Zed-3 poised for UK push

Zed-3 poised for UK push

Serial entrepreneur Iain Milnes scouts for channel partners for latest venture

Serial entrepreneur Iain Milnes is gearing up to launch a new portfolio of Zed-3 telephony products in January and appointing a country manager to set up a UK channel.

But onlookers assert Milnes could struggle to find a distributor, due to competition from his own products.

The chief executive of IP telephony vendor Zed-3 is currently seeking value added distributors in the UK. But distributors have said that comparison with Milnes’ previous projects could be off-putting.

“Iain is a good man, and he’s invented some great products and I wish him all the best,” said David Thompson, managing director of Basingstoke-based distributor Siracom. “But we’re still aligned with Zultys and it wouldn’t be appropriate.”

Internet telepony vendor Zultys was created by Milnes, who then lost control of the company after it went into administration and was bought out by US vendor Pivot VoIP.

Speaking from his Hong Kong office, Milnes said he has learned much from the experience. “Certain features of the telephony product didn’t sell. We had a choice of developing A or B, and we took the wrong option. The product was the best on the market, but it wasn’t the top seller. That happens sometimes.”

Milnes would not reveal details of Zed-3’s new product range, but did concede that the technology would be a lot more user-friendly and would compete on price.

“People don’t want to know about technology; they just want to make calls. As our products get cleverer, we have to make them look simpler,” he said.

Grahame Smee, managing director of distributor Cohort Technology, also cited Zultys as a reason not to take on Zed-3. “We had an experience with Zultys. The product was good, but something went wrong on the route to market. I spoke to Iain, but I wasn’t interested.

“Besides, we’re doing well with ShoreTel. I’m not sure who would take this on. There’s some very strong competition.”