C-Forward Tech­nologies gets in ring offering VoIP services

For most of its 10 years, C-Forward Tech­nologies said “no” to telephone work.

But Brent Cooper, CEO of the Covington-based IT firm, found that when he referred clients to others for such services, they sometimes reported back unsatisfied. He decided it was time to keep them in-house.

He recently launched a “voice-over-Internet protocol” division, delivering voice communications over the Internet or other networks.

“We would call people to help us, trying to find partners,” Cooper said. “We couldn’t find anybody who met the customer-service levels that we do.”

The firm, with 18 employees, has become a reseller of the AltiGen Communications Inc. phone solution, a Windows-based product.

The technology means office employees might not even need a phone. They can work directly through their computers, using a wireless headset. Or they can route calls to their cell phones. They can even record calls.

It could mean savings: Office phones can cost $200 each.

Cooper expects telephony to account for about 10 percent of his business for the next year or so and eventually reach 20 percent to 30 percent. The company should finish this year with revenue of about $2 million, he said. Revenue grew 4 percent in 2008, and growth could reach 9 percent this year.

West Chester-based Dwyer Cos., which uses C-Forward for IT, has adopted the telephone solution. Internet telephony will only grow, said Bill Bonekemper, of Dwyer, and the company wanted to be on top of the trend.

A big bonus: No need to wait for service personnel to arrive if problems arise.

“Their ability to log on from anywhere and do support is a really nice feature,” Bonekemper said.

The product, Cooper said, can cost $10,000 to $20,000 for a small company and $30,000 to $40,000 for a larger business.

C-Forward opened its first offices in Columbus last year. In the next few years, Cooper hopes to open locations in Dayton, Louisville and Lexington.

Premium content from Business Courier by James Ritchie, Staff Reporter