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PortaOne Helps United Group Succeed in Tough Fixed Internet Market

Despite an era of rapid mobile uptake, United Group is still growing its fixed telephony customer base - and the adaptability of PortaSwitch is a big part of that success.

NORTH VANCOUVER, British Columbia - July 15, 2021 - (

This year, Telemach Slovenia, a branch of the United Group, officially became the leading provider of fixed Internet in its area, with a market share of 30% - plus, the company now provides fixed telephony to 250,000 subscribers and serves one-half of Slovenia's phone lines. (Consider all this - in addition to 600,000 mobile users - in a country of only 2 million.) And PortaOne has been a big part of this success, ever since United Group chose to migrate their fixed telephony from their legacy platform to PortaSwitch in 2010 - a move PortaOne was able to make in just one night after all the groundwork was complete. 

"Before PortaSwitch, our customers didn't even have caller IDs," says Marko Miletić, head of fixed and mobile telephony with United Group. "After the migration, we enabled many things from PortaSwitch immediately: voicemail, fax to email, call forwarding, shortcode dialing. We also started selling B2B services that we couldn't offer with the old provider: like cloud PBX service."

That cloud PBX turned out to be the biggest reason for new customers to switch to Telemach Slovenia. "Before, they had problems with administrating PBX servers, with finding companies for maintenance and support of these bare-metal boxes. We offered them an IP Centrex solution with the PBX located in the cloud and gave IP phones for free, so they don't have any costs on maintenance," says Miletić. "And they also saved on subscriptions because we offered them lower prices - with better quality. With this kind of approach, who wouldn't switch over?" 

Choosing PortaSwitch also allowed United Group to scale their fixed telephony business into new countries and markets. "With no per-customer license, you can grow and still keep your maintenance and support costs low," says Miletić. "If you have the capacity in terms of hardware and bandwidth, you can make different environments and host more than one thing on a given system. This has allowed us to avoid big initial investments." 

Telemach Slovenia and United Group are also taking advantage of the platform's ability to be customized. The group's in-house developers have written many custom modules to extend PortaSwitch, both to offer more VAS options and to adapt to local regulations. "If PortaSwitch were a closed box with no access to the database or the source code, it wouldn't be possible," Miletić says. "Since the product is open and you know what's under the hood, you can implement your pieces of code. This is a great flexibility that I've never found with another vendor."  

That same flexibility has also enabled United Group to offer one more popular - and profitable - service: integration with MS Teams. Customers of Telemach Slovenia can now make calls from their Teams application without a hard phone; they can also switch between calls, hold multiple-party conferences, integrate their communications with mobile lines, and more. It's a big draw for new customers - and United Group also earns revenue-share from the MS Teams licenses and from leasing virtual private servers. 

What does all this mean? It's too soon to close the door on fixed telephony just yet. "For some parts of the economy, it will always be alive," says Miletić. "And it's so good to know that, in these times when companies, people, and markets are changing so much, we have a partner we can rely on."

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Original Source: PortaOne Helps United Group Succeed in Tough Fixed Internet Market
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