WorldGate Communications Inc. announced Tuesday it is entering the business market with the launch of the Ojo ProVision digital video service, which it will distribute exclusively through an indirect sales channel that will be announced formally in the coming weeks.
As part of its business rollout, WorldGate also announced that Bausch + Lomb, a leading health care brand, is a customer of the Ojo ProVision solution.
Ojo ProVision is a turnkey solution that includes both The Ojo Digital Video Phone and a variety of service options. Each service plan includes traditional calling features like caller ID, call waiting and three-way calling as well as video-specific features, such as three-way video conferencing, connecting to a large screen LCD or TV and unlimited Ojo-to-Ojo video calling worldwide. The service costs $300 up front plus $30 per month per video phone.
Ojo ProVision is an overlay service to a businesss existing IP network, explained Allan Van Buhler, WorldGates senior vice president of sales, marketing and business development. It does not require additional equipment or network changes and operates in secure network environments and behind firewalls, he said, noting it also requires as little as 150kbps of bandwidth in contrast to the 3 to 5mbps required by most video conferencing solutions.
Buhler said the Ojo ProVision solution uses the same physical hardware as its consumer offer presently, but the company expects to support multi-point conferencing and integration with other manufacturers MCUs and hosted solutions. A spokesperson for the company added that detailed billing as well as a two-year warranty distinguish the business offer.
The Ojo video phone was first introduced to the consumer market in 2005 as the Ojo Personal Video Phone. The latest version, the Ojo Digital Video Phone, was released in September. The consumer version sells for $29.99 per month including unlimited calling to any phone in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands plus unlimited video calling Ojo-to-Ojo worldwide.
The company also signed a two-year OEM agreement with ACN Inc. to private-label 300,000 units, which have been made compatible with previous video phones used by ACN subscribers. WorldGate has 20 trials with OEM partners, which are primarily cablecos, LECs and VoIP service providers in 21 countries across five major global regions Asia, Europe, Africa, North America and South America, Buhler said.
Buhler added that WorldGate also sells the consumer phone through direct sales and marketing companies like Zurvita and ZamZuu, online marketers like Redvine and some large e-commerce portals.
The new business solution is targeted to small and medium businesses, which Buhler said are underserved with video communications.”
The company is planning to use an indirect sales channel to target SMBs. Its program is active, but has not been formally announced. Barry Maccheyne, WorldGate’s vice president of global sales, is heading up the channel development effort. We’ll be recruiting telephony agents, IT VARS, IP PBX dealers – partners who sells into the business telephony environment,” according to a spokesperson for the company. Already WorldGate has signed several, undisclosed large regional and master agencies, Buhler said. These early adopters, he said, are finding the Ojo ProVision offer a good door opener.
Agents will be paid a one-time bounty per seat plus a monthly residual on the service plan, Buhler said. Support terms are still being finalized, but they will include back-office support, and online portal and access to sales engineering as well as marketing materials, according to the company spokesperson.