Ortiga says hello to hosted telephony

Ortiga says hello to hosted telephony

Tim Gain of Ortiga
Tim Gain of Ortiga

Comms Business talks to Tim Gain of Ortiga whose reseller philosophy is to help small businesses to get the most out of technology

Tim Gain established Ortiga in 2005 following a career in communications with BT, Global 1 and iPass working in the corporate and enterprise markets. Today Ortiga employs nine staff and has a turnover of around £1.5m.

“It became clear to me that in communication no single company had all the right products and with a keen fascination about the emerging market for virtualisation I decided to form a company that could provide best of breed solutions to the SME market. I see our task as getting the best technology together for our customers, putting our name to it and making it work for them.

“Although the majority of our background and experience was in data we realised at the time that VoIP was going to be very important for our SME clients as it offered the kind of flexibility they needed. We sold our first hosted telephony solution within six months and spent most of that first year establishing ourselves as a voice company and educating customers about the changes taking place in the market and the importance of having a supplier experienced in VoIP.

“We were not entirely sure how the market would develop but as of today we have more customers with hosted telephony solutions than we do with CPE based solutions and have experienced both good and bad times with the application.

“Hosted VoIP was not initially a bed of roses – we had to invest a lot of time and effort and we parted company with our initial supplier after we had to take out one of their systems and replace it with a PBX.

 

“We have however established a very good working relationship with Nottingham based hosted telephony supplier Hello Telecom. Unlike other suppliers Hello Telecom fully understands the SME market and their need to control CAPEX cost elements. For example, Hello do not over specify expensive IP telephones which suits the recession hit SME with a tight budget and an aversion to long term CAPEX lease agreements that we often face across the table.

“Hello operates their own hosted telephony platform and in the last 18 months we have supplied over 20 customers with their service. Compared to say suppliers basing their service on a Broadsoft platform we have found Hello Telecom to be a fabulous organisation in terms of flexibility. They develop their own applications such as call centre and reporting which is great as the differentiation it provides us with wins us so much more business. Another winning strategy is that Hello includes features such as call recording which is so useful at the smaller end of the market where adding third party recording applications to a CPE solution can be very expensive.

“Connectivity is key to a successful hosted telephony implementation but with Hello telecom this has never been an issue for us. In the past we have learnt that if you get the connectivity wrong hosted telephony can be a disaster so we say to customers, ‘if you allow us to engineer the solution the way we know that it works then you’ll have a great service’.

“One of the benefits of hosted telephony is the ability to add homeworkers to the company system. Whilst we supply the Hello recommended QoS enabled leased line circuits at the main site we have found that homeworkers will settle for a lower quality line and the occasional voice blip. The network arrangements Hello Telecom has means we can get from anywhere in the UK a private ADSL circuit back on to their MPLS backbone with the result we are not trying to do comms over the internet. As ever, the challenge is to educate and convince users in the differences between the types of connectivity available.

“Why are SMEs buying a hosted service? Well the vast majority buy for the functionality and flexibility – especially multisite organisations, and not for the price. We say that if you buy cheap you will not get the functionality or service levels we provide.

“With regards to our outlook for the future we are very optimistic. There is a huge opportunity to develop further what we are doing – providing more for less for our customers. I see the market staying tough for a while longer. Watching the hype developing around the cloud is fascinating but essentially hosted telephony is a cloud based voice service anyway.”