Fred Fromm, President & CEO and Wes Rogers, Founder & COO
Over ten years ago, as the founding team of cloud engineers assembled for their first Monday morning meeting to discuss how they would develop, deploy, and support the services they were about to embark on delivering, nexVortex’s founder and now COO, Wes Rogers set the clear direction. “We must be UNCOMMON in everything we do,” he said. “The market will evolve, our product line will expand, but we must never waiver from that core principle.” The team dedicated themselves to Uncommon Service, Uncommon Know-How, and Uncommon Commitment. These became the guiding principles for the company and the cultural foundation of nexVortex, a provider of cloud communication services for businesses, specializing in Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking, multi-site applications, hosted voice, and hosted contact centers. Since the launch of its commercial services in 2006—at a time when SIP trunking was in its nascent stage— nexVortex has evolved significantly into a fast-growing technology company that provides customers with the IP knowledge, services, and capabilities they need to improve business communications.
In the early days of nexVortex, Fred Fromm, President and CEO, strongly believed that the telecom industry would evolve to stand firmly on three key pillars. Firstly, that IP Communications as a Service—and specifically SIP Trunking—would be the underlying future of business communications. Secondly, the small-to-medium business segments would be the first movers to take advantage of the IP communication service model. And finally, SIP would triumph over all other IP communication protocols. “All of these have come to pass and have resulted in the massive transformation currently underway in the telecom space,” he told us.
The journey was not an easy walk, as much of the core functionality required to run a large-scale, IP cloud communication services business - simply were not available then. Now, almost a decade later, the SIP trunking market is passing the 50 percent penetration mark and continues to accelerate. “We knew SIP would ultimately emerge as the winner and so we invested our energy into establishing solutions and working with standards groups to evolve and innovate.” The result is that as older circuit switched infrastructure and equipment are retired at an accelerated rate, solutions like those delivered by nexVortex will continue to grow as Cloud Communication Services becomes the new standard.
The Multiple Segments of Communication Networks
One thing that has not changed in the evolution of communications is the demand to deliver high-quality, high-availability voice services. It is the lifeblood of business. In cloud communications, inevitably, there are multiple networks involved in the delivery of a service—a local network, an access network, a core network, and often—multiple service providers.
Being Uncommon in Everything we do is in our DNA and is what sets us apart
“A single unified network is not the reality. The trend of communication services moving to the cloud (combined with end-user expectations for a quality service), means that the service must work reliably”, says Fromm. “So we recently expanded our SIP Trunking offering to include Managed SIP (mSIP). It is a service designed and developed to give business users the confidence to migrate their legacy connections (Primary Rate Interfaces) to IP connections. “mSIP measures, reports on, and proves voice quality at various points along the call path. It is delivered over our private, nationwide Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) core network surrounded by nexVortex-developed Session Border Controllers which are interconnected or peered with the leading carriers,” he adds. “The service uses nexVortex’s Service Monitor (nVSM) tool which visually displays call scores, provides service performance details, and is used to pinpoint and resolve troubles quickly and easily.”
The company’s collaboration with a leading furniture dealer is a perfect example to showcase their expertise. Prior to engaging with nexVortex, the dealer was using multiple PRIs across several carriers connecting six different locations. “They were looking to move to an IP solution which could guarantee a quality voice experience while reducing telecommunications expense. Our team worked closely with the client to architect and implement our mSIP offering,” explains Wes Rogers, Founder and COO, nexVortex. “The platform provided quality, visibility, and the required trouble-shooting, while saving 35 percent on their monthly voice spend.”
mSIP opens a path forward to take advantage of the economics and scalability of SIP trunking at a time when carriers are raising prices on PRIs or refusing to renew PRI contracts as they forcibly retire legacy circuit switched technology from the network in favor of IP. “As a service provider to thousands of enterprise customers, we must be able to monitor and control the service delivery,” Rogers explains. “The company strives for 99.99 percent network availability with 100 percent network quality.” nexVortex built, owns, and operates the technology and intellectual property which allows them to not only control their own destiny but to react more quickly to an evolving market as they continue to innovate.
To achieve the right network quality, the team relies on four Uncommon tenets. Firstly, the Uncommon Service which defines their customer-centric problem-solving attitude, followed by the Uncommon Commitment which relentlessly drives the team to go above and beyond and to solve problems quickly. “We engage our Uncommon Know-How to understand and resolve the root cause of the problem wherever it may be found. Finally, our Uncommon Innovation produces the required tools, services, and procedures to leverage evolving technology for the good of our customers,” Rogers adds.
A Suite of Services to Address Different Business Needs
Whether a business needs their voice services connected to the cloud or wants them delivered from the cloud, nexVortex has a solution. From SIP Trunking over the Public Internet to mSIP over the nexVortex private MPLS network, ten years of commercial service has driven product innovation.
Though most clouds are built for IT applications, not all are alike. “We deploy several techniques and different services at different price points. We understand that different businesses have different needs,” comments Fromm.
"Apart from constant enhancement of our SIP Trunking Services, we will be introducing additional hosted voice service feature-functionality and bring enhanced Cloud Connection services to the market"
To offer a robust cloud experience for its customers, nexVortex has executed direct peering relationships with the Nation’s large carriers and ISPs to keep traffic on-net and avoid carrying traffic through multiple peering points which are frequently points of congestion and adversely impact service quality.
For application providers with service delivery platforms in the cloud (like hosted voice or interactive voice response systems), nexVortex has an offering called cloudConnect which directly connects the service delivery platform to the nexVortex network and carries the voice to the PSTN with guaranteed quality. Wes Rogers comments, “cloudConnect extends mSIP’s capabilities to users of voice applications hosted in some of the largest and leading cloud service provider networks.”
Growth and Acquisition
Being a specialist in both SIP trunking and hosted voice services, nexVortex recently acquired agileTel, a hosted voice provider specializing in offering solutions to franchise-based companies. The agileTel acquisition brings expertise to nexVortex that will allow it to move boldly into vertical markets and provide franchises in those markets complete communications solutions. “agileTel was an opportunity to expand our hosted voice service portfolio into a new vertical market. We were able to integrate its operations efficiently. There was no customer disruption, nor were any customers lost,”describes Fromm. “agileTel was the second hosted voice company we acquired. The first was in 2015 and we continue to be interested in opportunities like these.”
On their futuristic vision, the company is aiming at their 32nd consecutive quarter of revenue growth. That growth is attributed to the fact that nexVortex has taken a disciplined approach to managing by focusing on the needs of customers and delivering consistent quality and value.
“At this stage, we seek opportunities to help small and medium sized business customers to meet their objectives through our services. Apart from constant enhancement of our core SIP trunking business, we will be introducing additional hosted service feature-functionality and bring enhanced cloud connection services to market,” signs-off Fromm, who believes constant innovation combined with being UNCOMMON is the key to success.
For Fred, Wes, and the team at nexVortex, it has been a great ride on the bumpy road of evolving communication services and the “future looks even more exciting.”