Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Canadian News Items - Voxilla to Re-sell Polycom, and Cable Telephony Gaining Momentum

Two quick items of note today for the Canadian IP communications market.

First, Voxilla has just announced being a certified reseller of Polycom's products. The "aha" here is that they are the first distributor to have this status whose business is solely focused on VoIP, and whose channel is essentially Internet-based.

This is good news for Voxilla, as it moves them up the food chain from being a pure sales channel. They have invested in developing the product expertise needed to be a certified reseller, which should open the door to bigger sales opprotunities. For now, they will be carrying Polycom's line of Soundpoint IP phones, as well as their Soundstation IP conference phone.

This is also a good sign that the IP ecosystem is maturing. When a major vendor like Polycom certifies Voxilla as a reseller, it's a nice credibility boost for VoIP distributors to be bona fide channels. It validates them as being "value-added", and it also validates the Internet itself as a credible route to market. Looks like a win-win to me. Furthermore, since Voxilla is a hybrid distributor/publisher, they are in a great position to support Polycom with the written word in addition to their technical staff.

So, what's the Canadian angle? Thought you'd never ask. This is really more of a U.S. story - true - but it has a Canadian flavor. I recently posted that Voxilla has opened a Canadian operation in B.C., as they've noted strong demand here for VoIP products. Good for them, and good for Canada. Our IP ecosystem needs this kind of support, and now with Polycom, let's hope it continues to grow.

The second item is about VoIP cable telephony. Now that all 4 major MSOs are in the market, the papers have been talking about their collective progress. So far, Shaw and Videotron have made the most noise by far, with about 65,000 subscribers between them. That's a pretty good take rate considering their footprints, and the fact that both have only been available in a handful of urban markets.

Rogers is the biggest player, but just launched this month, so their impact really won't be felt until later this year. Cogeco is the other major MSO, and they operate in both Ontario and Quebec. On yesterday's conference call, they only announced a handful of customers, and gave every indication that VoIP is not their main priority. They're only investing $5 million in Capex, and expect no more than 8,000 VoIP subs by year end. Not an ambitious target, and I really don't see them being much of a driver in this space. So for me, Cogeco's news basically told me not to spend too much time following them, and to focus more on what the other MSOs are doing. And that's what I'll be doing.


ipcom said...

Posted by: Cory

We are also a Polycom Certified VAR, Voxilla's press release regarding their being the first in the space was actually incorrect. We are focused 100% on resale and distribution of VOIP specific hardware and software solutions, and became Polycom certified as of 11/15/2004.

Where we differ from Voxilla is in that Polycom restricts our sales of Polycom SoundPoint IP Phones to customers who are using a Polycom Certified Partner platform. These include Sphere, Sylantro, Interactive Intelligence and others.

We are not allowed to sell Polycom products to Asterisk users, and have been closely monitored by Polycom to ensure that we are only selling to customers who are using a Polycom Certified solution.

Voxilla seems not to be held to the same restrictions regarding who they can sell product to, although they are enrolled in the same channel/certification that we are.

ipcom said...

Posted by: Lonnie

It's a bit of an apples v. oranges kind of thing, but Voxilla stands by what we said in the press release, that we are the first online VoIP VAR to be Polycom Certified for sale and support of Polycom voice products without restriction.

Our support department worked very closely with Polycom to assure Polycom's confidence in our ability to support Polycom products for any operating platform, which has been and remains very important to our customers in the Asterisk community. Until we gained Polycom's support in this endeavor it had been very difficult for Asterisk-based VoIP solutions to utilize Polycom products.

We do not expect, especially given the rapid growth of the VoIP industry, that our position in this space will be exclusive, however we did think and still believe it was worthy of bringing to the attention of the VoIP community with the press release.

ipcom said...

Posted by: wireless conference phones

You might also want to check out their new wireless conference phones too. The Soundstation2w.

ipcom said...

Posted by: wireless conference phones

You might also want to check out their new wireless conference phones too. The Soundstation2w.

ipcom said...

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