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A History Apart

From Steven V Jackson, President of InterQoS Online, Inc., and Managing Member of Ingenious Systems, LLC:

Telling the story of QoStar is an interesting process because it converges several story arcs across more than two decades. The earliest parts of the story begin well before the QoStar name had even been imagined.

The first of QoStar’s modern day components was Quantum Communications. Quantum’s original abstract contains much of the vital details of their contribution to our history:

Founded in 1988, Quantum Communications Group was a closely held, Minneapolis based, consulting firm specializing in the Internet and telecommunication industries. Clients ranged from small companies to large ones such as Cellular One, MCI, AT&T and Western Wireless. Projects ranged from single tasks like tower selection, business planning, vendor selection, web hosting, domain registration and search engine positioning, to complete turnkey telephony and virtual ISP incubation. Quantum has incubated dozens of large and small businesses, in both the telecommunications and Internet industries.

In the early 1990’s another group formed in Knoxville, Tennessee, near the national defense technology hub of Oak Ridge National Labs, with no knowledge of Quantum and no interest in media networking or telephony. The purpose of this group was to construct and provide leased access to a shared computing facility to companies needing high-end minicomputer driven accounting programs. This effort was years ahead of the catch phrase “cloud hosting”, but they had correctly identified the technical requirements to accomplish this monumental-at-the-time task.

In the mid-1990’s this project had proven itself ahead of its time and was repurposed into a local dial-up Internet and web hosting provider. The operation proved so technically stable, it soon moved back into application hosting on a national scale, but this time using microcomputers as the hardware base. The QoStar name was conceived to represent the focus on Quality of Service for the application hosting customers. One of the largest applications hosted was the central control center for a national dial-up Internet program which, at one time, served thousands of members of affinity groups including the National Rifle Association.

In 2002, InterQoS Online, Inc., was incorporated in Tennessee and acquired the application hosting business as its sole focus with the QoStar name as its branding. The application hosting business continued to penetrate new markets and ironically returned to accounting as well as dozens of other retail and utility applications. An interesting and relevant application from the early 2000’s was a system allowing telemarketing agents to work from home by controlling dial-outs via a web-based call center software package and shipping their audio streams over dial-up Internet connections to a central monitoring station. This application was years ahead of the industry, but more or less mirrors common practices of today.

A marketer of the aforementioned national dial-up Internet program, Alliance Solutions, Inc., eventually bought the national dial-up central control application and became a direct customer of InterQoS’s QoStar application hosting network. Alliance’s abstract explains their own history:
Alliance was founded at the turn of the century as a spin off from the Quantum Communications Group technology and marketing divisions. One reason for the change was to better focus each company on their core competency of these and other emerging technologies: Quantum on consulting and Alliance on product development and marketing. The same people who have been specializing in telecommunications and Internet technologies since 1988 are still at Alliance’s core.

In 2004, a spin-off company, Ingenius Systems Research, LLC, was formed to concentrate on engineering for Internet security and protocol concerns. ISR developed an email security product called MailVICE and a passive email identity sleuthing technology called the Forensic Sender Test™ as their first focus. ISR also developed several security solutions in the remote-office segment which concentrated on secured networking and secured remote data archival and synchronization, not imagining the role they would eventually play in QoStar’s modern-day offerings.

In 2008, InterQoS acquired the assets of Alliance Solutions, Inc., when long-time leader and visionary Mike Clough suffered a sudden and rapid health decline leaving the company with no timely way to enlist new management. Those assets included a fledgling VoIP program which aimed to replace dial-up as Alliance’s network of resellers’ key service. Upon review, InterQoS determined the program was too underdeveloped to be used as it was and turned to ISR for help.

ISR’s engineers reviewed the VoIP program and quickly found a good fit to many of their existing private network offerings. SIP switching was added and in typical ISR fashion, new ways to use the basic idea of VoIP to move more than just voice and video were discovered and implemented. ISR bannered their switching software under the name iqVoice and licensed the technology back to InterQoS for use with its QoStar brand.

Although the original intention had been to make Alliance’s VoIP program viable and enter the telephone industry as a new player, InterQoS’s analysis of the telephone industry redirected the original intention to creating private stream-routing networks with the expectation the telephone industry would soon collapse. With that collapse in progress, QoStar now provides a safe exit strategy for consumers by maintaining its private stream-routing networks with guarded separation from the doomed telephone carriers. This separation avoids any classification into the regulatory realm of “Interconnect VoIP Provider” by using a retail bulk purchasing program with near-wholesale rates in a cooperative model rather than buying wholesale services which are marked up and resold. By themselves, our private stream-routing networks are incredibly powerful with a total combined capacity of over six billion connected endpoints – a connection for just about everyone on Earth. With our cooperative buying program easing transitions, it is very easy for us here to see a world coming soon where “phone company” is just an interesting Wikipedia article reminiscent of articles about washboards and eight track tape players.

Throughout the history of the various contributors to the modern-day QoStar brand, there are several common factors which give clues to our core values. All of these stories were replete with key characters who focused on the long term value of the product or service at hand more than just making a short term profit to fill a market void. Another guiding principle of all of these groups was the idea that value wins a market and value is made up of both price and service level. I sincerely hope QoStar can bring a good value to you, but you will never find anyone in our past or present who has an incentive to push you towards using our services if those services are not the best value for your situation.

Trade Partners