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50 Innovative Companies to Watch 2017

Sheer hard-work, determination, and commitment of 20 years, has helped in leveraging VirtualPBX as the pioneers in “Telephony services”

thesiliconreview-paul-hammond-ceo-virtualpbx-2017Knocking on the company’s door

Edison quoted, “I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work,” when he failed in his light bulb designs initially, but finally hard-work paved its way and the rest is history. So, when VirtualPBX was founded in 1997, the founders instilled a strong culture and environment for building an organization that pioneered the first commercially available hosted PBX service to market for small business owners. Headquartered in California, VirtualPBX continues to deliver leading edge telephony products for business. It offers an array of services including disaster recovery, network monitoring and optimization, and professional system management.

Conversation with the CEO, Paul Hammond

Why was the company set up? How did you select the vertical and decide to be a part of the global platform?

It all started in 1997, when our company’s founders were developing pioneering voice communications technology. It was quickly after they were able to reproduce economically-viable VoIP platforms that they recognized the commercial applications of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) for small businesses. There was a near monopoly on business phone systems by legacy copper-wire telephone providers for on-site PBX systems. The opportunity to disrupt that market was the primary motivation our founders had to move forward with a business plan, and this is how they developed the framework of commercially available VoIP systems that we are aware of today. 

Tell us about your first product that was launched?

Well, if you trace the history of VirtualPBX, you will see that we have made a variety of updates in our products in the past years and that brings us to our latest installment of the Dash platform. Almost all of our Dash Plans demonstrate features that are in demand in today’s marketplace, lessening the burden of costs or excessive telephone engineering requirements like the traditional phone demanded. The cost-saving benefit that comes from all of our VoIP products over traditional phone systems is the common thread stringing through all of our products from day one.

Tell us about the first-hand experience of your company when it rolled out its first project.

We’ve always been motivated to develop our products in accordance with our customers’ needs and demands. When our first project took shape, it was really a simple one, there was not much hype in the market as it was completely born out of sheer passion but still managed to address the specific needs of businesses looking for a new option. In fact, we answered so many challenges for businesses with our early product that we even earned the attention of an individual who was so impressed that he eventually joined our company! Still with us to this day, Lon Baker, has stayed on and currently serves as the COO of the company.

What challenges did you face in your initial years? What can your peers learn from it?

Having started literally in a basement in Silicon Valley, we have far more in common with the start-ups of today than we do with some of our larger peers. Back then, there were these mammoth-sized companies dominating the industry, and we had to rely on our fresh approach and superior product to compete. That said, even though we can gauge the similarities between our own struggles with that of the new companies, we also know that no two businesses are the same. Remembering that is exactly why we’ve made sure that customization continues to play a key role when we develop and market our services.

How big is your organization’s dimension today? Briefly explain the organizational structure.

We are proudly headquartered in San Jose, California, and here at the nexus of technology and innovation, we are able to benefit from all that comes with that. Regardless of our Californian heritage, though, we have a truly global team with satellite offices as near as Las Vegas, and as far as Lima, Peru. The nucleus of our management team, engineering, and award-winning Support Team, however, all remain closely involved with the day-to-day operations from our San Jose HQ.

Where do you see you and your company a couple of years from now?

We are always working on new products and ideas on how to keep innovating ways to better serve our customers. Our online Product Roadmap is a place where we both share our current developments as well as interact with our customers to help shape their final form. We will always keep the hard-earned support and endorsement of our current customers in mind and position our work in earning their trust, and we feel a transparent system like our Roadmap is a good way to do that. And, of course, while we can’t fully reveal all of our plans here or on our Product Roadmap, what we can commit to is a continuation of our focus on providing functional, reliable, and affordable communications products backed by industry-leading customer support. For anything else, I hope you’ll just stay tuned!.

Roll out the Red carpet for the Founder/CEO

Paul Hammond, as the chief business visionary at VirtualPBX has helped in leading the company from a cool side-project to a market leader in today’s era. He currently sits on the Board of Directors for VirtualPBX and IAMFINE in addition to being an advisor to Yardarm Technologies. He has previously held a board seat at CASA, a non-profit child advocacy group in Northern California, as well as a role on the Advisors Board for West Valley Business School and Cast Iron Systems, an integration appliance company funded by Sequoia Capital and Norwest Ventures. Paul holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Business and Corporate Decision Making from Kingston University of London, England.

"The focus on providing the best possible array of communications solutions to our customers will be the driving force behind each project."

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