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In the CEO Spotlight section in Internet Telephony 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 Jeff Kirchner, CEO/President of Epygi Technologies.


GG: What is Epygis mission?

JK: To deliver cost effective, innovative, and reliable communications solutions for the small business market. We focus on a segment of the market, which is underserved by the large manufacturers, yet is the fastest growing in most economies around the world and in exports.

GG: What is your vision for Epygi and how is the company positioned in the next-generation telecom market?

JK: We make a combined IP-PBX, router (VPN, firewall, IDS, etc.), and SIP-based VoIP gateway in one box. Our systems bridge the world of VoIP and traditional telephony by supporting both analog lines and phones, as well as IP phones and IP trunking in every unit and in the base price. All of the PBX features you would expect are included, as well as a VoIP friendly integrated router, firewall, and VPN, with a very reasonable price tag. We are delivering easy to use and reliable advanced communication to the small business user for a very cost effective price.

GG: Now that it appears that growth and opportunity are the trends in the VoIP industry, what possible hurdles do you see that might upset this momentum?

JK: I believe the channel to the customer remains a challenge. We need to educate the small business user of the benefits of converged solutions, whether it be cost savings or productivity enhancements. We also need to overcome any lingering fears of quality or reliability. All of these need to be communicated to and through our channel partners. Many of these partners are entering telephony for the first time (e.g., data resellers) or are expanding beyond traditional telephony (voice resellers) into the world of data and VoIP. The great news is that everyone, including the channel partners, recognizes the size of the opportunity. Now all it takes is old fashioned work and focus, focus, focus.

GG: What are some of the technology areas where Epygi is increasingly focusing, and why are these areas important to the future of your company?

JK: We have developed and deployed all of the basic telephony and VoIP technologies. Increasingly, we spend much of our time in support of real world deployments tuning protocols for interoperability and the like. We have conducted interoperability testing with over (20+) VoIP carriers worldwide and no two are exactly the same. It is the nature of the game as SIP is a standard, but the kinks need to be worked out in real life deployments. Thankfully, there are no big or significant issues, just old fashioned work and again, focus, focus, focus.

GG: Describe your view of the future of the IP telephony industry.

JK: Oddly, I think our job is to make ourselves disappear behind the benefits and solutions for the customers. In the end, it will be anytime, anywhere communication with intelligence behind it. Does anyone care that VoIP was involved in intelligently routing that must have call to them during a meeting, while sending less important calls to their voicemail? Does anyone care that VoIP was used to reduce the cost of overseas calls by 50 percent? IP telephony and VoIP, as a term, should fade into the background as the benefits and new applications take center stage applications, which just happen to ride on VoIP or IP telephony. IT

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