013).
The company also supports "bursting" to give customers additional peak capacity if needed.
ESI will roll out the hosted PBX service in the second quarter of 2013 in conjunction with its own line of SIP telephones, now in beta testing. ESI resellers will primarily target businesses in North America (U.S., Canada), but also in Mexico.
The hosted or cloud UC market is maturing quickly, and the buzz of innovation around this market is refreshing and encouraging. In fact, though forecasts differ slightly, the various market research firms all predict strong growth in the cloud UC market. Research and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan (News - Alert) says the North American Hosted IP telephony installed base will reach 17.5 million users by 2018, representing 15 percent of the total business telephony user base.
Hosted PBX services offer an alternative to traditional on-premises phone systems. Businesses can simply subscribe for a monthly service fee to access telephony system features and applications without having to deploy or maintain any system equipment onsite.
Many small businesses are finding that a fixed-rate (pay-as-you-go), quickly deployable hosted solution is appealing in today’s challenging and uncertain economic environment – this makes budgeting easy and also avoids getting locked into a particular solution for the long term.
ESI has been developing and selling premises-based business communications products for small and mid-sized businesses (SMB) across North America since 1987. The company currently offers a family of IP-enabled Communications Servers (ESI-50/100/200/600/1000) and a new, scalable, native IP system (IP Server 900), as well as associated phones and applications.
Now, with the acquisition of the Vintalk assets, ESI resellers can offer customers a subscription to a hosted PBX solution in lieu of purchasing on-site equipment.
ESI sees multisite businesses with small, branch locations as a particularly good opportunity since hosted services make it so easy to scale and tie in remote locations as requirements grow and change. So whether a business decides to subscribe to a hosted service or prefers to purchase and install PBX equipment onsite, ESI resellers are now in a position to meet any requirement.
ESI Hosted Services Fast Facts:
- Services: SIP Trunking, Audio Conferencing, Fax Services, Disaster Recovery (GA January 2013); Hosted IP-PBX (GA 2Q2013)
- Target (News - Alert) Market: Primarily North America (U.S., Canada), plus Mexico
- Capacity: Scalable (sweet spot 4-400 seats)
- Data Centers: Los Angeles, New York
- Call Control: Based on NetSapiens (News - Alert) SNAPswitch technology
- User Devices: ESI SIP phones (GA 2Q2013) or 3rd party SIP phones from Panasonic, Polycom, Yealink and snom; Linksys (News - Alert) analog telephone adapters
ESI joins a number of other traditional business telephony vendors that are adding hosted UC services to their portfolio of premises-based IP-PBX, contact center, messaging and other UC solutions. Several are also beginning to offer (or develop) ‘hybrid’ solutions that include both hosted services and onsite solutions for businesses not yet ready to move all of their communications to the cloud.
For example, a business with an existing PBX already located on-site may find that subscribing to a call recording service or a disaster recovery service is more desirable than installing additional hardware and/or software for this onsite. ESI and others anticipate that these hybrid solutions will be a winning combination and will likely make sense for many businesses.
ESI’s SIP trunking service, based on the Vintalk acquisition, was launched on January 29, 2013, as well as Audio Conferencing, Fax Services and Disaster Recovery services. The ESI hosted PBX services will become available in the second quarter of 2013 in conjunction with a new line of ESI-developed SIP telephones for entry-level, mid-range and advanced needs.
Edited by Braden Becker