This article originally appeared in the April 2011 issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY.
Softswitch company Speedflow is now readying the 100th service provider installation of its MediaCore product and, as of the writing of this article in late February, had seen five sales in the last 14 days for its CallMax solution.
But it wasn’t a direct route that brought the company to where it is now. In fact, Speedflow got its start in a completely different aspect of the voice business: as a call shop.
CEO, founder and owner Vladimir Ellis explains that Speedflow started life as an organization that created public locations where students could visit to place affordable calls to friends and family abroad.
Then a chain of events happened that led Speedflow on the path to become a softswitch provider.
About three years ago, Ellis and his crew began looking for new infrastructure to support the Speedflow business. The company tested solutions from a variety of companies, including Acme Packet, GENBAND (News - Alert), and many others. Then Ellis met a man during a flight, and that gentleman was part of a group that was working on a softswitch solution. This chance meeting led Speedflow to hire that team of individuals and, ultimately, completely alter its business focus from being a call shop service provider to delivering infrastructure for other service providers.
Today Speedflow sells the CallMax Class 5 and MediaCore Class 4 softswitches, its two main products, as well as VoIP-oriented accounting, back office support and billing solutions.
The company had about $15 million in revenue last year. And it has more than 600 customers. That includes tier 1 national and global carriers, ISP, residential VoIP providers and corporate network operators.
While there are plenty of softswitch solutions out in the market, Ellis says what makes the Speedflow offer unique is its ease of use and flexibility.
The solutions don’t require service providers to get too deep into infrastructure, he says. Speedflow makes its products easy to use by delivering a web-based interface to its service provider customers. Through this interface, service providers get just as much reporting information as they require. They also can use the interface to create as many service plans as they require, and to support multiple dealership trees. That’s important both for regional service providers that might not have the resources for big in-house sales staffs, as well as for very large, national or international companies like AT&T (News - Alert), which Ellis says sells 35 percent direct and the other 55 percent through a network of dealers.
Up until now, Speedflow has had separate service provider interfaces for its CallMax and MediaCore products. But that’s set to change in short order. Ellis says the company is in the process of combining web interfaces for CallMax and MediaCore.
Why? Because, Ellis says, service providers want to create interconnections with multiple other service providers so they can terminate traffic anywhere. With one point of control, it just makes it easier for service providers to do that, and it lowers operating expenses in the process, because it requires fewer engineers to be involved in such provisioning and less training to learn how to do that provisioning, he says.
Speedflow expects to have a single interface for the CallMax and MediaCore solutions as of late September. This integration will be reflected in new software available as part of CallMax and MediaCore customers’ regular maintenance upgrades.
At the same time that Speedflow is working to bring together its service provider interfaces for the softswitch products, the company is creating a chain of regional agents to expand its distribution opportunities. As of late February, the organization relied exclusively on direct sales. But Speedflow is building a channel to broaden its sales and was in the process earlier this year of signing on new partner in the Emirates, Singapore and elsewhere.
The Speedflow Product Line
MediaCore: This carrier-grade Class 4 softswitch has a dynamic routing mechanism, integrated billing, revenue assurance system Guardian, and transcoding.CallMax: This proprietary Linux-based multifunctional Class 5 softswitch offers a wide range of available services and advanced billing tools.AccuCore: This is an ERP system for VoIP with sophisticated accounting and financial analysis software.
Pay-n-Get: This processing system provides instant payments and prepaid codes distribution.
MobiGlobe: Available as a white-label solution for VoIP providers, this add on makes VoIP calls available from the mobile phones, resulting in signiciat cost savings on international calls.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi