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Work Anywhere, Work Everywhere: Zultys Makes Business Communications Easy & Seamless

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  March 08, 2016

There are a lot of choices out there for organizations to consider as they decide whether, when, how, and with what vendors to employ new business communications solutions. Zultys (News - Alert) can make that decision – and everything after that – easy, says Neil Lichtman.

It does that by providing business phone, unified communications, and/or contact center functionality in an affordable, consistent, reliable, and scalable way, explains the Zultys chairman and CEO.

Users can access the Zultys MX system features through their desk phones and via the mobile app, and have the same functionality and experience using both interfaces. By building redundancy both into its data centers and the carrier transport services it uses to offer connectivity, Zultys ensures customers can access these features at all times, ensuring a high level of productivity and business continuity.

All that means Zultys customers can, as the company’s tagline notes: Work Anywhere. Work Everywhere.

Consistency & Flexibility

The company offers three service packages. The standard offering includes telephony, voicemail, ACD functionality, and the mobile app. The premium option includes all of the above as well as unified communications capabilities, and integrations with DealerSocket (a CRM solution popular with automotive dealerships), Microsoft (News - Alert) Exchange, and the Salesforce CRM. The contact center bundle, meanwhile, includes all of the above, plus contact center functionality.

Businesses, and the channel partners through which Zultys goes to market, can opt to deploy these solutions via cloud, premises, or hybrid deployment methods. And Zultys delivers the same exact user and administration experience regardless of the customers’ method of deployment, Lichtman says.

“Zultys lets both our channel partners and our end users have the product in the way that fits their business plan,” he adds.

Channel Partners

The company brings its solutions to market exclusively via an ecosystem of channel partners. That includes interconnects, managed service providers, and as of late last year, master agents. In fact, in 2016 Zultys will focus heavily on bringing master agents online to deliver its hosted product.

To move that effort forward, Zultys recently promoted former sales director Justin Bush to the position of vice president of the agent channel. Lichtman proudly notes that Bush in his previous post transformed Zultys’ lowest producing region into its highest producing region.

The Zultys solution can run on VMware platforms within channel partner or end user data centers. And channel partners and their customers can rent the hosted Zultys solution month to month, with no annual contracts.

Cloud-based solutions allow businesses to pay as they go, so these organizations can invest in what they need exactly when they need it. The new as-a-service model also provides a recurring revenue stream for the channel, notes Lichtman, which he says is beneficial for them both because it provides more predictability in terms of income and because this mode is the direction in which the world is headed.

Zultys offers two channel programs. The first is for its hosted environment, and the channel partner manages the account completely. Through the second program, channel partners make the sale, and Zultys takes it from there.

The company’s remuneration to the channel “is probably among the highest in the industry,” says Lichtman. “We have this partner who told us he thought we were paying him too much money,” he adds with a smile.

But the Zultys paradigm makes sense for everybody because, Lichtman believes, success is based on the idea of the three-legged stool. By that he means that business customers, channel partners, and Zultys itself all have to win.

To make sure that happens, Zultys provides its channel partners with tools and training to get the job done.

Channel partners have access to two quote tools. One is for the fully hosted Zultys offering, and the other is for its premises-based and virtual solutions. These tools create proposals, send them electronically to the end users, who can e-sign them, and then they are sent directly to Zultys for processing.

The company also hosts multiple training events each year at its Sunnyvale, Calif., headquarters, as well as on the road. The company, for example, recently staged training events in Iowa and Texas.

The Customers & The Product

While the pricing offered by Zultys is competitive, Lichtman says that in the hosted business communications arena most other companies offer me-too services, sell based on price, and have mostly small deployments.

“That’s not our marketplace,” he adds.

The average Zultys customer has 20 to 200 users, although the company serves organizations with as few as five or as many as 10,000 end users. Last year a multinational giant tapped Zultys to provide its virtual solution to 4,000 users, says Lichtman. But Zultys and its channel partners also cater to more small and mid-sized organizations like automotive dealerships and school districts.

Whatever the size of the deployment or business, Zultys makes things easy by delivering everything the customer needs using one box that is simple to use and manage. Zultys and its channel partners also can bring endpoints and/or carrier services along for the ride.

The company’s mobile app for Android (News - Alert) devices and iPhones (for which Zultys does two releases annually) makes it easy for employees to remain productive while on the move by providing presence, allowing users to IM, supporting calls on cellular and Wi-Fi connections, and enabling users to add presence notes.

As noted above, Zultys also has integrations in place with a few popular business systems. And it provides a tool to allow for ease of integration with other enterprise software.

“We like to make it easy for our customers,” says Lichtman. “The direct integrations we have done make it more efficient for our customers to use the tools they have today and for the future. We also have what I’ll call a pretty universal way for companies to do integrations. That is called our Zultys Flex Communicator. Our goal is to help improve productivity in the organizations we partner with, and since every company is different we will meet each company where they will need to be met in order to provide the right solution.”

The company also continues to invest in and add to the capabilities of its MX solution. The latest version of the MX software added web chat contact center functionality.

“MX release 11.0 continues our multi-media queue strategy for contact centers,” explains Lichtman. “The strategic feature introduced with release 11.0 is our web chat feature.

“Web chat provides another customer engagement point that businesses can offer their customers,” he says. “This capability allows contact center agents to chat with external clients/vendors. With our clients having a web chat button on their websites, their customers can simply depress the button and be placed in queue to chat with a representative. Now whether their customer decides to pick up the phone or chat via the web to place an order or request support they have a choice. And this capability is at no additional charge from Zultys.”

Zultys the Company

All of the above have enabled Zultys to triple in size in the past 5 years.

As you may recall, it was just more than 5 years ago that Lichtman took the helm at Zultys, built his team, and set out to stage a comeback under new ownership.

Zultys is a privately held company and doesn’t release specific financial data, however, Lichtman did say Zultys has been growing its top line every year, it’s also growing its bottom line, it’s cash-flow positive, it has a credit facility with Silicon Valley Bank if it needs it, and that the fourth quarter was its best quarter in its history.

While there’s been a lot of mergers and acquisitions in the unified communications space, and Lichtman expects there to be a lot more going forward, all of the growth at Zultys to date has been organic growth. Lichtman says Zultys’ unique combination of ease of use, feature functionality, and flexibility are the keys to the company’s success.

“If you just want basic telephone service, we’re probably not the one for you,” says Lichtman. “But if you want contact center and/or unified communications capabilities, redundancy, the ability to scale, and the option to deploy in a variety of ways, you’ll want to take a look at Zultys.”

Edited by Stefania Viscusi