How do you offer VoIP in your business? For example, do you have or partner with a call center? Do you sell VoIP packages such as phones and other hardware, mobile VoIP bundles, or other offerings?
- What is the primary value a managed VoIP solution offers your clients?
- What are the other benefits?
- How can a hosted VoIP solution benefit remote teams?
- What mistakes do integrators or VARs make with hosted VoIP, and how can they avoid them?
- What’s your opinion on the future demand for managed VoIP?
3rd Element added VoIP a few years ago as an added service to our MSP offering. Many of our clients want all their technology provided by a trusted partner. We used a VoIP solution through a channel partner who could handle everything from onboarding to issues. We opted for a partner that could use different manufacturers of phones so clients never felt locked into a proprietary system. There are several mobile VoIP solutions out there; we opted for a mix of software clients, call forwarding and the ability to use wireless VoIP phones. It came down to client needs and being able to provide the best solution for each situation.
The primary value of managed VoIP for our clients is our partnership. They want a solution from someone who will stand behind it and be available when they call. Even if we submit a ticket on the client’s behalf, the client wants us to be their point of contact. Our clients call us regardless of where the problem may be, so this way, we stay in control of the whole process and can maintain that high trust with the client.
Other benefits to having VoIP as part of your offering are a tighter relationship with the client and an additional revenue stream. Depending on your chosen partner, it may be a reciprocal relationship where you feed each other business. It also provides one more piece of the puzzle for the client when offering all the services they need.
Remote teams can easily benefit from the right VoIP solution. For example, we told our clients to take their phones home and plug them in during the pandemic. As a result, they all returned to work as though they were at their office. Other benefits include callers not knowing that the team member is working remotely, allowing an employer to save on physical office space, and having the ability to keep teams in contact with one another easily. Plus, a VoIP solution can lower costs from a traditional phone line.
Mistakes can easily be made with VoIP if you don’t understand the functionality.
- Know the limitations of the system you have chosen, especially if it’s proprietary.
- Be sure you onboard correctly. You don’t know what you don’t know, so if your hosted VoIP partner isn’t very good at onboarding, things will get missed, and the client won’t have the system functionality they paid for.
- Take the time upfront to understand the environment and the requirements of the system you are installing to provide a solid solution.
The demand for managed VoIP will only go up from here. Traditional phone lines are becoming obsolete, and so are traditional phone systems. A well-managed, well-supported system with a channel partner will give you an edge over your competition. In addition, most clients like having all their services through one provider, so when they have an issue, they call a trusted partner.
About The ASCII Group, Inc.
The ASCII Group is the premier community of North American MSPs, VARs and solution providers. The group has over 1,300 members throughout the U.S. and Canada, and membership encompasses everyone from credentialed MSPs serving the SMB community to multi-location solution providers with a national reach. Founded in 1984, ASCII provides services to members, including leveraged purchasing programs, education and training, marketing assistance, extensive peer interaction and more. In addition, ASCII works with a vibrant ecosystem of major technology vendors that complement the ASCII community and support the mission of helping MSPs and VARs to grow their businesses. For more information, please visit www.ascii.com.