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Apptix Enjoys Strong 2009, Anticipates Growth in 2010

December 23, 2009

The past year has proven to be nothing less than challenging for a number of companies. For many performers in the telecommunications space, the pressures of 2009 have not been met with passive responses, but instead proactive strategies to ensure success. For hosted services provider Apptix, such an approach helped the company perform well in 2009, including 30 percent growth in new customer bookings. Chris Damvakaris, Apptix’s vice president of sales and marketing, recently shared with unified communications’s Amy Tierney in an interview, printed in full below, that the company is well positioned heading into 2010.

Key announcements for 2009 included the launch of a new unified provision, management and billing platform for all hosted services. This platform helped Apptix more effectively offer and manage its services through all channel partners. The company also accelerated efforts to improve sales and marketing to drive organic customer growth. As for big impacts on the industry, Damvakaris believes the economy will have a very positive affect, while Cloud computing will continue to gain even more ground.

As the economy demonstrates positive signs of a recovery, Damvakaris expects slow, steady, growth throughout 2010. Apptix also anticipates much of this growth will be driven by enterprise-level companies. As for 2010, the company plans to launch additional services to further round out its portfolio that will allow for differentiation in the unified communications community market, as well as strong growth.
The full exchange follows.
TMCNet: How did Apptix perform in 2009? Did the results meet company expectations?
Chris Damvakaris: Given the current economy, we are pleased at how well Apptix performed this year. We experienced more than 30 percent growth in new customer bookings. And we saw a return to positive seat growth within the existing customer base – after several previous quarters of decline. And importantly, we were able to execute successfully against our operational and technology goals for the year, which have positioned us well heading into 2010.
unified communications: What have been some of the company’s key announcements this year?
CD: We began 2009 with the launch of a new unified provision, management, and billing platform for all of our hosted services. The project is enabling Apptix to consolidate and support all of its users onto a single platform and eliminate numerous disparate legacy platforms we accumulated during acquisitions – leading to significant operational efficiencies and improved customer service.
The platform also allowed us to rapidly and easily deploy new products and services – which we did in flurry! We expanded our existing portfolio of Microsoft Hosted Exchange, SharePoint Hosting, and business VoIP services with the addition of Web conferencing, secure Instant Messaging, and online backup. We will continue to round out our suite of services in 2010 with new market differentiating offerings, including a true hosted unified communications solution, as well as key features and enhancements to our existing offerings
The platform also enabled us to more effectively offer and manage our services through channel partners. This allowed us to expand our reseller program; which is starting to bloom and become an important source of new customers and end-users.
unified communications: What were some of the biggest things that impacted the industry?
CD: The economy of course, but ultimately in a way that will have a very positive impact on our industry. This was a recession that impacted businesses at every level, SOHO to the enterprise. As a result, economic realities have forced IT professionals – that would never have considered hosted services in the past – to consider and adopt Cloud-based solutions to deal with aging IT infrastructure and applications.
And this is a great time for business to be looking to the Cloud. The services have matured to provide the security and reliability businesses of all size require. And the growing competition among Cloud-solution providers is driving down cost while also driving up features and functions. As a result, we are seeing record interest and uptake in our services by mid-size and enterprise organizations.
unified communications: At the beginning of the year, the economy was in a recession. How did it impact your business?
CD: We were seeing our existing customer base shedding record numbers of seats as they reduced their workforces. Our customer base has traditionally been an important source of growth for us.
So, to offset this decline, we were forced us to accelerate our efforts to improve and enhance our sales and marketing efforts to bring in new customers and users. Fortunately, we did this successfully, seeing a more than 30 percent growth in new customer bookings. This economy also forced us to continue improving our business fundamentals, launch new services that are diversify our revenue sources, improve customer service and streamline operations.
After this foundation building year, the new services we have to offer, and an expanded customer base that is back to providing organic seat growth, we’re excited to be headed into 2010.
unified communications: There are now signs that the economy is recovering. What are your predictions for 2010?
CD: We expect to see slow, steady, progressive growth throughout 2010. We expect enterprise-level companies to help fuel this growth.
unified communications: What are you looking forward to help Apptix’s business in 2010?
CD: The additional services we will launch in 2010 will further round out our portfolio of services, allowing us to differentiate ourselves in the market and continue to see good growth. And we believe our hosted unified communications offering will help us to continue successfully move upstream and gain a growing percentage of enterprise customers.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for unified communications and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Amy Tierney

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