trixbox Pro and Lightbound Illuminate Mid-Western Phone Services
Indiana’s largest Internet service provider (ISP), Lightbound, was in a unique business position. By adding VoIP phone services to its product mix, Lightbound could capitalize on an entirely new revenue opportunity while providing its small to medium size business customers with everything they need for complete business phone capabilities, from the pipe to the dial tone to the IP-PBX. Before selecting Fonality trixbox Pro, Lightbound had struggled with building its own Asterisk-based phone system, which wasn’t meeting its needs. After deciding to replace its Asterisk offering, Lightbound researched its alternatives and found a perfect match in Fonality trixbox Pro.
trixbox Pro Meets Customer Demand
LightBound’s search for a new IP-PBX phone system included conducting customer research to determine exactly what SMBs were looking for in a phone system. The research determined that reliability was an absolute requirement, many wanted call center functionality and no one had the budget for a traditional high-end PBX system. With these criteria top of mind, LightBound set out to find the right phone system for its customers and one that would also contribute to the bottom line.
LightBound knew that its decision to replace Asterisk was necessary. “Asterisk was just too unstable and difficult to use for the average SMB,” said Mike Booher, general manager at Lightbound. “It put us in a hole, and then, when features didn’t work, we had to rely on the Asterisk community or our own programmers to fix the problem.”
After being introduced to Fonality trixbox Pro, Lightbound quickly realized it had found the right phone system partner. “Fonality did a great job with trixbox Pro. Our customers like all the advanced features, and how easy it is for their employees to use,” stated Booher. “Many of our customers can’t believe that trixbox Pro gives them full call center functionality – queuing, interactive voice response, call barging and monitoring – at such an affordable price.”
trixbox Pro Support and Provisioning
The fact that Fonality provides full support to Lightbound is a huge benefit. “Fonality is there to back us up 24/7, so we are never out in the field by ourselves. This is especially important to us because we provide everything to our customers – from the dial tone to the phone system – which means there is never anyone else to point the finger at,” said Booher. “We feel very comfortable knowing that we have Fonality behind us to help us serve our customers should they need help.”
LightBound also likes the “truly unique” flexibility that trixbox Pro offers with regard to handset and server hardware. Fonality provides a list of qualified hardware that has been tested and is compatible with trixbox Pro, but the product also works with a number of options that are not qualified by the company. “The list of trixbox-qualified hardware options is perfect for new customers that don’t have phones or servers in place,” stated Booher. “But, if a customer has already invested in a certain kind of phone, its nice that we can allow them to leverage those investments rather than forcing them to purchase something else.”
In fact, based on Lightbound’s experience, the entire provisioning process is “one-of-a-kind.” “Fonality helps us service our customers better, which is what it’s all about,” said Booher. Not only can customers choose their own hardware options, but Fonality also allows resellers to purchase phones and servers from alternate sources. “With trixbox Pro, we can buy hardware from Fonality when it makes sense, but we also have the option, if we need it, to purchase from a local source and can get phones that day.” LightBound also appreciates the fact that it can order trixbox Pro online and download product license keys for same day installation.
The trixbox Pro Impact
Since Lightbound began selling trixbox Pro, the company has seen some tremendous results. “The obvious advantage is that trixbox Pro is an extremely flexible product that helps our customers save money on their phone services by using the Internet connections we’ve already provided them,” said Booher.
Also on the upside is Lightbound’s ability to deploy its operations and programming staff differently. Before trixbox Pro, LightBound had much of its staff dedicated to creating new features or working to fix problems it had with its Asterisk-based system. “trixbox Pro has helped turn our staff into revenue generators instead of problem fixers,” said Booher. “They can now focus on selling, deploying and supporting new systems faster. I can’t express how important that has been, and will be, to our company.”
LightBound is extremely happy that it chose to sell trixbox Pro. “For channel partners that want to get into the IP-PBX market, trixbox Pro makes all the sense in the world,” stated Booher. “With no phone experience and reasonable technical skills, anyone can enter the IP-PBX space, provide a really robust product that is well supported, and make some good money while doing it.”