Intelepeer Executive Interview
Frank Fawzi, President and CEO, Intelepeer
IntelePeer and Advantone: A Marriage Made in the Cloud Offers New Synergies for Contact Centers, Intelepeer
Nicolas Dourassoff, CEO, Advantone
Even as the ink was still drying on the acquisition agreement that brought cloud contact solution provider Advantone into the fold with cloud-based communications provider IntelePeer, the market was buzzing with what IntelePeer president and CEO Frank Fawzi described as “a consistently incredible level of excitement among our partners.”
The 200+ channel partners –VARs and systems integrators who currently sell Intelepeer solutions -- will have an expanded list of options to present to enterprise companies, particularly those in the supplier’s sweet spot, which Fawzi identified as companies in the mid-market enterprise sector with between 200 and 5000 employees. “The more solutions available, the better we can serve the enterprise,” he said. “Businesses that are interested in PBX replacement or Unified Communication can now also talk about call distribution upgrades, IVR deployment and better lead gen engines.”
The integration allows the cloud-based service providers to offer Advantone’s exceptionally robust set of contact center functionalities, including IVR, cloud routing and sophisticated predictive dialing to meet the specific needs of a broader range of customers. The contact center solutions are highly scalable, which makes them all the more attractive. The joint entity also enables forward-thinking contact center operators to take advantage of SIP (session initiation protocol) trunking, high definition voice, and other internet telephony services that will be available from Intelepeer.
How was the match arranged between the two suppliers? It was a gradual courtship nurtured over the past two years, according to Fawzi. “When we doubled down on the enterprise, we studied market trends. We saw the direction was that businesses wanted to move their ACDs from on-premise to the cloud, improve IVR functionality and look at a full set of business case replacements” he noted. “We evaluated the market and searched for partners that would work best with us.” What they found was a company with whom they were already in a semi-serious relationship. “Advantone started out as a customer with our channel partners and sales team reselling their platform,” he said “After about six months, we realized that there were important synergies between our two organizations.”
Advantone CEO Nicolas Dourassoff agrees. “Ours is a rich platform targeting contact centers in the range of 200-600 seats, with particular strength in serving the pharmaceutical and direct response verticals. We had no real sales force and had grown organically, almost exclusively by referrals, up to that point. We were aware that we needed to be able to add more R&D resources to help us expand our reach. Our two organizations are extremely complementary: telephony now becomes an added service to our clients, providing them with a complete business communications and contact center solution”
With its growth-by-referral business model and its tight focus on specific verticals, Advantone has often flown under the radar. But Fawzi believes that its platform is competitive with any of the leading cloud contact center suppliers. “It was built from scratch as a cloud asset,” he noted. “The feature sets and scalability are second to none in the cloud world.” He also praised Advantone’s attention to detail and ability to create functionalities that help generate revenue for their specific customer base.
With the additional funding available for R&D and an amplified ability to employ their proven pre-sale and support skills, Fawzi sees the potential for Advantone expand their existing customer base into additional verticals over the next few years. Advantone currently has over 100 customers while IntelePeer has more than 1,300.
IntelePeer and Advantone are combining network and contact center platforms, “This partnership enables us to create a very powerful platform that will best service our customers and expand our portfolio, “said Fawzi. ‘It sets up a centralized offering that we believe is unique. The product will have the flexibility to pivot to meet the forthcoming needs of contact centers in the areas of analytics, scalability, and real-time data as well as in other critical areas.” While they will work together closely, the two companies will continue as standalone organizations with separate CEOs. “Our philosophy is that “customer satisfaction means exactly that-- the customer must be satisfied,” said Fawzi. “Advantone’s culture is so focused on delivering customer satisfaction that it makes for a perfect fit.”