Over recent years we have seen a considerable increase in demand for SIP
based communications solutions from traditionally ISDN and PBX based resellers. So, why are more and more resellers moving into the provision of IP based telecoms? Here are 5 good reasons:
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Paul Heritage-Redpath, Product Manager[/caption]
#1 Business Continuity
The flexible and virtual nature of SIP trunks
makes them ideal for disaster recovery strategies. Incoming calls can be easily and almost immediately transferred to an alternative number such as a mobile or to alternative premises, providing complete business continuity in the event of a problem.
Entanet customers can even specify an alternative location as an auto failover solution by providing a DNS SRV record to send calls to. SRV is a type of Domain Name System record - it allows you to specify where traffic goes based on a combination of priority and availability. It is similar in functionality to Mail Exchange (MX) records for email.
With traditional solutions such as an ISDN this is not as easy as the ISDN is installed to a physical location and the affected company would be likely to incur significant downtime and additional costs for rerouting the calls.
When using an ISDN line you are required to commit to 2 or 30 (with a minimum of 8) channel solutions which need to be installed. Any future changes to your original order can take time and incur significant additional costs, especially if upgrading from a 2 channel solution to a 30 channel solution.
However, when using VoIP
it’s much easier to scale your solution up (or down) as the business grows and requirements expand. Additional user accounts, trunks and DDIs can be added (or removed) easily and quickly for a relatively low additional monthly fee and set up cost. It’s often a simple change on the user portals to enable the changes making the upgrades quick and simple with minimal impact on the existing system.
Using ISDN lines can be costly especially when you also factor in the cost of traditional PBX hardware. It’s not just the monthly rental costs and call charges but also the installation. Comparatively, using VoIP can be much cheaper. SIP trunks are usually a fraction of the cost of an ISDN line (although it does depend on the customer’s specific requirements), with lower call charges and as an IP PBX is hosted online it incurs much lower set-up costs than the installation of a traditional solution.
However, it is worth considering that as an IP based solution, VoIP is reliant on the customer’s underlying connectivity. Therefore additional costs could be incurred if the customer needs to upgrade this to support the new solution.
#4 Profitable Reseller Margins
While customers can usually make significant cost savings by using VoIP solutions, resellers are also able to earn generous margin. The virtual nature of VoIP means it’s a relatively inexpensive service to provide and, when compared to the cost of ISDN trunks, resellers can easily make a profitable margin from each trunk, from the call revenue generated, the set up costs and also any additional services that are provided such as call recording for example.
If the reseller also provides the underlying connectivity this also creates additional opportunities as the connectivity may need to be upgraded to support the new IP based solution. Many business customers look to implement VoIP as part of a complete connectivity solution such as an IP VPN
with hosting and back up connections, providing even more opportunity to resellers.
The latest Ofcom Communications Market Report advises that 63% of adults now buy 2 or more communications services from the same supplier, providing resellers with valuable cross selling opportunities.
Reliable Internet connectivity is critical to businesses. Therefore more and more businesses are opting for guaranteed connectivity solutions which include backup options and SLAs like leased lines
. Similarly, protecting the performance of their telecoms (both incoming and outgoing) is equally important and where this is the case, SIP trunking is arguably more reliable than an ISDN line due to its flexible nature and the options to have back up lines and rerouting options in place.
SIP trunking solutions are undoubtedly growing in popularity amongst business customers and provide valuable opportunities to resellers. If you are not yet taking advantage of this, now is the time to find out more.
Have your say!
Are you moving into the provision of SIP based solutions? Do you already make good margins from these services? Or are you a traditional PBX installer and planning to stay that way? Let us know about your experiences of the market by leaving a comment below.