Alteva: Unifying Hosted Microsoft Services with VoIP
Alteva claims to be the largest provider of enterprise hosted voice-over-IP (VoIP) providers in North America, so it’s no wonder that the company’s newly-announced porting capabilities for international numbers is rolling out in Canada first. But thanks to a strategic partnership with Microsoft, phone calls are only part of the hosted telephony solution they can offer VARs. Here’s the deal.
Founded in 2003, the Philadelphia-based Alteva has made a name for itself among 300+ seat enterprises for providing more than just the standard set of features that people have come to expect from a managed telephony solution.
Through that Microsoft partnership, Alterva can also offer hosted Exchange, the ever-hotter hosted SharePoint, and, in what Alteva VP of Sales Louis Hayner claims is an industry first-and-only, hosted Office Communications Suite.
This means that Alteva’s channel partners can offer a messaging and collaboration solution that’s entirely integrated with their VoIP system, to the point where end users can dial in from any phone and have their Exchange mail read to them. Hayner says that by integrating all these services, Alteva can provide a true unified communications product with one bill and a lot of recurring revenue for a VAR.
“This will be the future of telephony,” he says.
As far as the day’s international number porting announcement, VARs who work in foreign markets should take note, since it means a business abroad can have an American phone number. This means that any Americans making the call only have to dial local, which could mean more calls, which could mean more business.
Moreover, as Hayner points out, number porting can make it easier to consolidate billing across all offices. Canada will be the first, but they plan on rolling out support for other countries over the span of 2010.
While they do a significant amount of sales directly, Hayner says, Alteva wants to enhance their relationship with the channel: they offer white label solutions, but they prefer to train “Master Agents” through an intensive on-boarding process.
Alteva’s solution seems to cover all the angles: the cost and infrastructure benefits of hosted services; the flexibility of VoIP; the Microsoft compatibility guarantee. But resellers aren’t biting on hosted VoIP as much as everyone thought ; Hayner conceded that Alteva’s growth wasn’t as strong as the company had wanted it to be as enterprises continue to go with on-premises solutions.
That leaves me with one question – “why not?”