Farmshed reaps revenue via VoIP

Ever the rural champion, Internet-based agribusiness, Farmshed has signed an agreement with Colloqui that will see the provision of Internet-based voice and video services to over 130,000 primary producers across the nation.

As part of the deal, Colloqui will supply its ChatStack technology to Farmshed's customer base allowing them to make PC-to-PC calls, nationally, locally or internationally, at no extra cost outside of their normal monthly Internet service provision fee. Calls may be made on a one-on-one, video conference or live broadcast basis, involving up to 50,000 delegates online, according to the two companies.

In addition to distributing the product to its own base, Farmshed will become a commercial distributor to other online service providers in an effort to reward and retain its loyal online community.

Angus Taylor, CEO of Farmshed, said Colloqui's technology has attracted a lot of attention despite it being early days.

While he would not disclose the revenue split between Farmshed and Colloqui, Taylor said ChatStack would reap significant revenues from both direct sales to other businesses and bundled as a value-add to its clients.

"This powerful yet inexpensive communication service is a compelling addition to the Farmshed range of services," said Taylor. "It allows us to package this with other things we are doing."

Value-add is a huge factor in the livelihood of an online operation, according to Taylor. However, he said it is increasingly difficult to find an application or concept that adds enough value to be commercially viable.

"Farmers are very thirsty when it comes to looking for something new but you have to offer them something useful," he said.

"With ChatStack we will be able to invite users to join community discussions as part of our professional advisory services covering agronomy, education, business finance and marketing. Users will also be able to participate in national and international conferences without having to travel huge distances."