SIP Print Inc.
January 27, 2014 Issue
The Most Powerful Name In Corporate News and Information
VoIP Call Recording Solutions for the Telecommunications Industry
About SIP Print Inc.
As the makers of the world’s first fully SIP-compliant family of VoIP call
recording systems for businesses of all sizes around the globe, SIP Print
continues to create and introduce innovative yet affordable VOIP Call
Recording solutions for the telecommunications industry offering seamless
integration, maximum performance and efficiency, and regulatory compliance
for customers throughout the world.
Interview conducted by: Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – January 27, 2014
CEOCFO: Mr. Palmer, would you give us a little background on SIP Print?
Mr. Palmer: Sure. SIP Print is a worldwide voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), or session initiation protocol (SIP) based call recording company. We started in 2008. We were one of the first ones to develop peer-to-peer SIP based call recording. We first launched the product in September 2008, and we have been a pretty good force in the industry for call recording within that technology market for the last five, six years now.
CEOCFO: What is it that you are actually providing to your customers? What goes into a typical engagement?
Mr. Palmer: That is a good question. We started off providing a hardware solution. We develop the software, but the hardware that we use to put our software on is hardware that is provided out of the US. We have a manufacturing partner in the US that provides the actual computer, but it is our software that goes on it. Our initial thought was to provide the entire solution. If somebody wanted to buy call recording, we would sell them the entire solution and ship that entire product out. Now, as we have advanced over the years, we still do that; we have focused on that, and we have many dealers that buy from us to provide that product to their customers. We also sell through a government contract. We primarily sell through dealer channels. There is a lot of your IP-PBX dealers, the Ciscos, Allworx, Adtran, Mitels etc. these types of folks are the primary buyers our product as well as Carriers such as Windstream, XO and others, so we sell through those channels and they buy our product and sell it to their customers. In the last year, we have also developed an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) type white label program where we will sell our software to those companies that are interested in white-labeling and putting it on their own hardware. We are moving into that area more and more. We also provide a carrier-grade service call recording product to major players like Windstream Communications, CenturyLink, XO, Verizon, and Metaswitch etc. so we provide solutions and services to those folks as well.
CEOCFO: What is the competitive landscape?
Mr. Palmer: It is pretty big out there; it is actually pretty broad. I have been in the business of communications for 37 years, and I know I have made a pretty good living in the small to medium business market. There were not that many, maybe five, six, seven, eight years ago. There were a handful, if that many; they were the big fellas. They were the guys that sold to the upper echelon, the big companies, the big Fortune 500s, the Fortune 1000s. We took the approach to start at the bottom and work with the very small to medium business market, and we have done very well. I would like to think that we own that marketplace. We do very well in that marketplace and we are now moving up into the upper echelon. There is a landscape of other competitors out there, but we have done so well in our genre and so well in attacking that group that we do not really run into too much day to day head butting.
CEOCFO: What is better about a SIP product?
Mr. Palmer: The technology. I have been in this business for a long time and everything has become so fast. The technology advancements are so quick and fast and if you cannot keep up with them, well you get left behind. I am not saying that I can personally, I am not a technology technocrat guy but I do understand the way things move and change. I would like to think that I am kind of a visionary in that way. Back in the late 90s, early 2000s when I had an interconnect company, we all started working on VoIP equipment. There were companies like mine that did not want to do that. They said, “No, we are going to stick with the old TDM and analog stuff. We are just going to stay this focused,” and they are out of business. You have to move along with the way things are moving out there for the public and the consumer or you will get lost. Along in the marketplace came a product called SIP. It is a product of VoIP, and the carriers provide it as a service, and I started thinking about that aspect of it and what we could do with a call recording solution in that aspect because nobody was doing that. We developed a product based on that aspect period. You have to be aware of your surroundings and go with the flow in many cases, or you are going to get lost.
CEOCFO: What did you learn in past experiences that is helpful now and that has been helpful as you have developed businesses?
Mr. Palmer: All of my life I was an athlete so I played a lot of competitive sports. I ended up playing high school and college sports. I have taken the philosophy of coaching, if you will, to the way that I manage. As I went into the phone business, with the phone company way back in 1978, 1979, when I first started but then I became a manager after a few years, I took that same approach with the twenty or thirty people that worked for me and I just coached them. I would like to say that that is the approach that I have always taken. I keep everything pretty simple, but I like the team aspect. I like people to work together and pull forward together in an effort to benefit the next guy, benefit the next day, so not going backwards but always pulling ahead and going forward. I have kept that mindset over all of these years and I still use it to this day. Right or wrong, it is my management type of skill, but it has worked. Some people lose that and they become more dictatorial as a manager or even a CEO, which is not my style. I have realized also with age that I am not the guy that knows everything. I realized that I do not know everything, so as a coach you have to have a guy or gal that is better at something that you do not know and get them on your team. Not everybody can play catcher, not everybody is the pitcher, not everybody can play first base, so you have to have all those places covered, and you have to invite that kind of atmosphere on your team. When I say team, I mean your business and your business environment. If you have that, you are going to have a winning team, you are going to have a winning sales organization, you are going to have a product that you can go out and support and drive revenue. Of course, you have to have a good product. People have to believe in what you are doing. My old mentor used to say, “You could be selling gold for the price of tin standing in Beverly Hills, but if nobody knows I'm there, it does not really matter,” so you have to drive it with marketing, have a good team and mouthpiece. You can have a good product, but you have to have the means to get it out there.
