I have written before about how crowded the Hosted Voice sector is. Apparently, that was a signal for master agencies to add more VoIP players.
Voxox signed up with TBI, who recently signed 8x8 to an extensive portfolio of service providers with VoIP offerings - like West IP, Cbeyond, CenturyLink and XO. I'm not sure how many VoIP players signed with TBI, but my guess would be 20. And if you think that every single VoIP quote won't come with a competing one from CenturyLink, keep in mind that TBI just scored its second million dollar reward from C-Link.
On the heels of its acquisition by Birch, Cbeyond has gone OTT (over-the-top) with its Total Cloud Phone system. It's Cbeyond's jump into the Bring Your Own Bandwidth (BYOB) hosted PBX service fray. I'm curious what the quality will be like over a DSL service (which the FCC just announced sucks) when the Broadsoft is in Louisville and Atlanta and the customer is riding Frontier in CT? Even cable download speeds have nothing to do with QOS for real-time streams like Netflix and VoIP.
The move to OTT for VoIP is to get out from under the network piece that is expensive and a big liability. I get it but you sacrifice quality, which is a direct reflection of your brand. In the last month, two calls from two companies experiencing severe issues with call quality for OTT that wireshark points to the ISP. Fun times.
MicroCorp signs up its 21st VoIP provider, Alteva. More and more the master agencies are looking like Tech Data and Ingram.
I wonder how all 21 will survive. I also feel sorry the channel managers, who will have to do quotes and explain why them and not the other 20.
VoIP reminds me of Integrated T1s - except that with VoIP there are a number of factors that go into a successful deployment. It is manpower intensive upfront, which will be a challenge when there are 20 players putting pricing pressure on every deal.
I often wonder how low you can go while still paying 20+ points to a master, paying the channel manager and still making margin. At least with T1's the fixed costs are known. With VoIP deployments, the fixed costs are not quite set as it varies with the number of seats and complexity of the call flow (and the LAN setup).