We had a recent announcement about our new Client Configuration Server and patent, and since then, customers have wanted to understand more about why we connected the two in the same statement.
At some point during our discussion, there was one of those "A-ha" moments. You know, when that fog-bound path you were climbing up a mountain suddenly bursts into sunshine at the summit and you can see clearly for miles.
Let me explain: CounterPath has been listening to customers' needs. In this case, to our consumer/retail users of Bria, the Internet Telephony Service Providers (ITSPs) who serve them, and also our enterprise customers who have their own networks. It’s rare that a product solution applies to all sets of customers, but in this case the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Here’s what happened:
- We announced availability of our Client Configuration Server – this enables ITSPs and enterprise customers to configure large sets of users and their profiles, including all the usual elements such as forwarding numbers, usernames, passwords etc. Automatic provisioning of clients, including when they plug in or pull out devices like headsets or swap from desktop to iPhone, is fully supported.
- We released an ITSP Partner programme which enables existing and new ITSPs to confirm their network and service offerings operate correctly with CounterPath clients, in particular, the mobile versions.
- We announced the X-Lite Connect service which will transparently enable X-Lite users on different networks to connect with each other and simultaneously allow the use of an ITSP/PBX account as configured by their service provider. As an added extra, it also seamlessly unifies presence and IM information from completely disparate PBX users who do not have the opportunity to see the effective presence of their industry colleagues or friends hosted by a different PBX.
Have another look at the above three statements.
What it means to our ITSP customers:
- You don’t need a separate provisioning server for your VoIP clients – ours is built on carrier-class blade servers, and fits directly in with your customer provisioning portal through an API and other mechanisms.
- We will help you validate mobile users as well – the fastest growing segment of VoIP clients on the market today, on both Android and iPhone smartphones. Your existing customers will want to use your service on their phones as well as their desktops – we’ve just made that an easy transition for you.
What it means to our Retail customers:
- Everything you like about your VoIP ITSP just got better – you can use your desktop client or smartphone, with the same credentials, to get the same level of service and features you have come to enjoy. No configuration necessary – just the username and password. And now, you can effectively slash your mobile phone bills while roaming, by using Bria on your iPhone/Android phone, and a WiFi zone like a coffee shop, airport lounge or huge variety of free access points.
- If you are trying to contact other users who are also using X-Lite, you will soon be able to do this directly through the X-Lite Connect service, which will also let you see their presence and will enable IM, without you needing to subscribe to any additional service. It is of course, optional.
What it means to our enterprise customers:
- Provisioning your employees for desktop use is now integrated into existing IT tasks. If your employees want to use their own iPhone/Android phones on your network or for Corporate calling whilst outside on WiFi/3G, you can make it easy and transparent too, using the same credentials as the desktop. This way, their calls can go through your PBX if you prefer.
What it means to all three groups:
- If you use X-Lite you will be able to see presence and IM information across the planet, for customers and other contacts on completely different PBXs or ITSPs – it’s like they all signed up to a global presence service, but without the sign-up hassle.
This makes it incredibly easy to expand services to include smartphones, and to provision huge numbers of users in a reliable manner that integrates with existing customer portals.
Now the "A-ha" moment.
We patented that automatic provisioning process. Any VoIP soft client using an automatic mechanism to retrieve details of its configuration from a server, including dynamic configuration changes while in use, is neatly covered by the patent.
That was why it has a mention in the press release. As described earlier, here at CounterPath, we're keen about patents as a way to assure customers of our product commitment and to provide them with protection when deploying services using CounterPath products.
Our customers, across all segments from ITSP, Retail and Enterprise, can sleep soundly in the knowledge that choosing CounterPath means deploying with confidence.