PBX manufacturer Wildix opened a UK office last year and is now recruiting IT resellers. James Goulding finds out more about the company and its products from UK channel manager Rob Loakes
Wildix may be a new player to the UK, but in Italy it has already captured 27% of the addressable market for browser based unified communications (UC) and, in conjunction with channel partner Vitrociset S.p.A, has just announced a record 42,000-user contract with the Italian government.
The company provides a complete end-to-end VoIP solution, including a PBX, available in hosted, virtualised and on-premise versions; desktop and cordless phones; the only browser-based WebRTC Phone for audio and video calls, chat and desktop sharing; mobile apps for Android and iPhone; and clientless WebRTC video conferencing.
In a crowded marketplace, Wildix stands out for its use of WebRTC technology, which provides web browsers and mobile applications with Real-Time Communications (RTC) capabilities via simple APIs.
UK channel manager Rob Loakes says early adoption of this technology has given Wildix a head-start over many competitors, whilst also providing significant benefits for end users and a key point of differentiation for resellers.
“WebRTC is an emerging technology for a lot of people. For companies like Avaya and Mitel, it is something new. For Wildix it’s not. It’s fully embedded into our solution and has been from the outset. We were the first to deploy a WebRTC solution. Now, everybody is playing catch-up.”
For end users and resellers, WebRTC has the advantages of simplicity and ﬂexibility.
“Because WebRTC is built into web browsers, you can be a user on our system just by opening up a Google Chrome or Firefox browser. Log in with the password and you have the full phone system and collaboration functionality without having to download any software,” Loakes explained.
“The user adoption rate is massive. Users just think ‘Wow, this is brilliant’ and use it. They already use Google Chrome or a web browser for the internet, so it’s not a new application. It’s effectively just a website that gives them the ability to screen share, make video calls, share files, chat and obviously make voice calls. All from a single platform without having to install anything.
“You can expand the functionality beyond that as well, for example by integrating it with your website so that you can chat or video call directly from there. You can screenshare. You can see everyone’s status – who’s on the phone (and who they are talking to), who’s in a meeting and who doesn’t want to be disturbed. You can see where everyone is and you can populate that on a map. We can get that information from our app running on an Android or Apple phone as well. So, if you have a mobile workforce you can see instantly where they are and their presence status.”
A little history
Wilidix was founded in Italy in 2005, since when it has gradually expanded across Europe, opening an R&D centre in the Ukraine, distribution centre in the Netherlands and sales offices in France, Germany and Holland. It opened a US office in 2016 and in Q4 2017 opened an office in the UK. Loakes points out that it is where it has feet on the ground.
“In every region we operate in we have an office, we have a local presence. So our expansion, although slow, is designed to give the best possible support to our partners. We want them to have a local representation, someone they can go to, someone they can trust who operates solely within that market,” he said.
Since setting up in the UK, Wildix has been growing fast, attracting a range of SME customers, from 10-user estate agents to businesses with 200 or more extensions. Because the solution is so scalable the UK office has also been quoting for larger implementations, including a 2,500-extension system for a hospital.
Easy integration with other systems gives Wildix broad appeal across a range of verticals, such as hospitality (fully integrated with hotel solutions); healthcare (with nurse call integration of DECT phones and the Wildix app); recruitment (thanks to the ability to conduct video interviews with remote candidates without having to install any software); and the legal sector (with call recording as standard).
IT resellers wanted
Wildix already has agreements with 13 UK resellers and, according to Loakes, plans Wildix’s policy only to operate in territories to recruit an additional 17 by the end of this year, largely from the IT community. “We are looking at system integrators, people who are established but forward thinking. We don’t want to go down the same route as everyone else. We want to be selective with our partners and make sure they are dedicated to us. We want people to see the strength of our product and lead with it,” he said.
Loakes adds that for IT resellers and system integrators looking to get into the telecoms market, the Wildix PBX is an ideal solution, partly because in terms of set-up it is much more like an IT solution than a traditional telephone system, and partly because the hosted version supports the popular ‘as a service’ model and monthly recurring billing model that the IT industry is moving to.
“Our hosted solution is just UCC as a service, which is why it works so well for those people. Today, there are not many IT companies that don’t sell as a service,” he said.
Another key selling point is that the entire Wildix solution – PBX and phones – is fully branded from end to end.
“That’s a big difference compared to a lot of the open source-type solutions out there,” explained Loakes. “It’s all Wildix end-to-end. We auto-provision everything we supply. Any phone we supply will auto provision straight onto your PBX without any requirement to configure the phone manually.”
Loakes is the first to promote the strengths of the Wildix proposition, but even he has been taken aback by the head of steam the UK team has picked up since last year. “We can’t believe the rate we are picking up business,” he said. “We didn’t think we would be at 13 resellers so quickly. We thought that would be in our second year. We are barely six months in and we are ﬂying.”
Resellers can find out more about Wildix and its products by visiting stand B121 at UC EXPO.