When you picked out your phone system, if you didn’t get the features you wanted, there’s no need to worry. Toronto startup TelChamp puts existing phone systems on steroids adding features that everyone wants.
TelChamp is a unified communications system that adds SMS, call forwarding, conference calling, follow me, auto-attendant, web based faxing, and more to your existing phone system. You can try it all out for free.
Two Pakistani brothers, Mustafain (Musti) and Murtafain (Murti) Nasser, are the founders of TelChamp. Both were educated in North America and now Musti manages the North American part of their business from Toronto and Murti handles their Karachi business from Dubai.
Through an alliance with Los Angeles based Allcom TelChamp has been able to come up with the Genie system. This is the cloud based system that provides all of these telecommunications features through a personalized, web based dash board. Genie is also the TelChamp user’s personal, virtual assistant.
This technology allows small business people and even startups, to have a larger more professional phone presence on a laser thin budget.
We got to talk with the TelChamp team. Check out the interview below.
What is TelChamp?
TelChamp is a Unified Communications* technology that ‘sits’ on top of your telco carrier service whether it is mobile or landline based. TelChamp offers such robust features as long distance, SMS, call forwarding, conference calling, follow me, auto attendant, web based faxing, a unique web page for business marketing and more at incredible savings and, in some cases, free!
*Unified Communications (UC) is the integration of real-time communication services such as instant messaging (chat), presence information, telephony (including IP telephony), video conferencing, data sharing, call control and speech recognition with non-real-time communication services such as unified messaging (integrated voicemail, e-mail, SMS and fax). TelChamp adds one more important feature to the mix: money transfer services.
In layman’s terms, how does it work? (In other words: how would you explain it to your grandmother?)
Simple. Each user is given a unique digital identity known as a “Genie”* number.
The Genie number is a toll free number that has attached to it up to two local numbers anywhere in North America. ( We are beginning to add local numbers globally).
You use your Genie Number to access your back office dashboard to set up your personal preferences such as default ( cascade) numbers ( link your Genie number to all your telco numbers home, office, mobile, fax etc.). If you have a current mobile number, you can keep it but delete all those expensive services that the Mobile Network Operator ( MNO) charges for like call forwarding, call blocking, extra voice mail, SMS packages, roaming, expensive long distance packages because all these services, and more, are free with your TelChamp account.
Your dashboard also connects you with your Genie Gateway.
The Genie Gateway is a web page that you create (with Genie’s assistance) and you control. Changes can be made anytime, anywhere from any internet enabled device.
The Gateway allows your friends, family and customers access to you by voice, text, email, and fax and allow you to communicate with them in real time by uploading content such as audio, video, and documents, and even lets you send interactive broadcast voicemails (VOX) that allow your contacts to reply with voice, text or even money! Alert your customers to your deal of the day and take the order at the same time as collecting funds.
*Genie is the personality of the system. She guides you through the process and acts as your personal assistant 24-7
Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?
TelChamp was created by Mustafain (Musti) and Murtafain (Murti) Nasser, twin brothers originally based in Pakistan and Dubai and now with contacts globally. The Nasser Brothers business (Nasser Brothers PVT Ltd.) is a Karachi based second generation enterprise that has brought western business to the region and has managed and grown these enterprises. Nasser’s telco arm (Nascom) built much of the wireless infrastructure in Pakistan in the past 10 years by co-ordinating and joint venturing with European companies like Telenor and Siemens.
The Nasser’s are always seeking great western technology that has scalability to take it back to their region. They saw the importance of a unified communication platform and quickly secured an exclusive rights arrangement for Canada and a non-exclusive for the rest of the world.
Both brothers are North American educated and Musti manages the North American entity from Toronto while Murti takes care of Karachi and Dubai.
AllCom was founded in 1997 by Thomas E. Skala. Skala has a significant corporate history in the US, having owned and managed several public companies. Skala sold one of his previous tech companies ( Electronic Clearing House/ECHO) to Intuit for an undisclosed sum said to be in the high seven figures. AllCom continues to develop technology on this platform and add features to its subscriber base as upgrades rather than generating new fee revenue.
Where are you based?
TelChamp is based in Toronto and AllCom is LA based.
What’s the startup scene/culture like where you’re based?
Canada is a great place to find government support, institutional and private funding and some very interesting incubators both from a technology side as well as finance. The Canadian government supports a program called WaveFront that provides support to mobile developers nationally in a bid to ensure Canada stays leading edge in this field.
How did you come up with the idea for TelChamp?
In many ways, the technology is not unique. It’s the combination of all these important services on one platform that makes the solution unique and provides ease of use to the consumer and efficiencies in cost as well.
How did you come up with the name?
Telco Champion or TelChamp; we fight for our client and knock out the competition!
AllCom is all communities, all communication and all commerce on one platform.
What problem does Telchamp solve?
TelChamp provides a single one click solution for all the extras consumers and businesses subscribe for from local Telco’s, MNO’s, and ISP’s. We put long distance, fax, conference calls, money transfer services and a web presence together all on one platform. Rather than having to coordinate and jump from platform to platform, our client goes from process to process on one platform that they control with a single access point for the user and their caller.
What’s your secret sauce?
Everyone has a special feature or features that they love, but the concept of a single platform with a multitude of services at an efficient and effective cost (no contracts, no obligation) at zero cents a minute, where users can call other users (peer to peer) anywhere anytime worldwide is the “secret sauce.”
Are you bootstrapped or funded?
TelChamp is privately funded and AllCom has been privately funded but is in the process of completing a public offering.
What’s one challenge you’ve overcome in the startup process?
With a complex story like a suite of unified communication services, getting the message out simply to many has been something we believe we have been good at. TelChamp re-created the brand (www.telchamp.com) and introduced simple on line tools to assist the consumer in understanding the process and the product and the impact it would make on individual lives.
From a technology perspective, getting all of these processes on one platform was a challenge that we have successfully achieved.
What’s next for Telchamp?
Global expansion into select countries like Pakistan, India, and Philippines and the Gulf region with local numbers that will allow off net phone calls to be zero cents a minute to our customer is high on our list.
The roll out of the Genie Cash Box* to our current subscribers and new relationships worldwide will enhance our brand awareness both in North America and globally.
*The Genie Cash Box is a secure and private on line payment system. No more need for merchant accounts, no more financial underwriting of a merchant for the major credit cards. Genie Cash Box allows the transfer of funds between users (peer to peer) at zero cost anywhere, any time and is part of our suite of services. It is a perfect solution for the unbanked and underbanked.