JaJah Jump-starts Enterprise Voice with Microsoft
IP telephony provider JaJah Aug. 25 scored a nice coup when Microsoft agreed to use its software to let business customers make voice calls over the Internet from computers and landlines.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but JaJah CEO Trevor Healey told eWEEK that JaJah is providing SIP trunking services for Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Release 2. This will enable enterprise customers to connect phone calls from computers, IP phones and mobile phones to almost any device or network.
A SIP trunk is basically a concurrent call that is routed over the IP backbone of a carrier using VOIP technology. With JaJah's VOIP (voice over IP) platform, companies using Microsoft OCS 2007, which bundles e-mail, instant messaging, Web conferencing and VOIP, won't have to buy additional hardware and software to power their voice calls.
JaJah serves VOIP to technology companies, carriers, mobile operators and enterprises, which means it competes with pretty much any Web-based calling platform, from established specialists such as Skype and Vonage to fellow upstarts such as RingCentral and even Google Voice.
Thousands of small to midsize technology businesses use JaJah's cloud phone platform to enable calls. "It's Like Skype, but without the headsets, downloads, software or hardware," Healy explained.
JaJah also powers voice-based instant messaging for Internet-based companies like Yahoo, Match.com and eHarmony. For example, when users make phone calls from Yahoo Messenger, they are using JaJah on the back end, from registration to billing.
JaJah also serves as a white-label provider for phone carriers that want to serve their customers Web-based calls. The deal with Microsoft underscores the fourth segment JaJah is targeting: enterprises that want to reduce costs by eschewing traditional IP telephony models in favor of a managed service offering for voice.
Typically, businesses that want to leverage IP telephony have to go out and acquire Cisco hardware and firewalls and perform integrations with large carriers. This proves quite costly and could take two to three years. Even with completed VOIP installations, a lot of employees ignored the Cisco IP phones on their desk in favor of their mobile phones for calls, Healy said.
JaJah and Microsoft decided there had to be an easier way that would lower the cost and time-to-implement barriers, so they married JaJah's platform with OCS, Microsoft's unified communications and collaboration software.
As of today, businesses that buy OCS 2007 can point the server at JaJah's IP address and begin making calls immediately.
"What that means is that when you make an internal call inside the enterprise, we'll carry [the call] all the way to your destination. ... But then also, if you want to connect to a mobile phone in France, we'll handle all the routing and trafficking of that call to Orange in France," Healey said.
Privately held JaJah has 110 employees and received funding from Sequoia Capital, Intel and Deutsche Telecom.