We are really excited to let you know that that we have closed an agreement to buy Omega Telecom a licensed telecom carrier based in Cyprus.
In the past few years we acquired a number of call centers based in Cyprus as customers and became familiar with the local telecom market. These call centers enjoy our unique services such as Local Phone Numbers in 50 countries with Dynamic Caller ID. With Dynamic Caller ID, call centers see a tremendous rise in calls answered and sales closed!
While there are 6-7 other active licensed carriers in Cyprus, there is plenty of room for innovative services such as those offered by our company. So when the CEO of Omega told us that he is interested in selling the company, it did not take us long to make an offer.
Why are we excited? Well for a number of reasons. Cyprus has become a major financial center due to it’s central location, membership in the EU and low tax rate. Many of these companies can profit from our IP services.
In addition we will now have our own range of geographic, premium (900), national (77) and toll free (800) numbers. In many cases we can offer a substantial payback for use of our numbers, which makes it even more profitable.
In the next few weeks we will finalize our plan and hire a local sales team. We are looking forward to becoming a major force in the Cyprus telecom market. Please contact me for more information. I will be happy to discuss with you more details!
Remember the days ten, twenty years ago when you thought twice about calling your mother back home? Long Distance calls were expensive, regulated to weekends when rates were discounted.
With the 21st century came the VoIP revolution and now you could call all over the USA and even worldwide for that matter, for a few cents a minute. VoIP brought with it another benefit, even more exciting that cheap calls – Local Phone Numbers.
Instead of calling Mom, you could just give her a phone number in her home town which would ring on your phone 2500 miles away. The cost was only a few dollars a month.
Pretty quick businesses saw the opportunity and picked up numbers to give them a “local presence”. Nowadays when a call on your phone shows a NY number, you don’t if it is from NY, Chicago or maybe India….
The Vonages marketed this function heavily and many subscribers have more than one local number assigned to their line. But here is the catch – if you have more than one number what do you show on the outgoing caller id when you make a call?? After all if a NY customer calls you on your NY number, it is not very effective to return his call with a Miami number, is it?
Of course you could get multiple VoiP lines and assign different local numbers to them, or even more painful – use your providers web interface and set the outgoing caller ID each time you make a call. Not too efficient, I would say.
The past few months we have been testing the Dynamic Caller ID solution with our customers. One line (SIP account/trunk in techie language) and Multiple Caller IDs. The cool part is that the system displays the local caller ID based on the destination that you call. So for example if you call LA, the recipient of the call would see your LA number on his phone. Call London and it displays your London local number!
With Dynamic Caller ID, you need only one phone account and you can have local presence in over 50 countries! The Flat Planet Phone Company will be displaying this wonderful service next week at ITEXPO in Miami. We will be at Booth 333. Seeya there!
I hate blowing my own horn, but three years after founding The Flat Planet Phone Company one of the best things I like about our business is that the money comes in whether you are awake or asleep. Beep beep goes my blackberry each time money is deposited by one of our prepaid customers. The BB beeps day and night (though I try to turn it off at night…)
I believe that selling Hosted VoIP services is one of the greatest business opportunities on the market. Why? Your customers are happy, since you provide them with a feature packed service for less than they paid for their legacy phone service. You are happy since you make one sale and get steady recurring income month after month!
So I wasn’t surprised to see the report from business analyst IBIS WORLD that VoIP is the best performing industry of the DECADE! VoIP has grown an astronomical 179035.8% since 2002!
The industry that was hot a century ago (textile and clothing) is now the worst performing, and is not expected to shine in the coming decade. VoIP providers are on the other hand predicted to lead all industries in growth over the coming decade as they did this decade.
Makes you wonder what are you waiting for? Contact the Flat Planet Phone Company – TODAY!
For the last few months, ever since ITEXPO, I have been convinced that we are about to explode. Our resellers tell me that they rarely get a NO from SMB leads. It is just a good proposition, all over.
Last week Forbes came out with an article by Gene Marks. “The Value of VoIP”
Peter Radizeski put up a great post on his TMC blog. Unlike the Forbes article which was a little superficial, Rad really details why Hosted VoIP is exploding. Some of the points he brought up are —
I have to think that in the economic reality we are facing, the distributed workforce, the tele-worker, and the mobility of employees, more and more lines will move to VoIP. For cost savings as well as productivity reasons
There are so many reasons for small and medium businesses (and self-employed persons) to migrate to VoIP that I don’t see it being stagnant for long.
The point I liked best and the one that I always stress to our resellers is
Many of the people selling VoIP pitch the cost savings. Wrong! There will be changes, so it needs to start with a conversation about how the business operates and uses the current phone system. It takes longer but it is the best approach. Looking at the bill and shaving points off it hasn’t been highly successful for CLEC’s, who have spent billions to make millions.
