IP gear-maker Zultys Inc., fresh off the release of its upgraded unified communications (UC) platform, is touting its commitment to channel partners.
The emphasis comes after Zultys last year bulked up its North America partner roster by more than 100 and, so far in 2011, has added 26 more partners to the list.
Despite those successes, executives know some partners may remain wary of the company. But make no mistake, this is not the Zultys Technologies of 10 years ago, the manufacturer that, amid a production shutdown, declared bankruptcy in September 2006 after failing to secure more funding. This is Zultys Inc., a brand revived in late 2006 by investors from Israel-based Pivot VoIP. And while that move carried risks of its own, the new owners took another chancy step, keeping the then-tainted Zultys name because it was recognized in the channel.
Would it have been easier if we changed the name? Absolutely,” said Neil Lichtman, who has served as CEO since November 2009. But the channel knew the name so that was the driving force there.”
Zultys has spent the intervening years developing new SIP-based software and hardware, ramping up its focus on the UC space. Its also signed multitudes of partners and continues to juggle requests for more additions. The thing is, the company wants to focus on partner quality, rather than quantity. Plus, executives want to prevent saturation in any one market too many partners in one place means dealers and resellers threaten each others margins as they try to win the same end-users. We have enough competitors, we dont need to create more of our own,” said Steve Francis, chief sales and marketing officer. Besides, partners have to be willing to agree to certain terms.
Were making a significant commitment to them and expect them to make a significant commitment back to us,” Francis said. Zultys does its part by issuing performance rebates, based on sales volume, at the end of each quarter.
As more proof of its channel-centric philosophy, Zultys recently took partners input to heart and acted on suggestions for improving its MX UC software. For example, the new MX 6.0 platform, released in late March, comes with several new features such as one-click, HD desktop video conferencing; enhanced integration with BlackBerry devices, Microsoft Outlook and Salesforce.com; and new contact center reporting tools.
Perhaps most intriguing is the ability to use IM, presence, and call handling such as transfer and park, on BlackBerry phones. Plus, unified numbering means companies can be available to customers at all times. Mobilitys a big deal,” said Francis. The MX platform has yet to bring UC to the iPad it does work with the iPhone or Android-powered gadgets but Zultys expects those developments to launch soon.
The MX series supports one or multiple sites, with few or thousands of users. The software works with standard SIP phones including gear from Polycom, Snom, Grandstream and Aastra and, for now, the Windows operating system. Zultys expects to add Macintosh functionality for video in the second half of the year. Channel partners also can look forward to future MX versions integrating with Tigerpaws professional services automation software. MX 6.0 requires no additional servers but does need a software upgrade, which is available to existing channel partners at no cost.
Zultys distributes through individual resellers and dealers, as well as larger, multivendor partners including Target Distributing Co., Ideacom Network, Computer Telephony Distributing and Technology Assurance Group.