IT solution operates in the field of VoIP communications since its foundation, thanks to the wealth of experience gained in previous years by its staff and in particular the IT Manager Francesco Ongaro. We asked Francesco a few questions to find out how he approached VoIP and how he experienced the growth of these technologies so much so that they became one of the core businesses of IT solution.
- IT solution and VoIP, a combination that lasts for how many years?
IT solution was born in a beneficial period for VoIP technology since by 2014 many connectivity issues had already been resolved. If I think about my first experiences related to VoIP we have to go back quite a bit in time. I was still studying when I first approached Asterisk. It was part of an experimental project that in the faculty I was attending was gradually coming to life. After a few years I was contacted by an agent who is still my client of Movytel, a Spanish company that was one of the first to promote VoIP. It was a bloodbath, but 13 years have passed since then. Fortunately, things have changed and today VoIP is the technology we all use to communicate, consciously or not.
- Initially what response did you get from companies in the area where you operate in proposing these technologies to them?
In 2005 there were few customers who wanted to try this technology, the connections were very slow and the management of networking equipment set up for VoIP was very complicated. There were no preset settings from the manufacturers to optimize RTP flows or SIP protocol. Everything became almost an experiment, there were some brave customers, however; at the time we worked with Eutelia and Messagenet for numbering. It happened that we managed customers located in remote areas where there was no ADSL and here we also started with the first Wi-Fi connections. In other words, time has passed and things have changed, even if in some cases the problems have remained the same.
- On the IT solution website, among the products, there is a section dedicated to “VoIP telephone systems”: can you explain what this product actually consists of?
A VoIP phone system is not a product that you can buy from the first person you meet or from MediaWorld, with all due respect to MediaWorld. A VoIP system is a set of devices that have to communicate with each other in order to make the user communicate. A VoIP system is a set of devices that must communicate with each other in order to make those who use it communicate. Just think of the device that must act as a switchboard, telephones, gateways to route calls, ATA adapters needed to run fax machines or analog devices, firewalls needed to ensure security and installers who must configure everything. You need a good Internet connection, a static public IP address, the service provider who has to issue us the number… In sum, there are things to think about, but all for a good cause.
- According to what you tell us, this product is the result of the synergy of several elements, so you have to deal with several companies?
Over the years, fortunately, we have met many colleagues and many companies that have made VoIP their core business. We have done a path that has led us to certify several brands including 3CX, Snom, Kalliope, Kerio and we have established partnerships and collaborations with many service providers, in particular with VoipVoice.
- Thanks to these new communication technologies, many small companies have established themselves in Italy, but they have to deal with giants such as Telecom. Recently made the news just a diatribe born between the aforementioned Telecom and the “small” Digitel: you have also found yourself to deal with this issue?
Let’s say that problems have never been lacking and never will be. Unfortunately, we always put our faces to the test and often the customer is unable to define the causes of a problem. The recent collisions between Telecom and Digitel have dumped on tens of thousands of customers the responsibilities that should instead have been shared between the two companies. Many of our customers, as well as us, have found themselves overnight without internet and telephone. After a few days, the dispute between the two emerged. Fortunately the problem was gradually resolved and we all came back online.
- How did it develop and how were you able to handle the situation yourself and for your clients?
I think in these cases, transparency and presence make all the difference. We contacted all of our customers, explained the situation and immediately activated backup lines and numbers while waiting for the problem to return.
- Overall, what future do you see for these communications technologies?
The future is set, we don’t decide it, today VoIP is the main telephone communication technology. As Italy’s Internet infrastructure grows there will be an opportunity to increase cloud services. Already all our customers can use the webRTC technology available on their PBX to make video conferences. We’ll see how far integration with social networks will go, which I’d say are already a strong trend.