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Version 5


Vodia PBX
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Almost three years after the release of version 4.0 we are coming out with version 5. Before rumors are spreading around too much, we would like to keep you updated with what is going on.

 

The new version is more than just a version number change. Over the past months we sat down and discuss about the vision and the mission regarding the VoIP business in general and in regards to the PBX service in particular.It is clear that as of today, customer premises-based PBX systems make up the majority of the installed systems; however the cloud topic must be addressed properly in order not to miss the future. One core point of the vision is the separation of the world into endpoints and servers, which demand different approaches. This is why we decided to spin the PBX topic off into a separate company that focuses entirely on the server topic. We had the domain name vodia.com already sitting there for a couple of years, and now it is time to begin to use it. To make the transition smooth, we'll keep the snomone.com domains as well.

 

We do this while we are coming up with a new version. It is quite common in the software industry to change the version number from time to time. After Windows 2000 comes Windows XP, then Vista, 7 and then finally Windows 8; other companies like Apple or Adobe are not so much different. Of course this does not mean that everybody must immediately switch to the new version. For new installations it makes sense to consider the new version; for existing installations unless there is a need for new features in the new version,customers can just continue running their system. Never change a running system.For those who want to switch, we will make sure that there are generous discounts available.

 

Along with the version change also comes a change in the license model. The snom ONE free, yellow and blue models were taken into the market to help promoting the sales of snom phones. This model did not always work well; we have seen installations where customers did use snom ONE only with cell phones and at the same time we had to say it makes sense. The new license model takes a more classical approach that we already used in pbxnsip times based on the number of extensions and used features, regardless of the phones used and if phones are used at all. Customers and resellers are able to pick the components for their license as they need it. There will be a handful of bundles to start off with; additional features can be added as required. New will be that licenses can be upgraded around the clock without manual interaction,and additional features can be tried out independently from the core feature set. This makes it possible to try out for example the Microsoft Lync integration for a few days on a system that is already running, without loosing the license for operating the rest of the service.

 

For companies that are hosting the snom ONE software, we will continue to offer recurring payment models that align very well with the cash flow of the customers.

 

We also spent some time looking into marketing text books. It is important, but not enough to have a good product; the pricing is an important topic as well. You can overprice a product, but you can also underprice a product. It is not a good strategy to take a look at what competitors are charging and then just discount something. At the end of the day, customers are paying a price for value; the price model has to be able to match the value that customers are receiving and perceiving. Just having essentially two prices in the market (or three if you count the free in) is very inflexible, and unnecessary.It is not reasonable that a company with 150 users is paying the same price like a company with 30: The values that those two companies receive are quite different.

 

But that's not where our marketing studies ended. We also had to realize that software is distributed in a different way than hardware.Customers today expect that they can get software instantaneously over the Internet. This does not only mean that shipping physical USB sticks with the software on it is antique. Customers expect that they can purchase software and services around the clock, independent from time zones and holidays, automated.While it is possible for companies to purchase their software directly from the manufacturer, it is more efficient if someone who knows the companies infrastructure and knows the product does that the job. That's why it is so important to partner with snom ONE.

 

In today's marketing the "community" is an important factor,too. We are proud of the relatively long history that we can present in the IP-PBX space, and this is not the first change that the forum is going through. Search engines are a powerful force in today's promotion strategies. The forum does not miss a beat while we are moving on to version 5. We have a lot of people who invested in snom ONE outside of the company by learning how the product works and contributing to the forum; we know that this is the true value of the product.

 

We have made a new web page, http://snomone.com which is dealing only with the PBX. Now we have a lot more room to explain the numerous features in more detail. If you have some time, take a look at it,even though the page is not 100 % finished yet you'll get the picture. We'll keep on adding content; consider the web page a moving target.

 

We'll make an announcement when version 5 is ready for download.

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Well you will not be able to get any hardware delivered through your internet connection. This is really only about the snom ONE software. As usual, we wanted to release it already but still finding bugs!

 

Will dealer pricing still be protected through distribution or is it going to be open pricing for everyone?

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Will dealer pricing still be protected through distribution or is it going to be open pricing for everyone?

 

It will be difficult to protect a specific distribution channel like it was common twenty years ago. In the age of Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Wikipedia things have become a lot more transparent for end customers. While this can be a major problem for some of the established vendors, we can and should use this fact to our advantage.

 

There will be a open price for everyone. But there will also be rebates for registered partners and also for distributors. The levels depend on the partner status, and they will not be completely static. The overall goal is to give resellers an adequate position in the value chain and stay competitive in a dynamic market.

 

 

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I have been looking through the prices and have few questions:

 

- What are the dash & bullet meaning in the bundle list ? dash = not included and bullet = included ? Could be handy to put a legend on the page.

 

- What is making Automatic Recording so expensive ?

 

- Blue was with 5 domains and in price comparable with the forty now. But even in the eigthy version you're only including 1 domain !

- Why bying per 5 domains ? I rather would like increment per domain at €49/domain.

 

What is CSTA Support bringing for additional value ? There was pac, wac, soap, csta, … all solutions bringing remote solutions but all this is gone.

 

What is bringing v5 additional what we don't have yet in v4.5 ?

 

What happens with SomONE Mini ?

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- What are the dash & bullet meaning in the bundle list ? dash = not included and bullet = included ? Could be handy to put a legend on the page.

Yes. At least it is international. wink.gif

- What is making Automatic Recording so expensive ?

Some people say why is it so cheap! Check out the prices for recording solutions. We did not want to go that far, although we are able to record calls if they are on SRTP.

- Blue was with 5 domains and in price comparable with the forty now. But even in the eigthy version you're only including 1 domain !

