Unified Communications Featured Article

Star2Star Tells Its Channel, UCaaS Story

April 17, 2017

Star2Star Communications is all about providing its channel partners – its exclusive go-to-market delivery mechanism – the best possible experience.

“We are doubling down on our strategy to be the friendliest company in the channel,” David Portnowitz, chief marketing officer, told TMC during an interview Wednesday.

Star2Star Communications has what Portnowitz said is a unique onboarding process for channel partners. Last month the company began promoting a new effort through which Star2Star Communications flies channel partners to its Sarasota, Fla., headquarters for four days of training. The company pays for the airfare, hotel, and food related to the trip.

“We want to make the barrier to entry as low as possible” for Star2Star Communications channel partners, explained Portnowitz.

The 11-year-old company also provides its channel partners with 24/7 support. Some of its partners handle tier 1 support, but they don't have to.

Additionally, Star2Star Communications outfits its channel partners with everything from pre-quote to billing to marketing support. The marketing includes video, graphics, and Web content. “Everything our partners need we can create for them,” said Portnowitz.

The Star2Star Communications unified communication as a service offering features chat, IMS, presence, and voice functionality. It is based on a hybrid architecture that delivers the scalability and flexibility of the cloud and the reliability of legacy phone systems.

The service employs customer premises equipment called StarBox. It offers the functionality of a PBX, doing call routing and traffic shaping, and providing security. And if there’s a cloud outage, the StarBox delivers service continuity. The company’s StarBox devices also can provide good call quality even with limited bandwidth.

The company’s sweet spot is distributed enterprise customers. But it serves customers and applications of a variety of sizes, and from various industry verticals.

“Star2Star provides a highly reliable offering with strong local survivability and a protocol optimized to work well over networks with limited broadband (well-suited to highly distributed organizations and support of rural locations),” said Gartner. 

The recent expansion of the StarBox family allows the company to address a wide variety of opportunities. At the end of last year, Star2Star Communications introduced both high-end (supporting up to 15,000 seats) and lower end (for very small remote office and home office applications) StarBox appliances.

“Star2Star’s approach can find appeal among the entire spectrum of business sizes,” said Frost & Sullivan. “Star2Star provides a flexible and highly cost-effective alternative for small businesses with its fully managed hybrid architecture solution. Star2Star’s solution also scales up to thousands of users to provide a viable alternative to large organizations looking to consolidate infrastructure and streamline provider relationships. However, Star2Star’s hybrid architecture is particularly appealing to medium-size, distributed organizations.”

Star2Star Communications is a privately owned company with good growth over the last few years. It’s been profitable since 2011, and in 2015 it received $30 million in new investment that it has yet to spend. Going forward, the company is looking to add SD-WAN capabilities and has plans to go international.

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