I know you are busy but I am sure you noticed this week that Zultys appointed a new CEO. Sure you did. I know readers of my blog are voracious and can’t get enough of the latest news and analysis in the communications space.
I am sure you are wondering about this Steve
Rotherberg Rothenberg fellow… His views on open source, SIP trunking, unified communications and many other issues. I am sure you can’t get enough. Fortunately my desire to get this information is about as big as your appetite so here — without any further filters or delays is the first interview with Mr. Steve Rotherberg Rothenberg, the new CEO of Zultys… Enjoy.
Zultys was looking for an experienced business leader to take the company through its next stages of growth. I was chosen because of my leadership and team building skills. My experience over the past 30 years was a perfect fit. I have taken a company of this size in this kind of business and ensured that all of the aspects that are needed for success are in place.
I have had both successes and failures in a career that spans both the Silicon Valley high tech sector as well as the VC community. I know what it takes to be successful. I believe Zultys has most of the key pieces in place including a loyal customer and reseller base. It just needs to better convey its message to the market, as well as to the channel.
Zultys is the best kept secret in communications. We have developed a market leading solution, which provides enterprise functionality at SMB prices. It is easy to implement and support, is mature and reliable. My first job is to make sure we tell the world about it. With focused leadership and a strategic plan, this company will have a roadmap to success. We will emphasize working very closely with the channel and being a real partner with them in practice and not just in name.
I plan to emphasize partnering and integrating with third-party software and hardware vendors to ensure that the customers’ investment in a Zultys system will give them the greatest opportunity to take full advantage of integrated technology. This emphasis will serve both the single enterprise as well as a range of vertical market opportunities
First, we must make sure we stand for a great product that is easy for the customer to use and even easier for the reseller to sell, install and maintain. Customers and resellers alike must know this is the most advanced, feature-rich PBX platform on the market. If we can accomplish that, the end result will be excellent referrals, which is the lifeblood of sales.
How much of your focus is on the channel as opposed to end customers?
Zultys is and always will be working through the channel. We will work with the channel and their customers to improve our products. Zultys is a customer-focused company, not a technology-driven company.
What is more important in the SMB communications space – advanced technology, or working solutions?
The SMB space wants systems that work without thinking about it. Customers often start off focusing on a small subset of features because that is how they have always worked, I see one of my challenges is to make sure we get the message out to customers that there is a new way of working and our technology delivers that with out losing anything they are used to.
Unified Communications has become more of an equalizer … and, as such, more important … for larger enterprise companies to infuse agility into their business models. In a sense, it’s really a chance for them to become more nimble much like a smaller business. From the standpoint of the SMB businesses however, UC is secondary to the unique selling proposition. They are turning to Zultys to maximize and reuse their existing infrastructure, VOIP-enable their network, simplify manageability, etc. – especially in highly distributed (multi-site) environments.
Unified Communications is all about working anywhere at any time. Zultys offers a broad sub-set of mobility features that address this very real need in today’s business climate.
We continue to actively engage in partnerships with many ITSPs (BandTel, nexVortex, Etherspeak, to name a few) because we see SIP Trunking fulfilling the promise of IP-enabling voice. In fact, part of our value proposition is the ability to enable end-users to connect “natively” to SIP Trunking services without requiring additional investments in hardware, firewalls or gateways.
But SIP trunking requires fast reliable internet infrastructure, and customer confidence, elements which are missing in many parts of the world. By offering SIP registry, SIP Trunk, Analogue, BRI and PRI to our customers they can implement IP telephony on the LAN, and choose whatever combination of WAN services fits their requirements.
Open source expands the market. It really lowers the cost for companies to enter the market with product (because it gives them a starting point). I believe that a hardware/software company like Zultys is more similar to Apple where they control all of the software and hardware and as a result can improve the product in all aspects, especially where ease of use and reliability are so important.
Open source is an opportunity. It opens the eyes of end user customers to the possibilities of IP telephony and unified communication and expands the market. But telephony is a business critical application and customers want a fully integrated fully supported solution. Many of our customers started with a low cost Open Source solution but discovered that the cost of ownership of a Zultys system was actually lower.
Zultys really has tremendous potential. Since I’ve only been on the job for 3 days now, I’ll have to get back to you on this one.