The problem here is that domains are a reason for trouble in support. Most companies don't need it, and if someone really needs multiple domains the price is not a show stopper.

- Why bying per 5 domains ? I rather would like increment per domain at €49/domain.

Well the support starts with the second domain...

What is CSTA Support bringing for additional value ? There was pac, wac, soap, csta, … all solutions bringing remote solutions but all this is gone.

We have seen that 3rd party programs are using CSTA (which is a good thing), and they easily cost 50 or more USD per extension. This is more than we charge per extension for the whole system! Having a flag on CSTA makes sure that we can also have a fair share in the CSTA game.

What is bringing v5 additional what we don't have yet in v4.5 ?

A couple of new fixed (see http://wiki.snomone....tle=Release_5.0). We'll address this question in the upcoming days. But 5.0 is not a feature freeze, more features coming up later that we could not include in this release (e.g. wizard, phone-specific PnP pages what make button setup super simple).

What happens with SomONE Mini ?

Because this is a relatively high-volume hardware product it is sold by snom (without the ONE) through the snom distribution channels.

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It will be difficult to protect a specific distribution channel like it was common twenty years ago. In the age of Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Wikipedia things have become a lot more transparent for end customers. While this can be a major problem for some of the established vendors, we can and should use this fact to our advantage.

 

There will be a open price for everyone. But there will also be rebates for registered partners and also for distributors. The levels depend on the partner status, and they will not be completely static. The overall goal is to give resellers an adequate position in the value chain and stay competitive in a dynamic market.

 

I understand protected distribution is the way of the past, but I assume being a certified Var that we can register somehow for wholesale pricing? Is that what you mean by rebates? How do we get our account setup as a certified var?

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Yes. At least it is international. wink.gif

 

Some people say why is it so cheap! Check out the prices for recording solutions. We did not want to go that far, although we are able to record calls if they are on SRTP.

 

The problem here is that domains are a reason for trouble in support. Most companies don't need it, and if someone really needs multiple domains the price is not a show stopper.

 

Well the support starts with the second domain...

 

We have seen that 3rd party programs are using CSTA (which is a good thing), and they easily cost 50 or more USD per extension. This is more than we charge per extension for the whole system! Having a flag on CSTA makes sure that we can also have a fair share in the CSTA game.

 

A couple of new fixed (see http://wiki.snomone....tle=Release_5.0). We'll address this question in the upcoming days. But 5.0 is not a feature freeze, more features coming up later that we could not include in this release (e.g. wizard, phone-specific PnP pages what make button setup super simple).

 

Because this is a relatively high-volume hardware product it is sold by snom (without the ONE) through the snom distribution channels.

 

On the mini, can it be upgrade to version 5 and still have 20 extensions or will it be neutered if it upgraded to 5? What features will it lose?

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I understand protected distribution is the way of the past, but I assume being a certified Var that we can register somehow for wholesale pricing? Is that what you mean by rebates? How do we get our account setup as a certified var?

 

Just register at http://snomone.com, send an email to partner at snomone with the email login in the message with some more information about you so that we can qualify you (e.g. the snom VAR status). Also if you have participated in a snom ONE training please let us know. We did not automate that process on the website yet.

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On the mini, can it be upgrade to version 5 and still have 20 extensions or will it be neutered if it upgraded to 5? What features will it lose?

 

In theory (when the build is available for the mini), you can go and just get a new license for V5. However looking at the price tag of the mini you can bet that we'll come out with a special upgrade promotion for the mini to sweeten the deal.

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Automatic Recording <> Ad-hoc Recording.

Just to be sure: Ad-hoc Reporting is included. What's the difference ?

 

Barge, Listen, Whisper included from twenty.

Is thisthe same as Call Barge In, Whisper, Monitor ?

 

Trunk Accounting, Prepaid included from twenty.

Is this the same as Cost Accouting ?

 

There are a few more of those. Just to make sure I interpret correctly.

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In theory (when the build is available for the mini), you can go and just get a new license for V5. However looking at the price tag of the mini you can bet that we'll come out with a special upgrade promotion for the mini to sweeten the deal.

 

Will the same hold true for the SoHo?

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How will hot-desking be counted ? Hopefully not as additional extensiosn.

 

Hot desking means that you can receive the calls from one extension on another extension. This is similar to redirecting all calls on busy to another extension. I don't see how that would affect the counting of a license.

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Automatic Recording <> Ad-hoc Recording.

Just to be sure: Ad-hoc Reporting is included. What's the difference ?

 

Ad-hoc Recording is when you turn recording on from the user when in a call. For example, with the record button on the phone. Automatic recording is initiated by the system; the user has the option to turn it off in a call. That's a typical call center feature.

 

 

Barge, Listen, Whisper included from twenty.

Is thisthe same as Call Barge In, Whisper, Monitor ?

 

Yes.

 

Trunk Accounting, Prepaid included from twenty.

Is this the same as Cost Accouting ?

 

Yes. We are talking about the possibility to upload a rate table into the trunk, so that the system can calculate how much a phone call cost on that trunk. This makes it possible to deduct the amount from the extension or from the domain. This makes prepaid applications possible, but also allows large organizations to distribute the telephone costs on their users/departments.

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Hot desking means that you can receive the calls from one extension on another extension. This is similar to redirecting all calls on busy to another extension. I don't see how that would affect the counting of a license.

 

When I have fixed office space (everyone his/her desk) I count an extension (physical phone) by user.

When I use floating desks I will need a license for each physical extension + a license for each user.

 

Or am I wrong somewhere ?

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If you strictly want to differentiate between physical registration layer and user, then you are right. However to defend this, the user can also receive phone calls without physical registration (e.g. cell phone twinning) and in most practical cases, also has at least one phone registered in the office or at home.

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