Smoothstone Unveils VoIP Services For Midmarket

Smoothstone, Louisville, Ky., offers nationwide VoIP services targeted at customers with 50 to 1,000 employees, particularly those with multiple locations.

Jeff Wellemeyer, chairman and CTO of Smoothstone, said the company sets itself apart by building enterprise-class features into its portfolio but pricing its service for the midmarket. In comparison, many of Smoothstone&'s hosted VoIP competitors have opted to chase small-business customers, he said.

“We&'re picking up where a lot of other people in the hosted [VoIP] space leave off,” Wellemeyer said.

The privately held company&'s services include Web-based phone management, Automatic Call Distributor functionality, call reporting, unified messaging and conference calling. Smoothstone offers IP-PBX trunking, as well as TDM IP trunking—the latter for clients that want to use VoIP services with existing key or TDM systems. Pricing for VoIP services is about $30 per seat per month.

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Shawn Purcell, partner at Vatic Outsourcing, a telecommunications consultant in Atlanta, said Smoothstone provides a higher level of support than some of its competitors. “Their customer service group is manned with engineers. They seem to be better adept at solving problems quickly,” Purcell said.

While hosted VoIP services currently represent just 1 percent or 2 percent of Vatic&'s revenue, more customers are moving in that direction, Purcell said. “[For fewer than] 250 seats, the hosted model just makes sense,” he said. Larger customers are typically a better fit for premise-based solutions, he said.

Smoothstone is working with 100 partners, selling about 90 percent through the channel, said Russ Maney, Smoothstone&'s vice president of marketing. Solution providers earn recurring revenue from the partnership, though executives declined to disclose margins.