Why Do Business Telephone Systems Have to Be So Complicated and Expensive? (A: They Don't.)

GAW Labs, Inc. -May 02, 2013

Why Do Business Telephone Systems Have to Be So Complicated and Expensive? (A: They Don't.)

- "Imagine if you had to call an electrician to turn on the lights in your house."

- New England Telecommunication Pioneers Team Up on Innovative Approach to the "Telephone System Problem"

- The Visually Defined Phone System: WYSIWYG, Drag & Drop Management - No More IT-Intensive PBX Nightmares

PR Newswire

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Many business professionals see their telephone platforms as being ... OK. Fine. Sufficient. Good enough. You don't often encounter companies describing their systems as "fantastic" or "awesome." And you never hear them say that it's easy to use or explain that it provides them with a competitive advantage.

The unfortunate fact is that American businesses spend untold millions of dollars each year managing their telephone communications platforms. Every time an employee joins or leaves the company. Every time there's a reorganization. Every time a group head wants to reroute call flows. Every time leadership finally gets fed up and decides to rip the system out and replace it with something they hope will be better.

In all these cases, expensive IT resources are called upon to fix, to update, to once again attempt to wrestle an unnecessarily difficult system to the ground. Communications systems, be they traditional hardware-based PBXs or contemporary "virtual PBX" platforms, are all cost, no return.

Businesses accept the hassle because ... well, what's the alternative? This is just how business communications systems are, right?

A couple of entrepreneurs well known to New Englanders say there is a better way, and they're in the process of rolling out their innovative new service to businesses throughout the nation. VoiceProdigy, the Visually Defined Phone System, is the brainchild of Josh Garza and Dan Kelley's new venture, GAW Labs, Inc.

Garza explains that the present business communications landscape has become commodified around the wrong criteria. "If you look around, there are a number of providers that offer roughly the same service with comparable features at similar prices. But it's all built on the same old unresponsive technical infrastructure that we've been using for decades. Lower cost is great. Features are great. But the bottom line is that these systems were built by IT for IT."

Kelley agrees. "As talented as these IT pioneers were, they didn't think like business people. The modern business manager approaches any system by thinking in terms of functionality, of usability, of application. Business users instinctively wonder: 'How can I turn this system into a tool that saves us time and gives my company an edge on our competitors?'"

Garza says that overfocusing on features and cost can lead businesses into bad, if well-intentioned decisions. "There are dozens of features that are simple enough to build into any system. Some providers charge you more for 'premium' features, when the truth is that there's really no incremental cost involved. And when you get caught up in how much your bill is each month, you lose sight of the total cost of ownership, which ought to be the main consideration."

Kelley explains that VoiceProdigy is a turnkey system which combines advanced PBX functionality with lowest cost local and long distance services, and that it also features mobile phone integration. VoiceProdigy is priced lower than other offerings in the market, and even more importantly, it exerts a substantially lower impact on a customer's total operating budget.

"Unlike every other system out there," Kelley says, "VoiceProdigy can be managed by anyone in the company. You don't need to know how to code or script. You don't need to be a hardware engineer. There's no need for expensive IT resources. It's a huge operational cost-saver."

GAW Labs engineered VoiceProdigy, an SaaS platform, from the ground up around business usability assumptions. The management interface is graphically driven. To add users, route call flows, initiate conference bridging, integrate mobile phones, and so on, the admin simply drags and drops using an intuitive WYSIWYG interface that's as simple as the average office suite application (simpler, in many cases). Garza explains that the code is generated dynamically in the background. "It's like any other piece of advanced technology in that there's plenty of complexity. Unlike competing systems, though, the user never has learn to code."

"Even better," he notes, "VoiceProdigy is really only limited by the imagination of the user. If an admin has a better idea about call routing, for instance, he or she can execute it without summoning an army of pricy IT experts. Our clients have been stunned at how easy and powerful the system really is."

"Imagine if you had to call an electrician to turn on the lights in your house," Kelley says. "That's what most business communications systems these days are like. With VoiceProdigy, you just need to know how to flip the switch."

The two men, who first met in 2010, each have a demonstrated track record of developing and delivering inventive telecommunications and data services solutions.

Garza, the driving force behind several highly successful startups, including Optima Computers and Great Auk Wireless High-Speed Internet, was named the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association's National Best Provider in 2011.

Kelley, the man who co-founded Equal Access Networks and built Brooks Fiber Communications of MA, one of the nation's first facilities-based CLECs, was honored as 2002 Entrepreneur of the Year by BusinessWest.

The thing they each feel brought them together was a shared sense of community service. Garza originally founded Great Auk Wireless to deliver high-speed voice and data to unserved and underserved residents of rural Vermont, who had little or no access to the services available in larger, more populous urban areas. Driven by a similar public-service ethic, Dan founded Equal Access Networks to provide Tier 1 telecommunications infrastructure and services to businesses in underserved and unserved markets throughout the Northeast.

Kelley says they very quickly realized how much they had in common: Both have deep experience in IT and Telecommunications. They're each instinctively pioneering by nature. And they're both committed to inventing technologies that help people expand their personal and professional possibilities.

"We've talked to hundreds of business people around the country about the communication issues and the frustration is palpable," says Garza. "It shouldn't be this complicated. In today's technological environment, where software developers have found ways of letting normal people do unimaginably complex things, you shouldn't have to be a rocket scientist to manage your business communications."

Now you don't.

About GAW Labs, Inc.
GAW Labs, Inc. provides the world's first and only modular, visual interface-driven business communications platform. Intuitive and easy to use, VoiceProdigy™ minimizes the need for expensive IT resources and maximizes the total cost of ownership proposition for small, mid-market and Fortune 500-scale enterprises, enabling an unprecedented degree of creative operational and design input from anyone in the organization.

GAW Labs operates from offices in Cambridge, MA. Please direct inquiries to pr@gaw.com.


Sam Smith

Black Dog Strategic, President

303.229.0619 /v


Daniel J. Kelley

GAW Labs, Inc., President/COO

855.236.8114 /v



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