Zeacom: Sneaking Up On Unified Communications?
Zeacom isn’t the best-known brand in Unified Communications, but the privately held company seems to be sneaking up on rivals. Skeptical? Consider this: Zeacom insiders say the company is profitable, has no debt and 10 percent of the company’s annual revenue is in the bank. Hmmm. The VAR Guy is intrigued.
Zeacom’s unified communications software runs on Avaya, Cisco and NEC platforms. Nearly 3,000 customers have dialed up Zeacom and its channel partners for UC solutions.
Frankly, Zeacom wasn’t on The VAR Guy’s radar — at all — until he connected with for a phone chat with Ernie Wallerstein, president of the Americas. Among the conversation’s highlights:
- Zeacom has roughly 120 employees
- The company’s revenues grew roughly 20 percent in 2008 vs. 2007
- Founded in 1994, the company is “consistently profitable”
Impressive. But if things are so great, how come The VAR Guy never heard of Zeacom, despite covering VoIP for more than a decade? Is our resident blogger too preoccupied with Cisco Systems, Microsoft and disruptive open source proponents like Digium?
Keeping A Low Profile?
Perhaps. Part of Zeacom’s challenge is the company’s history: The company initially focused on the Australia/New Zealand region, where the IT market is about one-tenth that of the US.
Now, Wallerstein is striving to raise Zeacom’s profile in the US. Quips Wallerstein, “It’s time for us to think bigger.”
The VAR Guy agrees. The Unified Communications market is heading for a shakeout. As Cisco grows, Nortel implodes and Avaya considers its future directions, many customers have reached an inflection point.
For many partners, Cisco remains the safe choice — but that choice often comes with higher price tags. And new, lower-cost alternatives — such as Microsoft Response Point (a small business phone system for up to 50 users) and Digium Asterisk — may disrupt traditional UC and VoIP systems.
Finding A Niche
Where does Zeacom fit in the mix? Wallerstein emphasizes the following:
- Zeacom’s software runs on the leading VoIP network hardware (Avaya, Cisco and NEC)
- Zeacom’s UC applications are designed to snap together, and aren’t a hodgepodge of applications bolted onto one another
- Yes, the company really is profitable, growing and has no debt
No doubt, it’s nice to be competing in a growing market like unified communications. And Zeacom seems to be a well-kept success story. But the competition — particularly from the open source world — will surely intensify.