Through the horizon. We are looking for an air corridor for take-off of cloud telephony service

    At the beginning of 2011, when we first thought that we wanted to launch our cloud telephone service, the sky of SaaS was still relatively cloudless - the consumer was just starting to show interest in cloud telephony, the market was not yet rigidly divided and, at first look, the business in the field of telephone SaaS looked extremely attractive: broadband Internet walked around Russia by leaps and bounds, office centers massively "sat down" on bold unlimited channels, only lazy people were not interested in Internet telephony, and the community actively discussed solutions based on op Sensor PBX. Our company IptelefonFor more than 10 years, she worked in the telephone services market, had a loyal customer base, experience working with large customers and a good development team. It was at that time, distant and carefree, that the first release of our virtual PBX ZEON PBX was born .


    For various objective and biased reasons, it was decided to leave the cloud service “for later” and “unleash” the box for starters. Many IP-PBXs were already engaged in at that time, market leaders were clearly traced, there was an understandable and trained consumer, and the level of competition inspired hope that “our solution will definitely tear the market to shreds”. Without further ado, we decided to take the tested and stable Asterisk as a basis, modify, upgrade, paint, improve and make our own release with all the amenities, a convenient admin panel, support and other joys of a paid product. All this was done within one year and at the beginning of 2012 we started selling our box, offering it to existing customers who were willing to change the aging Panasonic and Samsung to a new, outlandish VoIP beast.

    Why a box, not a cloud right away? The answer is simple to the point - the box is much simpler to make, it is easier to sell to customers (of course, primarily your own), it is easier to develop and update, releasing updates with the ability to quickly roll back to the stable version, in case of critical bugs.

    We started playing with the “clouds” almost from the very beginning, offering to deploy ZEON PBX in a private cloud in our data center. In this mode, ZEON PBX lasted almost three years, several releases were released, the platform became very stable, the functionality developed, convenient and somewhat unique “features” appeared - an online call monitoring panel, corporate chat, mini CRM functionality, so called “parish” (a convenient service for monitoring employee time) and a built-in simple help desk. In a word, everything would be fine, but something is not good: the market was advancing uncontrollably and we suddenly found that the cloud trend - the public cloud - is trend number one and all our competitors are sawing telephone cloud platforms in their sweat. In the yard was the fall of 2014, and we have not yet launched our own public cloud. As a matter of urgency, the highest management made a decision - we make our public SaaS and do it as fast as we can. But, before we begin to do it, you need to conduct marketing research. Now, without this, nowhere: if you want to make money on the service, rather than coding endlessly in the hope of getting rich soon, then you need a market analysis and a clear roadmap.

    We will share our observations and analytics of the cloud telephony market in the Russian Federation (all estimates are subjective in nature, but are supported by certain studies).


    As of the end of 2014, the Russian Federation’s cloud telephony market can be estimated at about 100 thousand sold cloud exchanges (not virtual VoIP lines, namely, contracts from 3 to 20 employees per contract), which, in monetary terms, in our opinion, amounts to approximately 300 million rubles per month or 3.5 billion rubles per year. Of these 100,000 sold subscriptions, more than 60% are accounted for by well-known leaders (we will not give their names), and the remaining 40% are evenly distributed among the rest of the market participants (which we just wanted to get into).

    Further: it is clear that there is a market, its capacity is approximately known, but this is already a conquered segment and it is not right for beginners to climb there, it is right to claim new connections. How is the cloud PBX market growing? Something like this - for 3000 new subscriptions per month or, in monetary terms, for 8-9 million rubles per month (based on the calculation - the average ARPU in the amount of 3000 rubles / month), while 60% of the grants were not canceled , which means that all the rest (active SaaS-phone projects, we counted at least 100) account for about 3.5 million rubles a month or 35 thousand rubles each month, which, frankly, is not at all impressive, if you do not hope for the best .

    According to our estimation, the market growth potential looks like this: by 2018, the SaaS telephone market will grow actively and grow by 3 times, i.e., up to 300 thousand sold subscriptions (9 billion rubles a month), and then growth will slow down . And here, it seems, nothing - the aggregate figures are pleasing, the market is voluminous and you can earn, but there is one BUT - now the coverage of the addressable market in Moscow (the most delicious region) is approaching 50-60 %% and this means that the most interesting a serious war is waged for each client in the territory, serious marketing budgets are spent and we will have to invest in promotion in an adult way so that our SaaS ZEON PBX turns out to be a business that feeds itself not only with bread and milk, but also with sandwiches and butter.

