the CEO Spotlight section in Internet Telephonyï¿½ magazine, we recognize the
outstanding work performed by exemplary companies. Each month we bring you
the opinions of the heads of companies leading the Internet telephony
industry now and helping to shape the future of the industry. This month, we
spoke with Shawn Lewis, President and CEO of Caerus, Inc., and Volo
IT: What is your companyï¿½s mission?
SL: The Caerus mission is to empower service providers to finally
begin reaping the full benefits available to them from advanced services and
packet communications technologies.
IT: Please characterize your vision for Caerus/Volo
SL: Our unique approach will transform the industry over the next six
to 12 months as Caerus and its service provider subsidiary, Volo
Communications, continue to sign more carriers and service providers of all
types onto its network, becoming a dominant player in the wholesale
IT: Describe some of the key decisions that you have made as
CEO to navigate your company through the recent turbulence of the financial
SL: Throughout my career I have found success by finding the
solutions to real life problems rather than developing products in search of
a market. I saw that service providers today donï¿½t need another piece of
expensive equipment to purchase and integrate with the rest of their
network, they need an ROI and new revenue streams from the deployment of
customized advanced services.
IT: What are some of the key technology decisions that you have
implemented to make certain Caerus/Volo maintains its position in the
SL: Voloï¿½s approach to hosted VoIP and VoIP termination services
is very different to that of the host of companies that we are often
compared with for the following reasons:
ï¿½ Volo operates its own private, nationwide, MPLS-based IP backbone network.
The calls that we carry on our network do not traverse the Internet at all,
which affords our customers a much higher quality of service (QoS).
ï¿½ Volo provides a free softswitch and service creation environment to its
customers so they can create their own services, if they so desire. They are
not obligated to accept the same basic package of services that their
competitors are using.
ï¿½ Volo is a fully registered CLEC and IXC in the U.S. so it doesnï¿½t have to
worry about regulatory uncertainties.
The Caerus softswitch platform is a transaction-processing engine that
allows connections to all networks, appliances, and smart devices over 200+
protocols in a one-port, any-service configuration. Unlike traditional
softswitches, it is not limited to traditional telecom call flow models and
protocols. Caerusï¿½ softswitch breaks everything down to methods, properties,
and events. It resembles an operating system more than a traditional switch.
IT: What makes Caerus/Voloï¿½s services unique?
SL: Volo Communications provides Tier 1 and 2 carriers, CLECs,
ISPs, and cable companies with a free softswitch and service creation
environment (SCE) along with a wide range of voice, data, and advanced
calling services on its network at market rates. This enables them to
rapidly deploy differentiated services and see revenues from day one.
IT: What is the most pressing issue facing the IP telephony
industry today, and what can be done can to alleviate problems such as this?
SL: Volo Communications service offerings remove the two biggest
problems that have plagued the telecom industry in recent years: Inflated
capital expenditures leading to excessive debt burdens; and a lack of new
revenue streams from profitable advanced services.
To The February 2004 Table Of Contents ]