New VoIP kid on the block

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Former Enterasys national sales manager Chris Papaioanou has opened the Australian and New Zealand subsidiary of UK-based VoIP gateway specialist VegaStream and is on the hunt for distribution and reseller partners.

Former Enterasys national sales manager Chris Papaioanou has opened the Australian and New Zealand subsidiary of UK-based VoIP gateway specialist VegaStream and is on the hunt for distribution and reseller partners.

Papaioanou was retrenched from Enterasys in September 2003 and since then had been working as a contractor consulting to IT and telecommunications companies.

He has joined VegaStream as regional sales and marketing director for the South Pacific region.

VegaStream markets a range of SOHO to enterprise VoIP gateways, which connect analog and digital PBXs to IP networks and are claimed to reduce the cost of moving to IP telephony.

The products -- which include the Vega 10/20 and 25 gateways for the home, the Vega 50 and Vega 400 for businesses -- deliver the benefits of VoIP without having to replace existing PBX systems, Papaioanou said.

"It’ll sit in front of any PBX, take a non-IP PBX and convert it to an IP PBX," he said.

VegaStream was formerly part of Pace Microsystems, which is known worldwide for its set-top boxes. A management buyout in late 2003 saw Pace’s shareholding reduced to 20 percent with the remainder of the company owned by managers involved in the MBO, he said.

Papaioanou was talking to distribution partners and wants voice resellers that are looking to make the transition to the data world. He was on the cusp of signing a direct reseller partner.

The products would compete against similar offerings from Cisco Systems and Audiocodes, which was distributed in Australia through Proactive Communication Services (PCS), he said.

Papaioanou added that Cisco and Avaya would see the company as a threat. An entry-level one-port gateway costs around $150 up to $15,000 for a four-port E1 gateway, he said.

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