Rad is right that is what Hosted PBX is all about. More Features, No Equipment, One Virtual PBX for all offices and cost savings. What more could you want? If for some reason you are not yet reselling Hosted PBX service to the SMB market, don’t wait contact us today
Last week I blogged on Where have all the bloggers gone?
After posting the note on Facebook my words seemed to have hit on a subject that is on many of my friends minds. The comments were enlightening! Here are some of the comments –
Also on a closely related note – Jeff Pulver posted today, how he is coping with the changing world of online social interaction!
Gal Mor: I like the concept of slow blogging - http://toddsieling.com/slowblog/?page_id=10 Tweet fast, blog slow
Luca: I noticed this, too.
In my case, I’m writing regularly and taking care of my blog (just moved to a better hosting, premium theme and so on) but covering VoIP less. My interestes are much more than VoIP only, so I like writing about different subjects.
Can’t give you an answer for the other bloggers, but I think Andy is the only one who keeps focusing on mainly VoIP/Telecom subjects.
Garret Smith: Personally I got into blogging about VoIP to write about “unique” aspects or take an angle that others don’t, but with 50+ others, that gets hard.
Now that it’s dying down, I’m getting back to 3 – 5 posts at SmithOnVoIP.com in addition to the 5+ at blog.voipsupply.com.
Sean O Sullivan:Yep. Short answer: I am still doing blog posts – only when I have something that I think merits a proper “post” – something with at least a few paragraphs, perhaps a beginning a middle and an end, or an interview with someone else.
For lots of other stuff which might have gone to the blog in the past (short “hey – look at this!” stuff) – I use … Read Moretwitter, LinkedIn and FaceBook.
My Google Reader subscribes to 44 VoIP related blogs. Lately I noticed that much less posts so I decided to do a little research, and here are the results –
1. In the last month, only 27 have any posts at all
2. On the average I now receive in my reader about 8 VoIP related posts a day as opposed to 25-30 a day a year ago.
3. Personally – my blog The Flat Planet and a Phone has seen only one post in the last month
What happened to all the bloggers? Are they they blogging less? Why?
In review it seems that some of the semi-pro bloggers like Jeff, Andy and Luca are still blogging regularly and some like Pat are blogging less. However all of them, like myself are pretty active on twitter and facebook!
In my mind that is the answer! For most of the ideas I want to express, twitter is a great solution. True there are more complicated issues that you can not fit into 140 characters, but once you get use to twittering your ideas it ain’t easy to go back to legacy blogging!
Do you blog? How has twitter changed your blogging habits? How has this effected your business? I know in the past customers have come to us as a result of reading my blog. Will the same customers find me on twitter? I would love to hear your comments!
In the mid 80s I saw my first call center in Atlanta, GA. While I can’t remember why I was in Atlanta, I definitely remember the impressive tour. Seats for 400 agents were set in a theater like hall. The CEO of the company sat on a raised platform and oversaw his troops.
While such call centers still do exist, many have moved to a much more cozy atmosphere, your bedroom. Working from home, is a win win situation for both companies and employees. VoIP services have enabled home workers for a few years already, but until recently they did not fully emulate the call center functionality such as what I saw 20 years ago in Atlanta.
In addition to sophisticated queue routing capabilities, call centers must have management tools so
managers can track calls status in real time. At the Flat Planet Phone Company, we have recognized these needs. We have developed two solutions for customers who want to deploy distributed home based call centers.
First, we have enhanced the basic Flat Planet Hosted PBX to include enhanced queue management, Call Spying and Call Whispering. These 2 functions let a manager listen on an agents call and talk to the agent without the customer hearing the manager.
These functions are now included for free in the standard FPP Hosted PBX.
Today we are taking the solution to the next level. We are integrating with a 3rd party solution that includes central real time graphs & reports, so the manager can see how employees worldwide are handling there calls, without intruding into the privacy of the employees bedroom…
Now you can have your cake and eat it too! Allow your workers to work from the comfort of home, but still be in control. A great solution for the current economy.
In the summer of 68, my father was a volunteer at the Democratic convention in Chicago. While the convention made history due to the violence that erupted around it, I remember it for a different reason. My father came home after the first day at the convention and told us how there was a note on each seat “Please do not pick your nose, you may be on camera”….
Fast Forward 40 years, cameras are everywhere. No matter where you go, you can not escape being filmed. Surveillance cameras are everywhere! Without thinking too much, I recall 3 recent events that were recorded on camera.
The most famous was the landing of the plane on the Hudson River.
Last week a terror attack on a Jerusalem expressway by a tractor driver was filmed by highway surveillance cameras ending with the shooting of the attacker.
Sad but funny is a video that caught a number of robbers breaking into a jewelry store in Jerusalem, while an armed guard points his gun at them. That doesn’t fluster the robbers and they throw a plate of glass at him and take off with baskets of gold!
