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PX Eliezer7
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
Reviews:
·callwithus
·voip.ms
reply to IPfaxer

Re: [Asterisk] What about Flowroute for faxing?

said by IPfaxer:

to PX El.. yes shadowy - if you can get to the bottom of their operation please let us know - we don't like transacting with businesses where we can't figure out their actual operations and ownership etc. - too risky and telco is too important

Principals:
»www.linkedin.com/in/bayantowfiq
»www.linkedin.com/in/jordanmlevy
»www.linkedin.com/in/seanhsieh

Info from the Nevada Secretary of State:
»nvsos.gov/sosentitysearch/CorpDe···3d&nt7=0

FCC 499 Database:
»apps.fcc.gov/cgb/form499/499deta···m=827496

IPfaxer

join:2010-10-24

nevada is a haven for incorporations, like delaware, many businesses devoted to just being agent of service for out of state incorporators

one of founders says business is in Seattle
one says Nevada
I have no idea

I guess the issue is a few people putting up VOIP service with some hosted or leased servers somewhere gives us no confidence - we only want to work with carriers with significant physical plants and commitment to appropriate staffing - we don't want fly by nights and we don't want shadowy operations that are just cash machines for the owners but when trouble happens it is just blamed on some other company in the VOIP chain - you don't see CallCentric blaming other companies - they take responsibility -

its too easy for anyone to start offering VOIP service and have the service actually be handled by someone else and for the service to be subpar - for casual users who think VOIP is just fun, that's great, but not when you really need telco reliability and you are deploying boatloads of Cisco gear and supporting many users at once and need to be able to trust the carrier


PX Eliezer7
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13

Well of course, that's why my main provider for business and home is CallCentric.


IPfaxer

join:2010-10-24
reply to PX Eliezer7

I mean look at the HQ address filed with the FCC (which itself is not really evidence of anything other than a filing) - its just the company they used to incorporate, their registered agent in Nevada (just because that is a requirement) named Mail Link LLC
848 N RAINBOW BLVD, Las Vegas - not a real office for Flowroute - just meets minimal incorporation requirements for a business to be incorporated in Nevada which has attractive tax advantages

that gives no confidence at all to us


IPfaxer

join:2010-10-24
reply to PX Eliezer7

sorry did not mean to be critical of you, you did that research and that was good on your part

we have seen that info before and have tried to work with them before also a couple years ago and it just seemed to be not what we wanted in terms of scale and trust etc. - its not just for us, its for our customers so that is why we care so much


IPfaxer

join:2010-10-24
reply to PX Eliezer7

yes Callcentric has been really good, glad we agree on that and probably lots more too!


PX Eliezer7
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
reply to IPfaxer

Oh, I never thought for a second that you were being critical of me.

Thanks.


IPfaxer

join:2010-10-24

for what its worth...
»nvsos.gov/SOSEntitySearch/RACorp···LINK+LLC


w1ve
Premium
join:2007-12-28
Hancock, NH
reply to IPfaxer

said by IPfaxer:

sorry did not mean to be critical of you, you did that research and that was good on your part

we have seen that info before and have tried to work with them before also a couple years ago and it just seemed to be not what we wanted in terms of scale and trust etc. - its not just for us, its for our customers so that is why we care so much

Interesting. I've used Flowroute for a year and they have been flawless. I have recommended them to clients, and they have no complaints. Some a pretty big entities. To each his own, I guess. There are many more fly-by-night VoIP operations out there that are FAR worse than Flowroute.

On the main topic: Why so hell-bent over T.38? Use fax-to-email gateways, and a print-to-fsx gateway driver, if you're on Windows.
Anveo offers fax=tp=email service on all it's DIDs for $1.00 a month, $2.00 for unlimited inbound. Anveo's pricing blows away any of the dedicated services. Vitelity's vFax is also excellent.
--
VoIP Geek/Customer of voip.ms, vitelity, flowroute, callcentric, localphone, didforsale, voicemeup among others/Asterisk-PIAF user/FreeSwitch app developer/Consulting

IPfaxer

join:2010-10-24

I don't disagree with you - there are plenty of more fly-by-night operators that are far worse for sure!

Yes, we have heard they can be reliable but that with trouble tickets sometimes things never get resolved or get blamed on other 3rd parties and that they are more or less a virtual entity

Notice that their contact page on their website lists their service agent address which would only delay the time it takes to send them a letter, they should use their real office address for that - but that's just it - do they have a real office? Or just some people who work from their own homes? Absolutely nothing wrong with that but makes us not want to trust telco traffic to an operation that is only virtual in that way. It means a lot of cooks in the kitchen and one slip up and everybody is pointing fingers.

