A Brief About ANPI

Peter : On Rad's Radar?
| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

A Brief About ANPI

ANPI is a telecom company privately held by 140 RLECs (rural local exchange carriers also called IOCs, independent operating carriers). I spoke with Mike Cromwell, ANPI Chief Sales Officer, earlier this week to get the background on ANPI and the CEO change.

This was a recent announcement: "The Board of Directors of ANPI Holding, Inc. and the Board of Directors of ANZ Communications, LLC regretfully announce that David Lewis has resigned as President of ANPI Holding, Inc. and CEO of ANZ Communications, LLC." This came a few months after other departures, including CMO David Byrd. Cromwell explained that for Lewis it was time to move on. After all, "Mr. Lewis was the founding CEO of ANPI, and has led the organization through a tremendous evolution over the last 19 years."

After years of TDM (tandem and SS7) and Origination/Termination services, ANPI is tying its future to Hosted PBX, mainly white-label (for its 140 owner RLECs). That is a tough path to blaze. Ask Cbeyond, Birch, Megapath, Vonage and others. The new wholesale product line is a $100 million business for ANPI now. ANPI just signed its 100th resale agreement. Cromwell noted that they have signed up 6 of the top 10 master agencies, but that isn't a big deal. Each of those agencies have at least 20 HPBX vendors in its lineup. If you could get an exclusive then I would be impressed.

Here is the thing about wholesale/white-label/resale: it takes a while to get revenue. You spend time signing them up, setting them up; then the partner has to go-to-market and sell the product. Lag time. No thermometer dial to turn up on these arrangements.

Cromwell noted that it was "full steam ahead" for ANPI. The new CEO comes in to a well-funded company that is going out to raise capital. Why not? CoreDial, another white-label Hosted PBX provider, raised $27.5M in Growth Equity Funding from LLR Partners. With the Vonage acquisitions, the HPBX space looks attractive at the moment.

UberConference parent, Switch.co, grabbed another $35M in funding for unified communications.

Residential voice services are stagnant or declining. Some of that is because the POTS line has not been updated since it was launched. Frontier was the most innovative when it added SMS to landlines. No idea why others haven't followed suit, especially when the business segment is what is propping up the carriers. "Consisting of 38 percent of overall VoIP services sales, business VoIP service revenue grew 9.7 percent in 2014 over 2013. Two of the key drivers in the business VoIP market are managed IP PBX and cloud-based hosted PBX and Unified Communications services." [fierce via Infonetics] For the RLECs who are losing federal and state USF money amid changes in that fund, business services need to increase and broadband must be deployed (25 Mbps x 3 Mbps). Hosted UC is a carrier's tool for business revenue but can also be used to add value to landlines.

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