CoreDial & the BroadWorks Alternative

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CoreDial, a PA-based cloud software and services solutions provider, reports positive momentum with its all-channel business model. The company offers its cloud services, including hosted PBX solutions, VoIP, SIP Trunking and Unified Communication services, to Managed Service Providers (MSPs), Interconnects and Carriers in the Mid-Atlantic and other regions of the U.S. through a private label program. Reseller partners do not have to purchase or install any hardware or software. They simply resell the service under their own brand, but with the flexibility to build their own service plans and bundles (more on this customization below). Partners can also take advantage of CoreDial’s billing solution for credit card or invoice paying. According to CoreDial, gross margins for channel partners can be as high as 40-70% from recurring revenue streams.

CoreDial became its own entity in 2005 after it spun off from a hosted PBX/VoIP provider called Service Provider where it had been a VoIP division for three years. Initially, CoreDial sold hosted PBX and other VoIP services directly to end-customers, but the company later transitioned to an all-channel model and currently offers a wholesale reseller program in which resellers leverage CoreDial’s infrastructure and engineering team and a private-labeled portal for delivering/managing hosted PBX and VoIP service.

CoreDial currently has about 21,000 customers with 250,000 endpoints in production, serviced by over 600 reseller partners throughout the United States. An additional 4,500 seats and 20 new partners are added each month.

Financial reports indicate that CoreDial’s business model is working well. In the first quarter of 2017, the company’s revenue was up 21.4% compared to the same quarter in 2016. On top of that, the number of CoreDial partners grew 35% year-over-year in 2016, and the churn rate of the CoreDial service now sits below 1% which is further testament to the high level of success partners are experiencing.

Asterisk vs. BroadWorks

CoreDial recently announced support for BroadSoft’s BroadWorks as an alternative call control platform. Now, CoreDial resellers can select from CoreDial’s in-house call control software (rooted in Asterisk) or BroadWorks which handles higher capacities and has a more advanced set of features and applications, opening up sales opportunities with larger size businesses, call and contact centers and additional vertical markets such as government, hospitality and healthcare.

CoreDial partners sell, deliver, manage and invoice for either service (BroadWorks or Asterisk) through CoreDial’s SwitchConnex cloud service delivery ecosystem. CoreDial has two data centers, one located in Philadelphia and another that became generally available this April in Phoenix. The Asterisk and BroadWorks software is hosted at both locations. With the dual data center design, the company can offer geo-redundancy (failover) to the alternate data center, ensuring that communications will continue with minimal or no interruption in the event of a hardware or data center failure.

To our knowledge, CoreDial is unique in offering of two different call control options through a platform such as SwitchConnex, along with several “bi-modal” applications that will work with either platform (Asterisk or BroadWorks). This includes a forthcoming UC client, new Android and iOS mobile applications, voice transcription with redaction and an audio and desktop call recording solution. Common applications across platforms is a significant advantage for channel partners in terms of training, sales and support, as well as to end users that can continue to use the same applications should they migrate to the alternate call control platform.

Throughout 2017, CoreDial is running training programs and workshops to educate channel partners on how and when to sell BroadWorks versus Asterisk. Hundreds of users are already “live” on BroadWorks, including CoreDial that is utilizing the software for its own internal business communications to gain a firsthand assessment of the strengths and benefits.

We spoke with channel partner Dan Cady, President and Owner of Cady Business Technologies who is excited about the new opportunities that the BroadSoft alternative brings to his particular territory, the Minneapolis, MN area. He said, “The BroadWorks product addition brings us the ability to provide a true enterprise solution due to its robust platform design (geo-redundant), as well as the ability to provide separate billing for branch locations. BroadWorks is a name well known in the industry and with many prospects which will help to further enhance our standing in the market.”

Below are some key differentiators for each platform:

Asterisk:

  • Targets the Smaller Business: Micro businesses (under 10 users) and SMBs (10-250 users) looking for cost efficiency and simplicity are the ideal customers for CoreDial’s in-house call control (rooted in Asterisk).
  • Single-site Billing: Single-site and multi-site organizations are supported by the Asterisk-based platform, but multi-site billing is not available (a single bill is sent to the main location).
  • Essential Features: A good complement of essential call control features, including voicemail, is included in a single seat for every user. Add-ons are available for API integration, a receptionist dashboard, fax service and call recording.
  • Call Center: The standard user seat includes support for basic ring groups that join multiple extensions as a group to receive calls routed sequentially or simultaneously. Inbound, voice-only automatic call distribution and call queuing features are also supported and can be included as part of the standard user seat, or sold as a premium (extra cost) feature since, per the CoreDial Asterisk-based model, channel partners have flexibility to choose which CoreDial features they will include and which CoreDial features they will charge extra for.
  • Active-Passive Geo-Redundancy: As noted above, the addition of a second data center means that customers can now be assured of continued communications even during natural disasters and outages. The Asterisk-based call control solution supports business continuity through the company’s OpenStack environment in both data centers; communications can failover to the alternate data center manually or automatically within seconds.

BroadWorks:

  • Scales for the Enterprise: Small and mid-size enterprises (250-1,000 users) and larger enterprises (1,000+ users) looking for productivity features, business application integration and flexibility are the target customers for BroadWorks. Some SMBs with 10-250 users may also have more sophisticated requirements and will be better served by the BroadWorks offering.
  • Multi-site Billing: Organizations with multiple locations will be able to receive specific billing for each site, allowing a business to view a breakdown of expenses per location.
  • Enterprise-level features: Group features like corporate directory, flexible seating (hoteling) and video calling, are sold in one of three user packages (Basic, Professional and UC) for varying feature levels.
  • A La Carte Features: Note that voicemail is only included with more advanced BroadWorks UC seat. Voicemail is sold separately (a la carte) for other seat types, as are ring groups, virtual attendant and any call center features which are included standard with CoreDial’s Asterisk-based user seat.
  • Contact Center and Collaboration: Optionally, customers can add BroadSoft’s call center solution for inbound voice-only call routing or the more advanced CC-One contact center and analytics capability (from the Transera acquisition in 2016) and/or the Team-One virtual workspace for teams (formerly Intellinote also acquired in 2016).
  • Active-Active Geo-Redundancy: For customers that require “always-on” communications, the BroadWorks solution supports a high level of resiliency through native “active-active” or hot-standby configuration that ensures instantaneous failover to a back-up server located in the alternate data center.
  • Brand: CoreDial notes that “brand” may be an important factor in a customer’s business communications decision. The BroadSoft brand is well-known as the company is a leader in the UCaaS market with a global market share above 40%, according to industry analyst firm Frost & Sullivan.

What’s Ahead in 2017?

A lot. The major news, as noted above, is CoreDial’s unique offer of two call control options (Asterisk and BroadSoft BroadWorks), along with several bi-modal applications that will work with either platform. Furthermore, CoreDial hints that additional softswitch integrations may be considered as a means of “future-proofing” CoreDial’s SwitchConnex and keeping the platform in line with emerging technologies as these unfold.

Throughout the year, CoreDial will be revealing a number of other enhancements to address channel partner feedback. These include general availability of the Android mobile client, the introduction of SD-WAN technology (in partnership with VeloCloud), integration to ConnectWise Manage business management software and support for Google’s voice transcription and redaction services, call recording and the new bi-modal UC client. Additionally, CoreDial says it is exploring international expansion, possibly extending coverage into Western Europe and Latin America. Stay tuned.

Sandra Gustavsen