At least their website has correct year 2012 at bottom and since beginning, they have had a good looking website in my opinion and it has not changed much. Compare that to some others and it boggles my mind that some others even have any customers at all!

Great points and thanks for sharing your good experience with Flowroute - people should try them and see if it works for their needs



nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
·surpasshosting
reply to w1ve

Well, I wouldn't exactly call it "hell-bent". I did use Vitelity's vFax for a while. It worked most of the time, but I did not care for their "applet" to send faxes. It also left you guessing - did my fax go through? I had a few fail, and there was never any indication unless I logged into the portal to check. Often after getting the phone call "I thought you were going to fax that yesterday...".

I like being able to fax from "in program". With the Incredible FAX 2.0, I can do that. I haven't found any thing else where the fax "behaves" like a network printer.

I'm still trying to find out, definitively, if T.38 will even integrate properly with Asterisk and Hylafax. There's a lot of conflicting information out there concerning Asterisk 1.8 and T.38.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.


w1ve
Premium
join:2007-12-28
Hancock, NH

said by nunya:

Well, I wouldn't exactly call it "hell-bent". I did use Vitelity's vFax for a while. It worked most of the time, but I did not care for their "applet" to send faxes. It also left you guessing - did my fax go through? I had a few fail, and there was never any indication unless I logged into the portal to check. Often after getting the phone call "I thought you were going to fax that yesterday...".

I like being able to fax from "in program". With the Incredible FAX 2.0, I can do that. I haven't found any thing else where the fax "behaves" like a network printer.

I'm still trying to find out, definitively, if T.38 will even integrate properly with Asterisk and Hylafax. There's a lot of conflicting information out there concerning Asterisk 1.8 and T.38.

Understood. I'm a proud PIAF supporter and user... I just don't trust T.38 from ANY provider.. it just "sucks". Like you, I'd like great T.38 to work with Hylafax... but it always seems to not quite be there... kinda like GV support in Asterisk. (Where I use YIAF to solve that issue).
--
VoIP Geek/Customer of voip.ms, vitelity, flowroute, callcentric, localphone, didforsale, voicemeup among others/Asterisk-PIAF user/FreeSwitch app developer/Consulting

w1ve
Premium
join:2007-12-28
Hancock, NH
reply to IPfaxer

said by IPfaxer:

I don't disagree with you - there are plenty of more fly-by-night operators that are far worse for sure!

Yes, we have heard they can be reliable but that with trouble tickets sometimes things never get resolved or get blamed on other 3rd parties and that they are more or less a virtual entity

Notice that their contact page on their website lists their service agent address which would only delay the time it takes to send them a letter, they should use their real office address for that - but that's just it - do they have a real office? Or just some people who work from their own homes? Absolutely nothing wrong with that but makes us not want to trust telco traffic to an operation that is only virtual in that way. It means a lot of cooks in the kitchen and one slip up and everybody is pointing fingers.

At least their website has correct year 2012 at bottom and since beginning, they have had a good looking website in my opinion and it has not changed much. Compare that to some others and it boggles my mind that some others even have any customers at all!

Great points and thanks for sharing your good experience with Flowroute - people should try them and see if it works for their needs

It seems like you are knocking the business model rather than any technology. This VoIP business lends itself to people working virtually. Lots of these businesses are downstream businesses of larger cloud-based providers. I do agree that it is good if you can uncover who is running the operation. However, the fact that they may be incorporated in a different state than operations is pretty darn standard today. One thing I've noticed is that almost none of the smaller players will accept 30-day billing.. If you are a large business, many of them won't even look at VoIP if you have to tie up funds in a pot.
--
VoIP Geek/Customer of voip.ms, vitelity, flowroute, callcentric, localphone, didforsale, voicemeup among others/Asterisk-PIAF user/FreeSwitch app developer/Consulting


envisean
Premium
join:2009-06-23
Seattle, WA
reply to IPfaxer

said by IPfaxer:

I mean look at the HQ address filed with the FCC (which itself is not really evidence of anything other than a filing) - its just the company they used to incorporate, their registered agent in Nevada (just because that is a requirement) named Mail Link LLC
848 N RAINBOW BLVD, Las Vegas - not a real office for Flowroute - just meets minimal incorporation requirements for a business to be incorporated in Nevada which has attractive tax advantages

that gives no confidence at all to us

First off, I really have to commend you for doing such great research on a company before making such a hard business decision as choosing a primary telecom provider. If I were your customer, I'd definitely appreciate the due diligence you've exhibited.

