Friday, March 20, 2009

Was It Right?

I took some heat for the two blogs I wrote about VOX - here and at TMC.

In the case of Junction, I had the wrong name. I wrote Junction Networks instead of Junction Broadband. (I love that about VoIP companies, such name recognition).

In the case of Acredo, they went into re-org, not closed, but that is what my source made it sound like. When you lay everyone off isn't that what it sounds like? Or do you imagine that the CTO and CEO are going to handle billing, customer service and keep things running while figuring out what the new strategy will be?

In the case of VOX, it was my wording that upset them. But after thinking about it for a few days, I'm steaming. VOX rolled out 2 or 3 press releases about its pending deal with UTGI - or at least I received 2 or 3 copies in my various mailboxes. The PR said that the deal had Closed. It has not. For a publically traded company (OTCBB:PVSP) to talk about a multi-million dollar deal that did not close seems disingenuous to me. And for that same publicly traded company to not issue a notice that it had massive layoffs is again what I call gaming the system.

I write for my customers. I'm not writing for the benefit for AT&T or any other carrier. Occassionally, I will lob in a post about a new vendor, but I let you know that - AND I believe that the vendor can indeed help your business. Now back to VOX, its customers have a right to know that if the UTGI deal doesn't close soon that they are in deep trouble. If you were reselling them, you would want to know, right?

VOX has about $7.4M in debt. In Dec., 2007 it hit 10K lines - not customers, but lines. If the ARPU is $15, that's $150K per month or $1.8M in revenue per year - against $7.4M in debt.

To put it into perspective: VOX is not the only VoIP Provider in this condition. Like ISP's, most VoIP providers have not reached critical mass. The DSL Resellers in BellSouth hardly broke 1000 broadband subs. So a VoIP Provider with less than 100K lines isn't that unusual. What is unusual is in this financial stew how difficult financing can be.

Vendors come to me to sell to ISP's. The problem is that there has been so much implosion over the years that most ISP's would rather DIY than partner with someone. Not just VoIP, but lot sof other service lines.

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