Tango Networks was founded in 2005 and fully funded by February of 2007. It is one of several startups addressing the enterprise FMC market, integrating with the corporate PBX, but it claims a unique twist in that it also integrates closely with service provider infrastructure.
Tango has a box plugged into the MNO’s call control infrastructure talking directly to another Tango box that plugs into the corporate PBX. These boxes are named Abrazo-C (carrier) and Abrazo-E (enterprise). Abrazo is the Spanish for embrace, reinforcing the concept of the carrier side and the enterprise side being tightly connected. This balanced architecture enables Tango to offer a rich feature set while maintaining versatile.
One of the aspects of this versatility is that they aren’t fixated on dual mode phones. Tango works with any cell phone, and hands off between the corporate desk phone and the cell phone in response to the user punching in a star code on their phone keypad. This method of input also gives the user complete access to all the features of the corporate PBX over the cellular network. But Tango acknowledges that star codes are not the most user friendly of interfaces, so they do provide an “ultra thin client” for those phones that support third party software.
Requiring a box in the carrier network helps with things like caller ID manipulation and number translation (like 4 digit dialing to PBX extensions from your cell phone). On the other hand it limits Tango’s ability to sell directly to enterprises. The primary customer for all sales has to be a carrier. Marketing efforts directed to end users serve only to provide pull through.
Offering a box on the enterprise premises addresses the major concern of businesses evaluating VCC and other carrier centric FMC solutions: businesses don’t want to lose control of their voice network. By leaving the enterprise side of the system under the control of the corporate IT department, Tango resembles the PBX model of business voice more closely than the never popular Centrex model.