    Going to the regions, that is, to where the SaaS telephone market coverage is significantly lower than 50%, is again not the best option from the point of view of investments - besides advertising, you will need number capacity in the regions, sales offices and all other attributes of regional expansion. And we do not fund silicone money, but honestly live on our own, on hard-earned money. What to do in this case? The answer is as simple as semolina - to look for niches in an already established niche, i.e., enter the market not with the next cloudy telephone service, which is no better (and no worse) than others, but leave with a service that has a clear competitive advantage, even and intended for 20% of the existing market.

    What niches can be occupied in the cloud PBX segment in our opinion and how to sell:

    - Boxed integration with popular CRM systems and Help Desks. The cloud CRM market is growing very fast, every second client is interested in boxed integration with CRM. A clear, vivid and understandable trend. We put a tick. ZEON will be friends with the popular CRM with all its might.

    - The API is our everything. Where the client has its own CRM deployed, you can’t do without an API; you give the friendship of telephony and transaction cards. We put the second checkmark: we implement the correct and understandable API and give customers the opportunity to integrate with us as they wish

    - nowadays integration with corporate cellular communications is fashionable, it’s also FMC, It’s also a conversation recording and online statistics of conversations from mobile in the functionality of a cloud PBX. Now, and it has become possible, there are companies offering a partnership program for the integration of FMC-technologies and cloud solutions. Checkmark number three.

    - we do not sell an abstract cloud-based PBX, stuffed with functionality, but offer cases based on the previous three points for understandable market segments: online stores, small wholesale, field services and all other “non-digital agencies”. Fourth checkmark.

    - Cloud call centers for small businesses, i.e., not mega-cool boxes for half a million rubles or more, but a quite budget subscription for several thousand a month, but with wide functionality for a large number of incoming calls.

    - we promote all of the above not in the forehead, after 300 rubles per click in contextual advertising, and, again, we are looking for integrator partners who, like us, have also copied something and are now bored. Together we are strength, together we can do much.

    The functional that we decided to do in infographics looks like this:


    All of the above is a theory, albeit a hard-won and sometimes gloomy one, but it is very revealing and instructive and encourages action. Now about, in fact, actions or about what we “washed down” and what will be released in the coming month as a new cloud telephone service ZEON PBX.


    Everything is in one place or all that the genetic Asterisk is capable of showing, but in a form convenient for understanding - missed and answered / unanswered calls, active conversations, that is, all that will help in one second to evaluate what is happening in the company.


    Employee control panel.

    I came to work - click with the mouse and put the status “At the workplace”, otherwise truant, fine and no beer on Friday. This option is suffered and absolutely justified - the need to do a check in the morning really disciplines. Checked by yourself. We actively support and develop this ZEON option.


    Mini CRM Functionality

    In our difficult time, it’s difficult to live without applications. Every call is worth its weight in gold, every customer is priceless. So that sellers do not click feverishly with the mouse, switching between several running services, we have included some CRM functions directly in our ZEON. With an incoming call, you can create a new application with one click and assign a responsible employee. Very simple and convenient for those who do not want to pay extra for a third-party CRM subscription. However, if you already have CRM - no problem, we have an API and box integration with the main CRM platforms.


    Telephony Settings Panel

    An ordinary user rarely deals with settings, or rather, does not do anything at all, but the administrator deals with settings, and we love admins, because they are almost administrators themselves. For fellow admins, they decided to draw a simple and convenient interface in pastel colors that does not cause attacks of claustrophobia, since the vast majority of admins cause claustrophobia.


    Call center module

    Often the functionality of a call center, in its most common sense, is necessary for small businesses: call queues, strategies for calling employees, ringing numbers from the list.
    We have done only the most necessary and integrated it with ZEON. Who needs a light call center - welcome. We tried to integrate only really necessary functionality.


    Corporate chat

    At first glance, this is not a very necessary thing, since everyone has Skype and Facebook, but you should start using everything in one place, as you understand that this makes great sense: all claims to the accountant Lena are now stored in the same place as the recordings of conversations and deals. Quickly found the desired phrase and poked a finger at it. The conflict with the client is settled and the bills are paid on time.


    Screenshots, of course, do not describe all the features of our ZEON PBX, inside there are still a lot of “chips” about which we will talk about with the following publications. The service now still continues to be a box and a private cloud, but very soon the moment will come when our main developer Oleg will give the “Release” command and we will press the coveted “Publish” button and then - “Hello World, I’m not just born, I’m ready go". In a word - comming soon and this will happen very soon. Thanks for attention.

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