I would like to open up a bit and hopefully clear up the "shadowy" aspects of our company background.

Flowroute was founded in 2007 as a Nevada LLC. We did this for a number of business reasons. As a startup, we were working in facilities both in California and Nevada. We do use a registered agent in Nevada because in our first few years, our addresses were shifting as we were trying to find a permanent home for our operations.

As of early 2012, we've moved all operations and hunkered down in Seattle, WA. We now have an office in Downtown Seattle located on 2nd & University. You can feel free to visit us (anyone really) if you'd like to meet our departments and team to put some faces that keep the company afloat. Our address here is: 1221 Second Ave. Ste 330. Just ring us before you drop in

Some changes everyone will be seeing over the next year:
- The obvious address change on our contact page
- We'll retain the Nevada telephone number, but will also offer a local Seattle number.

If you have any other questions about our company, feel free to ping me on linkedIn/email/phone/etc.

Oh, and we do take T.38 pretty seriously here

PX Eliezer7
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
Reviews:
·callwithus
·voip.ms

said by envisean:

If you have any other questions about our company, feel free to ping me on linkedIn/email/phone/etc.

Thanks for the info!

Now, I know who you are, but many folks don't, so you might want to specify that....

IPfaxer

join:2010-10-24
reply to envisean

thank you!!
now, as I've said before, principals and staff from carriers should probably not post here and get into back and forths on this public bulletin board as some of them do
your post, however, was not so much a back and forth but more of an introduction so thank you

suffice it to say that I have legal training and have incorporated many businesses over the years, and simply because you chose Nevada or Delaware etc. is not the issue, it is more that you had your agent of service address listed as your corporate HQ on your website - glad you will now be changing that - it brings trust if you are not afraid to disclose your HQ address

I have no qualms about virtual companies or telecommuting. One of my favorites companies is 37signals who has staff spread all around but then did hunker down and have a HQ as well in Chicago which has given them more trust. They also started their SAAS with hosted servers and ultimately moved to their own gear co-located in Chicago to allow better service to their customers.

You are providing telco service. People will rely on it for not only personal calls but also for business and even for emergencies at times. Aside from what you need to do as a vendor as a bare minimum legally, can you talk a bit more about your infrastructure. No secrets - just how you have it arranged at the moment. Do you host servers? Do you co-locate? Do you use a big data center or more than one? Who runs the datacenter? Are you using proprietary software to manage aspects of the service or billing? Which aspects? Do you rely on one or more companies to provide you with DID termination for your customers? Who is that? You only accept Amazon payments and not credit cards directly and not paypal. Please discuss briefly. Also, what do you have in terms of service backup and staff backup? What if you and your partner in the business are injured? Are others capable of continuing the service at a high level of skill?

Please share or better yet, share on your website and provide a link here - you should not have to be posting here if you don't want to.



envisean
Premium
join:2009-06-23
Seattle, WA
reply to PX Eliezer7

said by PX Eliezer7:

said by envisean:

If you have any other questions about our company, feel free to ping me on linkedIn/email/phone/etc.

Thanks for the info!

Now, I know who you are, but many folks don't, so you might want to specify that....

Ah, some links/additional info might help

»www.linkedin.com/in/seanhsieh
sean [ at ] flowroute.com

IPfaxer

join:2010-10-24

wait a minute - that is me!
just kidding

do you have info on the tech side of flowroute?



envisean
Premium
join:2009-06-23
Seattle, WA

2 edits
reply to IPfaxer

said by IPfaxer:

You are providing telco service. People will rely on it for not only personal calls but also for business and even for emergencies at times. Aside from what you need to do as a vendor as a bare minimum legally, can you talk a bit more about your infrastructure. No secrets - just how you have it arranged at the moment. Do you host servers? Do you co-locate? Do you use a big data center or more than one? Who runs the datacenter? Are you using proprietary software to manage aspects of the service or billing? Which aspects? Do you rely on one or more companies to provide you with DID termination for your customers? Who is that? You only accept Amazon payments and not credit cards directly and not paypal. Please discuss briefly. Also, what do you have in terms of service backup and staff backup? What if you and your partner in the business are injured? Are others capable of continuing the service at a high level of skill?


I've updated the post because there were some inaccuracies in the last version. This corrects some technical errors and provides more accurate and detailed information.

