A couple weeks ago, Jim Machi, our Vice President of Marketing, attended Enterprise Connect 2019. This event is the leading conference for enterprise communications and collaboration solutions in North America. Enterprise Connect brings together solution providers, industry analysts, and corporate IT decision makers to focus on the issues central to modern communications solutions for enterprise and beyond.
While there, Jim ran into Douglas Green (who refers to himself as Doug), a respected telecom industry analyst. As such, his role in the industry involves writing and producing podcasts for Telecom Reseller, a leading source of industry journalism. Jim agreed to an interview for Doug Green’s podcast Channel Daily News.
In it, he reviews what 2018 has meant for Sangoma and Digium, provides a vision of what the future holds, and reassures partners and resellers alike on Sangoma’s commitment to the channel and to valued products.
The full episode discussing the choices and value Sangoma offers enterprise and small businesses alike can be found here. What follows is a transcript of the podcast:
Doug Green (DG): This is Doug Green and I’m the publisher of Telecom Reseller and we’re at Enterprise Connect 2019. And I’m with Jim Machi, who is the Vice President of Marketing for Sangoma. Jim, thank you for joining me today.
Jim Machi (JM): You’re welcome. How are you doing, Doug?
DG: Very good. It’s nice to see and talk to you again. [JM: yeah] We’ve interviewed you and discussed different things over the years. But first of all, what is Sangoma?
JM: Sangoma has grown up. We used to be exclusively in the sort-of open source space and providing components for that. But now we’re a full-fledged PBX UC vendor. And that’s why I’m here at Enterprise Connect.
DG: Now, what are you doing at Enterprise Connect?
JM: Well, right now I’m just checking out Enterprise Connect. It’s been 10 years since I’ve been here in the capacity of my old job. So, I just wanted to see how it’s changed and whether it makes since for us to come next year.
DG: Now, how was 2018 for Sangoma?
JM: 2018 was really good. We bought a division of Dialogic in the beginning of January, then also in September we bought Digium which came with Asterisk. And that was the last time I talked to you. So it’s quite a busy and hectic 2018. But through that all we grew. We grew organically, but obviously we also grew through the M&As.
DG: So let’s define a little bit of what you just said. What is Digium, for people who don’t know what it is?
JM: People might associate Digium exclusively with Asterisk, and then the Digium name was the hardware that they sold that complemented the Asterisk software. So that’s what a lot of people probably think of Digium. But Digium also has Switchvox, which is a complete PBX UC platform, both on-prem and in the cloud. So that’s primarily where the revenue comes from.
DG: Now are you able to offer continuity for Digium customers?
JM: Yes. Switchvox is really key. Switchvox is a premier UC offering that competes with the likes of Avaya and Mitel and the other guys that are here on the floor. And it’s really important for us. And we’ll be having a new release coming out actually in a couple weeks. So look for a press release on that in a couple weeks.
DG: So you’re saying that the Digium channel should feel comfortable continuing to sell Switchvox?
JM: Yes, absolutely. Sangoma is committed to it. It’s a key offering for us, and we’re going to keep selling it. So, that’s a great question.
DG: And what drove Sangoma’s growth in 2018? Which we’re seeing is pretty good.
JM: Yeah, so obviously it was our UC platform. The one thing that may be different for us is that both our on-prem and our cloud platforms grew. So both of our platforms grew. And so that really drove our growth.
DG: You know, Jim, it’s interesting that you say that both cloud and on-prem grew because, you know, here at this conference and at other places, I’m only hearing about growth in the context of cloud.
JM: Well, I think cloud is sexy today. But there’s still a big element out there that really wants still on-prem. And one of the things we do is our software is the same whether its on-prem or in the cloud. And people come to us and talk to us, “What is the right thing for me?” And then we’re able to give them the pros and cons of each approach. And then a lot of people still want on-prem. And I think schools are an example of that. School districts, we do well in. They seem to want on-prem. But even small businesses— if they’re not startups, and they know what they need and how to value it— they want on-prem too. So, you know, we’re happy to sell either one. It doesn’t matter to us.
DG: So on-prem remains big.
DG: Switchvox remains big.
DG: Your commitment to some of the traditional dealer members remains.
DG: And yet also your company— we shouldn’t leave this podcast without saying this— is also committed to cloud?
JM: Yes. We are committed to cloud. We have our own data center. We have SIP trunking. We actually have fax cloud solutions that do well. And then obviously our UC solutions. And then cloud people want phone rentals too sometimes, so we have phone rentals as well.
DG: Now how does VoIP supply factor into all this?
JM: Okay, so VoIP supply is an interesting subsidiary of ours. The name of their company— VoIP supply— they supply VoIP components. They supply things we create and also services. They do it for us and for everyone else out there that creates VoIP products. So they’re very important part of Sangoma as well.
DG: While we’re here at Enterprise Connect, can you make the case for enterprises to partner with Sangoma and VoIP supply?
JM: Yeah, so I think one reason enterprises partner with us is the trusted partner [idea], where we can give them the best solution for them. We’re also smaller than some of the other guys, so we can be a little more flexible with whatever they want. So that’s why people come to us: we give them the value that they need and the flexibility that they’re asking for.
DG: What about the channel?
JM: So, one thing that we offer the channel, about why people might want to partner with us in the channel: all the elements of a solution— from the UC to the phones to gateways to the SBCs— we provide all that, so we’re a one-stop shop. That provides value to them because they don’t need to go mix and match stuff.
DG: Now, as we close up the podcast, I bet some of our listeners and readers are wondering about AstriCon.
JM: So, AstriCon is traditionally held in the fall. We haven’t made an announcement about it yet, for 2019. We will be sending a hold the date very soon for October 2019. I won’t tell you the city yet, but wait for that hold the date. But people on our mailing list should see a hold the date within a couple weeks.
DG: Alright, well, we’ll look forward to seeing that. Meanwhile, where can we learn more about Sangoma?
DG: Jim, thank you very much indeed. I’ve enjoyed doing the podcast with you. I’ve enjoyed interviewing you over the years, especially your observations about enterprise.
JM: Thank you, bye!