Hosted VoIP has grown in popularity over the years. Zina Hassel, CEO of ZLH Enterprises and member of The ASCII Group, says drivers include businesses seeking to modernize their communication infrastructure and benefit from the flexibility and cost savings that VoIP can provide.
But for value-added resellers (VARs) to make the most of the opportunity, you must understand the market and how to provide these solutions successfully. Hassel shares her perspective.
What’s the value of hosted VoIP?
Hassel: Businesses can use hosted VoIP to make and receive calls from anywhere using various devices while also taking advantage of a range of features such as call forwarding, voicemail, conference calling, and more. For these reasons, we will almost always recommend hosted VoIP solutions to our clients over traditional dial-up connections, and we don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Is remote work and work from home impacting hosted VoIP demand?
Hassel: The rise of remote work and work-from-home arrangements has significantly increased the demand for hosted VoIP solutions. Businesses require communication tools that can easily support remote collaboration and allow workers to stay connected from anywhere now that employees are no longer confined to the office. Hosted VoIP systems can provide features such as virtual extensions, video conferencing, and mobile app integrations, allowing employees to work from anywhere. Furthermore, as a business grows or changes, Hosted VoIP can be easily scaled up or down without additional hardware or infrastructure.
Do you usually recommend hosted VoIP alone or with other offerings?
Hassel: As a technology consultant, Enterprises matches companies with the best VoIP provider for your company’s financial and technical requirements. Many providers frequently offer hosted VoIP as part of a more extensive suite of unified communication solutions. For example, messaging, video conferencing, collaboration tools, and other business applications and services may be included. The provider and the client’s requirements will determine the specific offerings.
What process do you follow to match the solution with the client?
Hassel: A thorough understanding of the client’s needs, goals, and existing infrastructure is required when matching a hosted VoIP solution with a client. In most cases, we will conduct a needs assessment and collaborate with the client to identify the features and capabilities that are most important to their business. We can then recommend customized solutions with various providers to choose from. Many of these offerings will support varying bandwidths and may include multiple features, apps, and products applicable to our clients’ businesses. Our top priority is to get our customers the best price for their bandwidth while also providing the most robust feature set. Because of our 25+ years in the industry, we can frequently obtain better packages and rates than our competitors at a lower cost to our customers.
What advice can you offer VARs looking for a hosted VoIP vendor partner?
Hassel: VARs who want to offer hosted VoIP solutions to their clients should work with a reputable provider that offers robust features and, most importantly, dependable service. VARS must understand its clients’ needs and tailor high-quality solutions accordingly rather than simply adding services for the sake of having them. We believe a VoIP package that provides high-speed services and excellent customer service is the foundation for a satisfied customer. While VARs may benefit from providing additional services such as network assessments, security audits, and so on, we recognize that some providers can create the illusion of a great product with a plethora of features that aren’t doing anything special. Therefore, it is best to focus on the best service and keep it simple!
About The ASCII Group, Inc.
The ASCII Group is the premier community of North American MSPs, MSSPs, 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.