The world has changed, no longer do we need to be reminded that we may be on camera, we are!
How does this affect your life?
Luca made an interesting point today:
It is very useful when you just update Twitter a couple of times during the day, with messages like “Lunch”, “Dinner”, “Office” or “I wonder why You Exist”. On the contrary, if you use Twitter intensely as I’ve been doing for the past weeks, it becomes a real pain for your Facebook friends. I’ll tell you why.Why I Removed The Twitter App For Facebook, Mar 2009
For those of us, who didn’t make it, Dean’s summary is enlightening!
I’ve been pretty saturated with the content from the presentations over the last three days, plus chatting to a broad range of people, some familiar friends and some newcomers.
It’s difficult to pick out specific highlights, especially as some of the coolest stuff I’ve heard before. But some of the things that stick in the mind are:
* An endless procession of telecom web API platform providers, all of whom are talking about cool mashups, CEBP and assorted other voice apps. Ribbit, Jaduka (under new CEO-ship of Mr Mashup Thomas Howe), Adhearsion, IfByPhone, Voxeo, Metaswitch and others. All pretty cool, although they still seem to me to be very fixed-voice focused.
* iPhones everywhere. OK, there’s huge uptake of them in the US, and they are very cool. But addressing the Apple market is still only a tiny slice of the world mobile phone user base.
* Surprisingly little about handset web runtimes & widgets
* A cool service called TokTok from DiTech Networks, which injects voice commentary as an extra overlay into live phone calls – allowing voice interruptions or whispers while you’re on a live call (“Your football team just scored!”) etc
* A supercool presentation from Ge Wang of Smule – the company that does the “lighter” app for iPhones. They do really clever things with the audio on the device, which also means they can do apps like the Ocarina flute, for which you blow into the handset microphone
* Rebelvox, which has an interesting “timeshifting” voice technology, which essentially acts as a hybrid between push-to-talk and voice messaging and telephony. This is essentially another form of “non-telephony” VoIPo3G.
* Lots of the usual rhetoric about net neutrality, lobbying on fibre and spectrum etc. It’s always worth getting a reminder about how competition just doesn’t work in US telecoms – and how much resentment the various carriers seem to be able to garner. Coming from the UK, with copper, cable, fibre, 5 3G operators and 20+ wholesale/unbundled local loop operators I still find it hard to get too exercised by this whole issue. Although I agree with Brough Turner that it would be nice to find a way to push 100Mbit/s to everyone.
* I still find it difficult to get excited – or even vaguely interested – by Twitter. Although I can’t justify it yet as it’s still growing, I’m enjoying using the term “legacy Twitter” just to annoy the more evangelical enthusiasts. (I also like terms like “legacy IMS” and “tyranny of the SIM card” – religious extremists usually have the least sense of humour about these sorts of things, so deserve to be wound-up occasionally). By next year’s eComm, I expect to be able to say Legacy Twitter without the irony.
* A couple of speakers (including Alan Duric from Telio) have shown really cool fixed IP-screenphones for use at home. Someone else showed one from Verizon. I think that these sort of terminals (with integrated web services on a decent-sized screen, and useable videocomms) could well extend the life of the “landline” despite the usual “cutting the cord” rhetoric prevalent this side of the Pond.
* I’ve seen absolutely nothing new here to suggest that Android will be important, especially in 2009/2010. As before, I think it’s foolish to write off Google, but I still can’t see the appeal or relevance of the platform to anyone except a few developers excited by the prospect of open source.
* Some good commentary from Google’s Washington counsel about net neutrality – “network netrality is about the outcome, not the path”. Basically saying it doesn’t need extra regulation -pointing out that most broadband providers currently don’t mess about with access pipes.
* Fascinating presentation from Cullen Jennings from Cisco about the possibility of network operators limiting the numbers of TCP connections per user, as a sort of back-door way to do traffic and application management.
* The Calliflower platform from Iotum looked highly usable as way to do easy web-based teleconferencing and collaboration. I might actually try this out myself.
* Fonolo’s “deep dialling” into IVR systems is still cool (as it was at least year’s eComm)
* Interesting discussions & presentations about new approaches to spectrum management – especially extending beyond the “white space” paradigm to a better way of reclaiming and exploiting underused spectrum, even if it is currently licenced to someone. A lot of this seems to revolve around US issues in rural areas that are underserved by fixed broadband. As a native central Londoner I tend to switch off when people start talking about rural connectivity, but I recognise that the US has quite low population density so clearly this is an important topic here.
* Skype announced its free licencing of its wideband codec, which seemed well-received among people I spoke to
* Interesting presentation about “natural interfaces” from Microsoft, plus a great future-looking video, revolving heavily around e-paper, touchscreens, speech input etc.