Microcorp just signed up 8x8 as a vendor. By my count, that is the 20th service provider that offers Hosted VoIP of some kind. 20.
Some are Broadsoft based; some are Metaswitch based; and some are home brewed versions (Asterisk/Freeswitch/whatever). How does the average channel partner distinguish between 20 odd VoIP players? How does the average buyer?
It's the big problem with the Hosted VoIP space right now. Only a few names will make it to the top of the list. What factors will come into play?
- Obviously, who is cheapest is one factor.
- Who is easiest to deal with / most channel friendly*
- Best Deployment
- previous partner relationship
- Who pays the most
I make my money off this space, but even I have a hard time remembering the subtle differences between the VoIP players. At least, Weave is chasing a niche. West IP chases the 75 and up mid-market. The cable guys, TelePacific and Integra are territorial. How do the rest differentiate?
I'm not picking on Microcorp. Most major masters have over 100 direct agreements. Instead of hosted VoIP, we could be talking about DIA or MPLS or IAAS.