For years, Vertical Communications, a leading provider of business communications solutions, manufactured unified communications solutions and sold primarily to the channel. On the other side, however, the company also maintained a small team that sold direct to retailers that actually outperformed its channel business for lead generation.
Two years ago, Vertical signed a partnership agreement with Fulton Communications, a national systems integrator of voice, data and video communications technologies and leader in direct sales and professional services in over 25 North American markets.
“Within six months, they were our number one partner,” Steven de Korne, VP of Marketing for Vertical Communications told TMCnet during a meeting at ITEXPO on Monday.
In looking at the success of its small direct sales and the immediate blossoming of the Fulton partnership, Vertical decided to make a major change in its business strategy. Two months ago, Vertical—which specializes in turnkey deployment and management of voice infrastructure, software, enterprise integration and ongoing support—made waves when it announced a merger with Fulton. By bringing Fulton into the fold and combining its customer base with Vertical’s more than 250 channel partners, Vertical expanded its reach dramatically and cornered an even larger piece of the communications market.
“Now we’re just working and changing the brand and making sure that the Fulton customers know they are still going to be taken care of,” de Korne told TMCnet.
This week at ITEXPO, Vertical is making more news by promoting the recent release of its Viewpoint Mobile version 2.1 software, an advanced mobile communications solution that seamlessly extends UC features to users' personal iOS or Android devices—at no added cost. Perhaps Viewpoint’s most impressive differentiator is that it offers customers the ability to manage and redirect calls to any device they choose, without the need for additional hardware or licenses.
Vertical is making a major push in mobility at the moment, because, as de Korne put it, “more people have a smartphone now than have cable.” The new Viewpoint release will offer features including, but not limited to:
- Call Redirect, which allows ongoing calls to be moved between devices and networks—from from cellular to Wi-Fi to desktop—with one push of a button.
- Audible Alerts that notify the user if a call is disconnected and immediately switches it to a different network.
- Copy and Dial, which allows the user to paste phone numbers from the Web or other locations directly into the dialer.
- Easier, direct access to enterprise directories that drives better mobile production. With Viewpoint Mobile 2.0 system administrators can assign individual user access to specific extensions, departments and call groups.
For many businesses, committing to such a drastic change in its model might be a daunting prospect, but for Vertical, the combination of previous direct sales success and familiarity with its merger partner made the prospect of a merger more exciting than nerve-wracking. And, so far, everything seems to be going to plan.
“So far the transition has been very smooth. We already know each other, which is always a great benefit, and both organizations are used to this model,” de Korne told TMCnet. “It was kind of just like flipping a switch.”