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Speakeasy CEO talks VoIP success

Attention to customer service and service-level agreements contributed to company's growth

Convergence & VoIP Alert By and Steve Taylor, Network World
March 09, 2010 01:45 PM ET
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VoIP, unified messaging, products and services

Network World - We had the chance recently to speak with Bruce A. Chatterley who has been president and CEO at Speakeasy since 2003. Originally founded as an Internet café, the company has doubled in size and now offers a portfolio of broadband services and hosted VoIP targeted to the small business market. Best Buy purchased Speakeasy in 2007.

According to Chatterley, Speakeasy's attention to customer service has been one of the biggest factors that has helped it grow in the small and midsize business market, and offering service-level agreements has also contributed to the company's success. About 65% of the company sales come from its direct sales force, while 35% of sales are brought in by independent IT consultants. Speakeasy targets businesses with less than 100 employees, and 75% of its customers have less than 25 employees.In 2009, Speakeasy's VoIP service helped the company grow by 25%, with hosted VoIP responsible for 80% of the increase in sales.

When we asked Chatterley what he sees as trends for Speakeasy in the future, he suggested three things. First, he believes that hosted will continue to be a growing opportunity for service providers, especially as (wide area) Ethernet over copper becomes more widely available. He sees the ability to "remotely enable" VoIP connections as an important capability, especially as users look to replacing their desktop phones with mobile phones; he also sees the evolution of fixed mobile convergence and femtocell technology playing an important role in remote connectivity. And Chatterley is also upbeat on the opportunities created by a partnership between Speakeasy and "Best Buy for Business" as both organizations work together on a common goal to serve customers well.

Our thanks to Mr. Chatterley for sharing his success story and his thoughts about the future of VoIP.

Read more about voip & convergence in Network World's VoIP & Convergence section.

Steve Taylor is president of Distributed Networking Associates and publisher/editor-in-chief of Webtorials. Larry Hettick, an independent analyst and consultant, is a 30-year industry veteran. He has covered VoIP and UC at Network World for 12 years.

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