Sotto Wireless Sets the Stage for New Era in Communications Services for Seattle-area Small Businesses
Bellevue-based firm announces regional trial of its all-in-one wireless and office phone communications service
SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sotto Wireless (www.sottowireless.com) today announced that it has begun delivering trial service of its all-in-one wireless and office phone communications service to businesses in the Seattle area, building on the momentum of the successful service trials conducted in Charlotte, N.C., last month. Among the local organizations putting Sotto’s breakthrough services to the test are Sonicboon, Burgess Enterprises and Starfire Sports.
“There are so many different services, plans and technologies, each with conflicting claims, and nothing works well together. Big companies have dedicated IT teams to work through these issues, but small businesses are left to figure it out on their own.”
Continuing the tradition of Seattle-area wireless leadership, Sotto Wireless integrates several technologies to offer small- and medium-sized businesses a robust, yet simple service to fit their communications needs. The solution combines the mobility benefits and capabilities of cellular service with the features and functions of office phone systems.
Beginning in early 2007, the Bellevue-based concern plans to roll out its service aggressively over the next two years in all the nation’s major metro areas.
“We see a significant opportunity to help small and medium businesses upgrade the quality and simplicity of their communications services,” said Rod Nelson, Sotto Wireless co-founder and CEO. “There are so many different services, plans and technologies, each with conflicting claims, and nothing works well together. Big companies have dedicated IT teams to work through these issues, but small businesses are left to figure it out on their own.”
Small- to medium-sized businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy. There are 5.8 million such businesses that employ 51 percent of the nation’s workforce, representing $1.8 trillion in annual payroll. Boston-based research firm Yankee Group identifies the biggest issues facing SMBs as making more money, controlling costs and reacting more quickly to fast-changing market conditions. Technology issues, such as maximizing mobile assets, leveraging broadband communications and using Internet telephony, present significant decisions.
According to Steve Hilton, vice president of Enterprise and SMB Research, “SMBs need innovative services that solve business problems in a straightforward, affordable way. Vendors that use converged technology solutions to bring these services together have a rich market opportunity.”
With Sotto’s service, employees can use one “hybrid” phone for both office and mobile communications. The service uses the latest devices from Nokia, featuring both office Wi-Fi and cellular network connectivity options. Wireless e-mail and messaging can be managed from any location. The Sotto Service Manager gives managers a Web-based dashboard to control telecommunication usage and services, resulting in lower costs overall. This also frees up business owners and managers to spend time on important tasks, like building their business and talking with customers, not administering their telecommunications systems.
Sonicboon Flies with Sotto
Among the first adopters of Sotto’s service in the Seattle area is Sonicboon, a provider of information technology services to companies throughout the Puget Sound region (www.sonicboon.com). One of the most important factors in Sonicboon’s success is responsive IT support, putting pressure on its communication services provider to ensure that the company’s managers and technicians are readily available when customers call. Keeping a lid on rising costs also factors heavily into the bottom line.
For Sonicboon founder Jonathan Boon, Sotto’s service is something he has been looking for as a way to improve customer service. “It makes sense that you should be able to use Wi-Fi for both voice and data when you’re in the office, and then be able to take it with you and switch to cellular when you’re traveling around,” he said. “Sotto is the first offering I’ve found with this level of integration. It’s a huge win for our business, and I believe Sotto will give us a competitive advantage. The call-handling features of the Sotto Service Manager in particular are a ‘killer application’ for us.”
Two quite dissimilar companies demonstrate the broad range of organizations that will be able to benefit from Sotto’s all-in-one communication services — Burgess Enterprises, a manufacturer of high-end espresso carts and kiosks, and Starfire Sports, a non-profit youth sports organization. Both are seeing immediate benefit from the Sotto service. Burgess’ mobile employees have access to delivery and sales information via wireless e-mail, helping improve service and gaining increased efficiency. Starfire’s on-site team is taking advantage of the Sotto office-based WiFi coverage to save minutes on its cellular plans and give staff the flexibility of making calls from any location in its facility. Both companies benefit from lower overall communications costs and increased productivity.
About Sotto Wireless
Based in Bellevue, Wash., Sotto Wireless provides small- and medium-sized businesses with a hosted communications solution that combines the mobility of cellular phones with the functionality of office phone systems into one simple service. Sotto’s service platform includes the latest phones and integrated Web-based management tools — transforming customers’ communications into a competitive asset. The company was founded in 2005 by an experienced group of senior leaders and veterans from the wireless and telecommunications industries and is funded by Ignition Partners and VantagePoint Venture Partners. For more information on Sotto Wireless, visit www.sottowireless.com