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March 23, 2009

Grandstream Remains Bullish on VoIP and Video Telephony

By Erik Linask, Group Editorial Director


When I last spoke with Grandstream Networks’ (News - Alert) senior director of business development Khris Kendrick at the end of last year, his outlook heading into 2009, with an economy that is still struggling mightily, was nothing but optimistic. In fact, he told me Grandstream was hiring additional staff at a time when most businesses were trying to find ways to minimize layoffs.
 
He confirmed those thoughts in an interview with TMC (News - Alert) president Rich Tehrani: “In general we are very optimistic,” he said.  “The timing is right for Grandstream to have an even more aggressive business model in today’s economy. Many of competitors are pessimistic, or even laying off, while Grandstream is growing.”
 
Grandstream’s success is due to a two-pronged approach that includes delivering a quality solution at the right price for the SMB — its GXE502x All-in-One IP PBX and IP phones — and partnerships with the leading SIP Trunking providers, further underscoring its commitment to providing a quality, cost-effective solution. It most recently announced a partnership with AireSpring.
 
Despite a turbulent economy, and the struggles of many VoIP industry players, one thing that has remained consistent is Grandstream’s aggressive approach to its business. That strategy, coupled with its product line and partnerships, said Kendrick, helped the company “Maintain record growth in one of the worst economic times since the world declared that we have a global economy.”
 
With the economy not letting up, but with many in the IP Communications space finding success both in spite and because of it, I took the opportunity to check in with Khris and Karleen Greene Fallon, Grandstream’s Marketing Communications Manager to see if they are still as bullish on Grandstream’s opportunity. As you can see, their stance hasn’t wavered.
 
You told me at the end of 2008 that you were actually hiring when others were laying off.  What’s business been like since then?
We are happy to report that Grandstream’s business is going strong. In fact, we will record a 2-digit year-over-year growth in Q1 2009.     
 
How are you able to sustain growth with the economy as weak as it is?
We are the price-performance and cost leader.  Because of these two fundamental elements of our business strategy, demand for our products remains very robust in a down market.
 
Is the telecom industry in general seeing this growth?  If not, what is Grandstream doing differently?
Grandstream consistently leverages and exploits our core competencies to create solutions that we believe represent the future for IP video and voice.  We work in a collaborative environment that inspires individual and collective contribution.   
 
Is interest coming from the consumer or business segment?  What’s driving that interest?
Interest is coming from the consumer and business segments.  The versatile nature of our products from a price and functionality point of view, are the key drivers for demand.  Take our GXP2000 4-line enterprise phone, for instance.  It was intended for the small and medium-sized business market; however, sales are strong in both the consumer and business segments.
 
The price is so appealing that consumers will absorb the advanced functionality, even though they may not necessarily need it, and businesses are wholly satisfied.  Product performance flexibility and pricing versatility are two of our main goals in product design and manufacturing.  We strive to build demand across both the business and consumer segments.
 
(The video telephony market is one for which Grandstream sees a particularly bright future. For more on that, check out the archive of a recent Webinar with Khris and representatives from Vidtel (News - Alert) and 5Linx, called, 5 Ways Service Providers
Can Expand Their Businesses Using Premise Equipment
.)
 
How are you doing with the videophones?  You told me that would be a big push for you.
Our video phones are one of our fastest growing areas of business.  The GXV Series is doing very well.  As you will see, demand for media phones will only increase as we deliver even more fresh real-time media and content to the device (RSS feeds, Twitter, Facebook, Internet Radio, Flickr, Hulu (News - Alert), etc.).  We will continue to build products for this segment in 2009 and beyond. 
 
How important is the service provider community to your success?
Meeting the needs of the service provider community is imperative to us.  We thrive on interoperability of our products with their services and are always looking for new service provider partners. Grandstream will continue to develop devices that are flexible and that will allow service providers to differentiate their offering.  This flexibility is key to the success of our platform and for the success of our service provider partnerships.
 
Can you sustain this momentum through the recession?
We believe that we can. There is a high demand for affordable communication devices and real time data communications. IP communication is here to stay and we will continue to fulfill the demand.

Erik Linask (News - Alert) is Group Managing Editor of TMCnet, which brings news and compelling feature articles, podcasts, and videos to nearly 3,000,000 visitors each month. To see more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Erik Linask




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