VoipNow, 4PSA’s best known product (yet), has been designed with the goal to make people communicate faster, more efficiently, and at a lower cost, while enabling them to become more mobile.
Today’s post is about the team behind it.
Back To The Future
The engineering process started in 2005, but the product was officially announced on May 30, 2006. Even though VoipNow has been well received, it was a little bit ahead of its time. Back in 2006, most people associated VoIP with cheap international calls. It took the product several years to be acknowledged for its value and become a commercial success, used by thousands of service providers and millions of end-users.
We like to believe that one way or another we are involved in these people’s lives. For sure, we’ve changed the way they communicate and VoipNow lies at the core of numerous businesses. This is an immense responsibility and we are aware of it.
Who We Are
So, VoipNow has been our baby for more than 7 years. We are an interesting team, a true cocktail of different people. We come in all flavors: software engineering, support experts, technical writers, marketing, sales etc. It’s a mix of young and experienced professionals in charge with the entire life-cycle of the VoipNow Platform.
You might think that software engineering is about writing code. Of course, it implies that as well, but engineering means a lot more. The process starts with a story, which is a short description of what we should do in the product and it… never ends. The public release of the software implementing the story is not the final step. We must maintain everything we implement, therefore we are very careful about the decisions we make and the way we do things.
VoipNow has a large codebase – millions of lines of code written in different programming languages. As you can imagine, we discover lots of bugs. VoipNow is used in hundreds of different scenarios, and it’s pretty typical for our customers to discover bugs as well. Software engineering fixes them and delivers maintenance releases.
A lot of credit goes to our SQA software engineering, which primarily focuses on the quality of the product. Their job is pretty difficult, because many times they have to investigate scenarios that are quite complex and strange, where VoipNow is not behaving as expected. This is truly forensic work, but discovering the source of the issue is incredibly rewarding. Automation is the key for good product quality, that’s why SQA writes software that tests the product.
Let’s not forget the technical writers. They are our story tellers, and they are present throughout the entire product flow: when new features are implemented, when bugs are fixed, when customers demand additional support, when we come up with new functionality etc. They watch and listen to what everyone does, take notes and write about it in user manuals, quick guides, tutorials, and KB articles. Their playground is our WIKI.
Actually, the process of helping customers starts with the pre-sales phase. We believe that a customer can only deploy VoipNow at its true potential when the product is properly understood. While in pre-sales stage, this is mostly the job of the Sales unit, many times the technical experts in the Technical Support unit are involved. They focus on helping customers with any issue they encounter. Customers raise queries mostly on the implementation of specific scenarios or of particular functionality. On some occasions, they also report issues that must be isolated, fully identified, and solved. That’s why the technical support works a lot with the SQA engineering.
In the past year, we made some changes in the way we try to help customers. We discovered that we get a lot of duplicate questions in the Support Zone. Addressing them is not a problem, but the Get Satisfaction public community provides a better collaboration, because ideas can also be shared among customers. In the end, this helps their business.
And We Are Growing
There is a lot to tell about this team. We have not covered everything in this article, for example product management, cloud infrastructure, marketing, sales etc. The purpose was to stir your interest in the VoipNow team, so that you try to find out more. 🙂
We have lots of openings and we also compete for talent with the other teams in 4PSA. Interesting things are going on for the VoipNow Team. Unfortunately, on a global level no one is doing Unified Communications the right way, therefore we have a big opportunity to improve people’s lives through better communication.