Australia gets a new VoIP player

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Silicon Valley-based network hardware provider Zultys Technologies has landed in Australia and wants to grab around 15 percent of the claimed $500 million VoIP market here over the next 12 months.

The company is on a mission to knock the wind out of established voice and data network players such as Cisco Systems and Avaya with its enterprise media exchange unit which it claimed is easier to manage and install than competing products.

The product, dubbed the MX1200, integrates VoIP, data, video and fax services. It scales from 25 to 1200 users without the addition of any extra hardware, the company claimed. The company also markets it own IP phone, but the box will work with other SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) SIP-based phones. The phone has four external Ethernet ports.

“The Australian market is around about $US250 million for this type of product this year and the target is that we should be getting about 15 percent of that by this time next year," said California-based Zultys president Iain Milnes.

The company has hired 13 staff at offices in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne and will sell 100 percent through indirect channels, a strategy it has also employed in the United States and UK. It is in the process of talking to voice and data resellers with a view to bringing them on board. “We're in advanced negotiations with some now,” said Anthony Pisani, sales and marketing director at Zultys Australia.

Milnes claimed Cisco's competing AVVID platform requires a highly trained Cisco certified engineer to provision it and Zultys' system is not as complex. “Let's take Cisco – they have to go in and install a system for 200 users, it's multiple boxes that have to be properly engineered and put together, maintained and provisioned separately. To maintain your relationship with Cisco, you have to have proper training and it's very expensive,” he claimed.

“Look at our box, one box to install, one piece of software to manage and provision it, we're commited to the reseller channel, we're not selling direct,” he said.

He claimed while the company is not bringing anything radical to the market and other vendors provide the same features, competing products require a number of different boxes and management interfaces.

“Convergence for a lot of people means you're going to take voice, data and put it over the same pair of wires and yet you still end up with vast numbers of boxes to administer. We figured we'd put together a truly converged box,” he claimed.

The server supports up to 1200 users and if a customer wants to expand its network, a software license update is all that's required. Reseller margins will vary from 25 to 40 points, the company claimed.

Zultys launched in the US in January and the UK in March. It currently has 29 resellers in the US and is setting up through distributor Nichecom in New Zealand. There are no plans at this stage to sell through distribution in Australia. Milnes declined to provide concrete sales figures since the official launch in February this year. He did say, however, that Zultys expects to be profitable by the fourth quarter of calendar 2003.


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