6 Questions when Choosing a VoIP Provider

Peter : On Rad's Radar?
| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

6 Questions when Choosing a VoIP Provider

If you are a channel agent or a VAR or a service provider looking for a VoIP Provider to be your VoIP provider, there are 6 questions to think about:
  1. Do you want to White Label, wholesale or a retail package?
  2. Will you be serving consumers or businesses?
  3. Will it be POTS replacement or Hosted PBX?
  4. Will you be selling PBX, phones and other hardware?
  5. Do you want to do Tier 1 support?
  6. How will you sell it? (Or do you have a sales team?)
While many ITSP's (Internet Telephony Service Providers) can do all of it - white label, wholesale, retail, hosted PBX, analog replacement - it is difficult for each to excel at all of that. And you don't want to get half way down the road to have your vendor shift gears and the wheels fall off.

Support is key because "the blinking light" syndrome means that you will be getting calls about "how do I do that?" or "why can't I dial long distance?" So it's good to define responsibilities (and what is Tier 1 support).

Why know your market? Because most ITSP's have not designed an offering to compete against Vonage, Magic Jack or the cable companies. (And besides B2B is way more profitable).

The last question is real: How will you sell it? If you have 100 clients, only 10-20% are going to convert without some type of sales effort. And that doesn't amount to many lines for all of the effort that both you and your vendor will be expending to get this partnership moving forward.

I have seen far too many ITSP's bring on numerous agents/resellers/VAR's/partners, only to see lots of start up activity that never converts to enough sales activity to account for the effort.

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