Either you decided to buy a voice switch – Netsapiens or Metaswitch or open-source like Freeswitch – or you went white-label with the likes of Coredial or with a platform like Alianza . Either way you decided to enter the highly competitive fray of voice services.
You need a billing platform, 499 registration, origination + termination, DIDs, LNP, CNAM, and nomadic 9-1-1. More important, you also need to package it into a service the customers will buy. How do you do that?
Know your customers. Most likely you already have a base of customers. Is it residential or business? What segment of business – SOHO, VSB, small, midsized or enterprise? Any specific verticals? What commonality? Use that data.
Here’s something to consider: only about 0.3% of US firms have over 500 employees. So the rush to go up market to enterprise confuses me. ALL of the competition is up there!
These 14.5 million businesses are underserved and uneducated on what communications platforms can do for their business.
Of the 2000+ companies offering Hosted VoIP, almost 800 of them are rural. Most of the voice sold in the USA is now from cable, which means mainly SIP trunking. I mention this because most people in the Hosted VoIP space don’t realize that UCaaS (or whatever you want to call cloud communications or Hosted PBX services) is still less than 20% of the total market – even after 15 years of sales and thousands out there trying to sell it.
Know that there is a big difference between a Managed UC sales and OTT VoIP – and it isn’t just the price! It is that the OTT VoIP buyer just wants dial-tone. They want to buy a replacement for POTS or PRI and save some money. This is what we have been teaching the buyer since the 1990s. We will sell you something to replace that for less money. (Now the industry is broke!)
CPaaS is the next platform to offer voice. This platform also can provide SMS, collaboration, conferencing and video calls. CPaaS platforms are aplenty: Nexmo by Vonage; Kandy by GENBAND (now Ribbon); Zang by Avaya; Mitel’s Corvisa from Shoretel; and the big daddy Twilio. I think CPaaS will be the winner. Most folks want cheap dial-tone and maybe a couple other features layered in like voicemail to text.
Mitel is a leader in going Vertical. Verticals is how the profits will be won; how margins will be maintained. UCaaS was supposed to be about business process improvement. You can provide an outcome for improved business in a vertical market easier than if you try to tackle the whole business realm. Isn’t it time that providers actually delivered on that promise?
So where does that leave the MSP with the white-label? You better think hard about what you want to deliver. Voice is hard enough with LNP, faxing and call quality. (Call quality is such a pain that many are slapping SD-WAN at it to improve the quality of service via line bonding, packet shaping and if really advanced analytics.
Who are you selling to?
What will they buy?
What outcome do you want to promise and deliver?
How will you go to market?
What endpoints (phones, softphones, bluetooth headsets)?
If you want help with these questions and the strategy behind them, please contact the RAD-INFO INC office at (813) 963-5884. We have helped over 50 providers offering voice services.
*”NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association is the premier association representing nearly 850 independent, community-based telecommunications companies that are leading innovation in rural and small-town America.”