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Pingtels Rich Opens Up about Open-Source





Pingtel Corp. is an open-source VoIP software developer that just launched its VAR partner program. T@G asked President and CEO William Rich about the importance of vendor-agnostic software for VoIP, as well as the opportunities Pingtel has for VARs and other partners.

T@G:

Theres a lot of talk about open-source software. Explain how Pingtels VoIP software works and why it should interest partners.

William Rich:

Partners should be interested in our solutions because, one, we allow them to differentiate themselves from the competition and deliver real value; two, VARs can leverage our solution combined with products from our ecosystem partners to build the right solution for the customer based on price/performance requirements, and manage the entire solution like any other IT application; three, they can finally offer their customers a strong solution that can evolve over time through integration with additional applications; and four, they can also realize greater margins due to the 30 to 60 percent price differential, which is head room they can leverage.

Our software is 100 percent SIP, which means we can interoperate with anything SIP and not just for VoIP. We can work with any hardware or application that supports SIP. [A] customer can mix and match SIP phones on the same system. They are not tied to one vendor line of phones.

[Plus], we are 100 percent open-source, which is all about the economics. By leveraging an open-source go-to-market strategy, we can deliver solutions at 30 to 60 percent less than any alternative in the market.

[W]e provide:

  • Full enterprise PBX feature set
  • Guaranteed quality and performance
  • Guaranteed interoperability with leading SIP phones and network components
  • Integrated provisioning and management
  • 24/7 customer support and full software maintenance
  • Complete channel support
  • Channel and customer training

T@G:

What are some of the crucial aspects of selling open-source VoIP? In other words, what should partners know to help them sell more?

Rich:

Partners should know that an open-source model means flexibility and that anything is possible. If a customer wants something that is not currently available, the community can be leveraged to get it done and in some cases, the VAR will work on it themselves. The flexibility of open-source software is a major benefit where a VAR no longer as to settle for black-and-white capabilities.

T@G:

Name some of the best applications for open-source VoIP specific vertical markets?

Rich:

The answer is any. Open-source has no effect on the actual applications. It really affects the economics and time to market.

T@G:

How is Pingtels Solution Provider program different from other channel programs?

Rich:

Our [VAR] program delivers all the tools necessary for a service provider to be successful. One unique element to our program is that we actually do disseminate leads to the channel.

We do have an Ecosystem Program that is designed for third-party components that play a critical role in the solutions that leverage our software. [The solutions include] media gateways, phones, SIP-aware hardware and value-add applications. We currently have 14 partners that can be seen in our partners section of our Web site.

T@G:

What kind of compensation structure does Pingtel offer recurring commission or one-time revenue? What is the typical margin range on the VoIP software?

Rich:

Pingtel sells annual subscriptions to our software through the channel. The channel will most likely work with customers to renew [these subscriptions] each year. Every annual subscription sold by the channel is eligible for a discount depending on their level of solution provider. This discount can range from 25 to 40 percent.


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