Small businesses use internet technologies to bulk up
Vadacom CEO Igor Portugal and manager Scott Keon are two well-known figures on the New Zealand internet telephony scene, and great believers in open source solutions. Portugal co-founded Asterisk, New Zealand’s first Linux specialist solutions provider, which was sold to Gen-i in 2003.
The project entered for the Awards is the Sweet VadaXchange that combines phone and customer relationship management (CRM) systems into a single package. Vadacom’s own VadaXchange lets staffers make and receive phone calls anywhere without the company incurring extra costs, thanks to the phone system’s mobile and remote IP extensions.
An open source package, SugarCRM, maintains sales data and provides sales support for staff members. Nokia E61 mobile phones are used by all staff, to allow them to work from home and be more productive.
Portugal says productive engineering and sales staff are the two major success factors the Sweet VadaXchange implementation brought to the company. Satisfied customers, an increased number of closed sales and achieved revenue targets were others, according to Portugal.
Challenges for Vadacom when implementing Sweet VadaXchange included finding time out of the company’s already busy schedule to put the project in place, and to define conventions in which the software is to be used, in order to maximise the benefits. Training staff was another issue to overcome, as well as avoiding high mobile usage costs and working around New Zealand’s poor internet situation, says Portugal.