CEOCFO: Is government an area of growth for you?
Mr. Palmer: I would like to say yes; I would like to say that we are growing in that area. It is a very hard area to break into. It has taken us two years or more to actually get into the market and get the certifications and the General Services Administration (GSA) schedules and all that kind of stuff. They actually make it very difficult for you. They like to tell you it is an open playing field; I do not really think it is but we try. We are out there, we have our name out there, we have our schedule, and we are in every place that we are supposed to be. We probably can work a little bit harder at it. I do not see a lot coming out of it, but I am hoping that we will get a little bit lucky and break the ice one of these days and we will get a little bit more recognition in the government sector. That is not what drives us however, so I am not all that worried about it; it is just another opportunity. What drives us is the everyday business person out there. That is what really drives us. Again, in the small and medium business I have always been concerned. I relate to the small business owner, and I think that is what really drives our business philosophy.
CEOCFO: What is the geographic reach at SIP?
Mr. Palmer: Geographically, we are everywhere. We are in the United States and abroad. We are growing abroad, which I like. We are making more relationships even with some companies here in the US that have a large presence within the European and Asian market. One of my roles within the company is the development of those relationships. It is a slow process. You have to make sure that you have good companies that you are working with. In fact, we really feel that 2014 is one of our breakout years. We are pretty excited about it. We have had to get through the trudges of really working hard and building the product recognition and the name and all of that. I am pretty excited to see how we are going to go about it. We have some pretty good opportunities abroad this year that I think could really expand us. We are known around the United States. We do a pretty good job here in the US. We are always expanding of course, but abroad I think we are starting to make a little better inroads than we have for years.
CEOCFO: Is that because they are making changes abroad in getting more up-to-date or is because you are doing a better job?
Mr. Palmer: Quite frankly, it is because we are doing a better job. You might be surprised that actually in the European market, they are actually ahead of the US a little bit in their approach to things. It kind of surprised me a little bit. They are actually very well-schooled in technology and in some instances they are ahead of us in promoting product, so I do not think that is the case. I think it is us, as our company, going out and making ourselves know to these entities, so I think that is where it has come into play.
CEOCFO: What is next for SIP Print?
Mr. Palmer: What is next is 2014 and using that coach mentality, I always want to win. So what is next? We want to win this year. We want to win more than we won last year, right? We want to win more sales than we did last year. We had a very good 2013. We have almost doubled our sales every year that we have been in business. I would like to do that this year in 2014. I think we have a great opportunity. In some instances, if things can go our way, we may even go way pass that, so that is what is next for us on the horizon. We have several very key companies that we are working with and that we are going to be very intimate with as actual partners and that will launch us even farther into this year. For the year 2014, that is my goal: to win more business and be a part of these several big companies that we are already engaged in these relationships with, and then see where that goes with them as we work hard with them to develop that winning strategy.
CEOCFO: When you are speaking with a prospective customer, do they know what they want from you and do they take advantage of all of the features that you can provide?
Mr. Palmer: Yes and no. Most customers do not take advantage of all the features because they do not know them all. They do know what SIP is or they do know what VoIP is, they have heard the acronyms and most phone systems today are going VoIP. There are not that many of the analog time-division multiplexes (TDM) out there, and if there are, they are converting on budgets to get into the new VoIP world. The average customer does know what they want or they do know that they have to do something, especially in reference to our business in recording. That has become an edict in a lot of different financial organizations around the globe. These are regulatory issues. The average customer over the last years has now developed an understanding that, “Hey, because of companies like SIP Print we can have that type of technology to protect our small business from the he said she said type thing, the legal aspects that can come with an order that was placed wrong. I do not want to lose anymore money,” you see what I am saying? Or training, or quality assurance. Those types of companies that are on the small end of it now do understand what this can do for them. There are not that many that do not know. Now do they always know the features that they can take advantage of? No, but that is with anything. I can take you back to selling phone systems. They know they need a phone system when it was breaking on them, but they do not always know what features they will need or use. I know I need to make a call, receive a call, do you have voicemail, or can make a conference call. Recording is kind of getting that way. I know we need to record our calls, but how do we record them? What else can we do with the recordings? Can we email them? Can we save them for long periods of time or store them someplace else? Those are the things that are becoming the average standard types of features that customers are looking for.
CEOCFO: Why should the business community pay attention to SIP Print now?
Well, I would hope that they would be paying attention to the technology,
and they would realize that SIP Print is one of the world leaders especially
in the small to medium business market—that is primarily where business is.
Granted, you have the Fortune 500s and Fortune 1000s, but not everybody is
there; 95% of business worldwide is small to medium business. Up and down
the neighborhoods, the blocks, the businesses, people can now afford the
technology that SIP Print offers. I think that is key why all of these
prospective buyers, technology-seekers etc. would seek out SIP Print. It is
one of those things that I have always stated: You do not have to spend a
zillion dollars to have that technology anymore. You can come to a company
like SIP Print and especially in our day and time now where the economic
outlook does not always look that good. The last five, six years has been
awful and who knows what it’s going to be the next couple of years. People
are spending their money more wisely, so in that aspect they are saying,
“Gosh, do I have to spend xyz for this?” No you do not have to. Take a look.
That is all I ever ask anybody. Take a look at SIP Print. I think you will
be surprised at what you can get, what we are offering, what we can do for
you, and how it is going to solve and protect your businesses, and I think
that is the bottom line to any business man or woman out there. How can SIP
Print help you.
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