No we do not use hosted servers and we don't offer co-location services.
Big data center: Yes, we have equipment across 3 data centers: Southern California / Las Vegas, Nevada / Seattle, Washington. These data centers house equipment that handles signaling. Audio streams take a direct path to media gateways for optimization purposes.
Proprietary software for service/billing? We run a in-house developed service delivery and billing platform. We are also big believers & supporters of open-source projects.
Termination & Origination Partners: We peer with major and regional telcos across the US and around the world.
Toll-free: We are certified as a RESPORG with SMS/800 and our RESPORG ID is FWR01. (I mistakenly posted that we have our own CIC code before. We do not have our own CIC code, but are rather in the process of applying for a Feature Group D CIC code with NANPA.)
Credit card payments: We started off with Amazon FPS for credit card payments (which allows for ACH and wire transfers as well). We are looking forward to expanding payment methods for our customers.
Service backup: We provide redundancy in our service delivery. We will be opening up the Seattle, WA infrastructure to our customers soon as an additional point of redundancy. We also offer an SLA for carrier customers.
Staff backup: Flowroute has 3 founders, but that isn't the company. We have a hard-matched operations & support staff. Our team also include a dev, marketing, admin, and legal team. We have a tight-knit family mentality (yes, we do occasionally accidentally eat each others food from the fridge, but we're pretty good about making up for it).

Our website is currently being revamped, but some of this content, along with a company profile and infrastructure page, will make it up in the new version of the site.

said by IPfaxer:

Please share or better yet, share on your website and provide a link here - you should not have to be posting here if you don't want to.


Why wouldn't I want to post on here? I'm in the exact same boat as everyone here. We all need a place where we can get some good feedback on the services that are out here.

IPfaxer

join:2010-10-24

thanks for detailed reply

in terms of some of the other carriers and vendors you use, are there any of those that you use most often?

(when I asked about hosting and co-locating, I meant to ask if you used hosted equipment or if you co-located your own gear - to clarify, you do co-locate your own gear in the all the datacenters you use or just a portion of the 3 data centers ?)

kudos on your website from the beginning, but it is getting a little long in the teeth, keep up the good work and spread your message far and wide


IPfaxer

join:2010-10-24
reply to envisean

last question - can you provide estimated annual revenue? thanks


nathana
Premium
join:2004-05-27
Moscow, ID
reply to envisean

said by envisean:

Our website is currently being revamped, but I'm sure some of the content we've discussed will make it up in the new version of the site.

Please don't change it *too* much...your control panel is already the best. So I hope that whatever change happens doesn't simply occur for changes' sake.

-- Nathan

nathana
Premium
join:2004-05-27
Moscow, ID
reply to nunya

said by nunya:

I'm still trying to find out, definitively, if T.38 will even integrate properly with Asterisk and Hylafax. There's a lot of conflicting information out there concerning Asterisk 1.8 and T.38.

I don't use Hylafax so I can't really speak to that, but we are using Asterisk 1.8 and T.38 passthrough works great. We often have it going ATA <-> Asterisk <-> Asterisk <-> provider (yes, 2 * servers back-to-back) and very few problems to speak of (and none that I could attribute directly to Asterisk itself).

I don't think that Asterisk 1.8 can act as a T.38 gateway, though...you'll either need extra software licensed from Digium to do that, or go to Asterisk 10.

-- Nathan


envisean
Premium
join:2009-06-23
Seattle, WA
reply to IPfaxer

said by IPfaxer:

last question - can you provide estimated annual revenue? thanks

We're a private company, so that information is a bit confidential. However, is there a specific question I can answer about our business and growth?


envisean
Premium
join:2009-06-23
Seattle, WA
reply to nathana

said by nathana:

said by envisean:

Our website is currently being revamped, but I'm sure some of the content we've discussed will make it up in the new version of the site.

Please don't change it *too* much...your control panel is already the best. So I hope that whatever change happens doesn't simply occur for changes' sake.

-- Nathan

Thanks! We've actually had a bunch of great feedback from our customers who are managing thousands of DIDs on ways to optimize workflows. They're not going to be huge re-vamps where you'll have to figure out how to use our service again, but more evolutionary updates to make management quick and fun.

IPfaxer

join:2010-10-24
reply to envisean

A private company can divulge its sales. That does not mean its profits. That would help for some to decide if flowroute has adequate resources for day to day reliability, etc.

But if you are not comfortable with that question, can you generally discuss your growth since starting in a way that does not feel like you are divulging private info?


PX Eliezer7
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
Reviews:
·callwithus
·voip.ms

said by IPfaxer:

A private company can divulge its sales. That does not mean its profits. That would help for some to decide if flowroute has adequate resources for day to day reliability, etc.

What information do you divulge when [your] customers ask you the exact same question?

IPfaxer

join:2010-10-24

we divulge our sales
period