In answer to the dearth of solutions – premise-based and hosted – for very small businesses, Canada-based Jazinga Inc. Tuesday officially launched its eponymous IP PBX targeting the under 20 employee business market.
The Jazinga appliance, which is available for sale through channel partners, combines the features of corporate telephone systems with wireless networking, fax and e-mail. Telephony features include an auto attendant, voice mail, conferencing, call forwarding, on-hold music and more.
Jazinga CEO Randy Busch said he wanted to create a do-it-yourself system, but not one with fewer or watered down features. In his experience small businesses, by virtue of the multitasking nature of their workforces, need more functionality, not less, he explained.
Any of the existing systems he researched on the market didn’t fit the bill. “A lot of product say they are easy to use, but what that means is that they are easy for VARs to use,” he said, explaining that they aren’t set up like consumer products, e.g. a wireless LAN, that offers a simple set-up interface. “They are not for the non-technical person.”
Jazinga offers just such on-screen wizards to guide the customer through a few business-related questions that help configure the system. The company claims a system can be set up in less than 10 minutes; a press demo proved the case.
When IP phones are plugged into the system, they are automatically configured and provisioned. Presently Jazinga supports IP phones from Aastra Telecom, Linksys, snom Inc. and Polycom Inc. Compatibility with phones from Cisco Systems Inc., is pending.
The price tag, $1,095, also keeps the small business in mind.
The appliance will be available directly from Jazinga, which will sell it online at its Web site, as well as through its channel partners. The company is building its channel and is seeking VARs and interconnects as well as ITSPs and other VoIP service providers as distribution partners. Partners can make a 30 percent margin on the appliance, Busch said.
Busch said partners can stock they appliance, but Jazinga also will drop ship it to customer locations on the partner’s behalf. For now, there is no minimum volume required. Partner order units via phone; a partner portal will launch in October. Partner source the phones themselves; Jazinga can help partners if needed and is working on an agreement to do so with a North American distributor.
Demo units are available for half the wholesale price. Jazinga also provides a demo script. A full training programming is in the works. In addition, partners are supported on the sales side by Gord Wade and by Mike Dancy in sales support.
The simplicity of the system lowers the bar for channel partners interested in selling VoIP systems, Busch noted. However, the system also has capabilities for the more tech-savvy. Jazinga is an extensible platform that enables the addition and administration of new applications, features and services. For example, it can be complemented with hosted backup, domain, DNS and e-mail services.