In this installment of Deal Radar, we follow a company that is working in line with a theme I addressed in a recent Forbes Column, commercializing open source. Chicago-based OrecX helps businesses record phone conversations using open source software. Founded by Bruce Kaskey and Bruno Haas in 2005, the company is focused on making call recording common in the commercial and public sector markets.
Keskey worked in the call recording marketplace before founding OrecX, but he could not re-enter the industry because of a non-compete agreement. He decided to leverage his domain knowledge to start a new firm when the non-compete expired because of an asset sale. Co-founder Bruno Haas suggested open source as the basis for the business model, and OrecX was born. Within two months of launching its open source project, Oreka, on Sourceforge.net, the company was rated in the top 1% out of approximately 400,000 open source projects. Today, over 37,000 users have downloaded the open source version of Oreka.
Among its solutions are Oreka Total Recording (TR), which aims to help organizations to leverage the power of open source for efficient call center operation. The solution records VoIP SIP sessions by passively listening to network packets with both ends of the conversation mixed together. It logs each call as a separate audio file using a standard sound device and can record multiple channels at the same time. Further, access to calls is through standard browsers such as Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox and does not require installation of additional software. Calls can be replayed using a standard media player. The company also offers solutions for live monitoring, rule-based selective and sampled recording and record-on-demand. Oreka TR is priced at $199 per year, and other solutions are priced as annual subscriptions based on the number of extensions.
In February 2009, the company announced the debut of its first all-in-one, plug-and-play call recording solution at the Internet Telephony Conference and Expo 2009 in Miami. The solution can record up to 200 simultaneous VoIP sessions in one package that the company claims is the most affordable in the market.
Since its launch, OrecX has received several accolades, including the Linux World “Best New Use of Open Source” Award. The company has over 40,000 General Public License (GPL) users and 250 customers ranging from top ten call centers to SMBs to Sitel, Time Warner and IBM. OrecX’s year-over-year growth exceeds 140%, and it forecasts growth at 200% for the current fiscal year. Further, the company also plans to break even with profitability for the current calendar/fiscal year 2009.
OrecX was initially bootstrapped and raised early-stage capital from two private investors after it had secured some customers. The company has continued to fuel its capital requirements from operations but plans to raise capital at the end of 2009.
OrecX is yet another excellent example of shoestring entrepreneurship using OpenSource.
This segment is a part in the series : Deal Radar 2009