Most end users don’t think about what powers their telephony and business communication systems, but there’s a lot of technology in the underlying platforms. While not a household name, one of the key providers of this technology is 2600Hz and its KAZOO communication and collaboration open-source software platform. KAZOO is aimed at service providers offering VoIP, UCaaS, and related services, enabling them to use 2600Hz’s many APIs to build and deliver customized communication services. 2600Hz offers both a CPaaS platform and a UC platform, and can be seen as a cross between Broadsoft and Twilio.
At its recent KAZOOcon conference held in San Diego, 2600Hz hosted a group of customers, partners, resellers, and others, providing an opportunity to network with some pretty smart people.
2600Hz COO and Co-Founder Patrick Sullivan kicked off the event by discussing the company’s vision for a “full telco in a box” and the core pillars of the company’s technology, including:
- Distributed architecture for scale/reliability
- APIs for customization and integrations
- Automation for faster onboarding and setup
- User experience for ease of use and adoption
Sullivan noted that 2600Hz experienced 80% year-over-year growth in 2018, and reinvested it back into the company, increasing head count, adding a Professional Services team, growing its international presence, and more.
Sullivan told the audience, “You will lose by just selling a phone. With a more distributed workplace, companies expect a full communication experience for remote workers and traditional office workers.”
With its platform foundation firmly in place, 2600Hz is now focusing on enhanced features, integrations, applications, and the end user experience. The company announced a slew of new features and capabilities aimed at its service provider customers.
I spoke with Sullivan to get additional insights on the company (note that we spoke during the evening event, so pardon the extraneous noise).
During the event CEO and Co-Founder Darren Schreiber laid out a long list of enhancements and new capabilities to help partners with functions such as onboarding, invoicing, provisioning, etc. The company also introduced a new desktop app for those who prefer not to use the browser-based client, as well as additional mobile application features, a new Call Center Pro application, and a long list of other capabilities that are in development.
I spoke with Schreiber, who provided additional background on the company, its key differentiations, the CPaaS market, and more.
KAZOO has gone global. That’s according to Alisa Bartash, Product Marketing Manager, who provided an update on 2600Hz’s global expansion in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and beyond. The company has added several data centers and is now working with Softlayer (an IBM company), which means that KAZOO is now available wherever Softlayer has data centers. The company will be adding extensive localization, auto provisioning, and more to help its partners expand their business and reach untapped markets and new revenue streams.
To help service providers offer more complete communication experiences, the company introduced it App Exchange, enabling customers and partners to publish applications that others can purchase and deploy on the KAZOO platform. This is a win-win for developers who can sell their apps, and other 2600Hz customers who have access to them.
One of the companies that will be making its application available in the App Exchange is Vinix, which offers business phone service, PBX and SIP trunking, and other services. As Mark Diaz, Founder/CEO Vinix, explained, “We chose 2600Hz and KAZOO because of its open source nature and abstract paradigm which lets us guarantee a great customer experience. It gives us total control to provide what customers are looking for.” He added, “I didn't want to be another ‘me too’ selling the same thing as everyone else. I want to control the customer experience from start to finish and add new capabilities to differentiate our offerings.” With KAZOO and 2600Hz’ APIs, Vinix can offer customized services for verticals, such as automatic dictation for law firms.
At the event, Diaz wowed the audience with Vinix Blast, a full stack, secure collaboration, voice, video, messaging, SMS/MMS, file sharing, screen sharing, and conferencing application, with integrated SIP and PSTN connectivity that is built on KAZOO. It offers external bridges to connect to third-party CRMs, messaging platforms, portals and additional services. Diaz announced that Vinix Blast will be in 2600Hz’s App Exchange enabling partners to leverage this platform for text messaging, voice and video calls. According to Diaz, “Everything will be integrated out of the box – one click and the service is ready to go.”
I spoke with Diaz and asked about Vinix Blast, why 2600Hz, and why they’re making the application available on the App Exchange.
The audience also heard from Chris Burgy, VP of Corporate Development of Ooma, a 2600Hz customer and sponsor of the event. Ooma branched out from its residential VoIP heritage, including home security and video monitoring, to the small business segment with Ooma Office, and more recently to the enterprise market with Ooma Enterprise. Burgy told the service provider audience that there’s still a huge addressable market to target, and gave some specific advice on how to compete in a crowded market.
I spoke with Burgy about Ooma, why they use 2600Hz and the KAZOO platform, and how the APIs allow for customization and business process integration.
Another 2600Hz customer who presented at the event was SimpleVoIP, which provides simple and complete hosted VoIP services for retail and restaurant chains. The company offers a fully managed solution via its high-end, secure data centers.
I spoke with Josh Robbins, CEO of SimpleVoIP, who discussed why the company chose 2600Hz (hint: reliability and scalability), and how its APIs are used to help create innovative and customized capabilities for SimpleVoIP customers.
Summing it Up
As you can see, 2600Hz continues to innovate and add capabilities while expanding globally. The company has a lot of happy customers that use the KAZOO platform and APIs to provide more customized solutions for their customers. While you won’t see the company’s name displayed on phones or desktop clients, 2600Hz is working behind the scenes to provide a feature-rich platform used by service providers to better serve their customers.