What is an ITSP?

itspITSP stands for Internet Telephony Service Provider and describes companies that provide IP telephone communications.

With gateway servers connected across the globe, ITSPs make it possible to connect phones via Internet. ITSPs are essentially VoIP providers that serve other businesses and end users.

Even more important than the question of ‘what is an ITSP’ is the question of ‘how to become an ITSP’. We addressed this question in our Start Your Own ITSP whitepaper. Learn more and download the free PDF here.

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What is a SIP Proxy?

sip proxyA SIP Proxy is, in the simplest terms, an intermediary between two SIP devices. Also called a SIP server, a SIP proxy routes calls on a SIP network and is responsible for tasks such as registration, authorization, and other call functions and features.

A key part of any IP PBX, the SIP Proxy makes calls possible for users. Not to be confused with a SBC, SIP Proxies are unique and probably all you need.

Bicom Systems offers a SIP Proxy product, learn more here.

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Thirdlane vs PBXware, Part 1 : Limitations

thirdlaneIt is always with caution that one should speak of competitors and their products when clearly they are better able to do so themselves. All the more so with Thirdlane, given how respectfully Alex Epshteyn at Thirdlane has always spoken of PBXware.

I am often asked why to choose PBXware over Thirdlane and it seems only right to write.

Curious about this question is the clear circumstances in which it is asked. These can be described in three categories:

  1. Existing users of Thirdlane’s Multi-Tenant PBX who have had reason to look further.

  2. New Providers looking to start a business line with very little resource

  3. Well established businesses – either ITSPs, VARs or Long Established Sellers of Phone Systems

For the first group, Thirdlane customers have dial tone. However, their ITSP is now so busied with the running of the business that the cost of maintaining the system takes on greater importance.

It is very noticeable how few subscribers the pain threshold seems to bite. So often, fewer than 100 subscribers – a handful of customers. These, still quite new, Service Providers are also considering how to automate the monthly invoice run and, ideally, the provisioning of services.

thirdlaneA customer wants a Queue, a Conference, an IVR… Surely this should take no more effort than checking boxes to solve everything from the feature’s creation to the monthly invoice going out, right?

There also are issues of support. Again the sheer stress that happens once ‘real customers’ come on board and previously naive dreams are exposed. Answers need to be found immediately both to ‘how do I do x, y, z?’ questions and, less often, bugs or critical failings.

Increasingly the need for integration to the desktop is a make or break to getting End User businesses.  Whether in the form of onsite systems from the Traditional Vendors or the large Internet Telephony Service Providers often using Broadsoft platforms, the market at large expects standard offerings to have presence, chat and more at the finger tips. Mobility is next.

What has also been learned by bitter experience is problems that may be caused by trying to piece-on a third-party software just because you don’t have it yourself. This could be an Operator Panel, for example, that can be strung through the Asterisk Manager. There’s no choice, you have to do it. The customer is screaming at you. So you spend an hour to download it, install it, try it yourself, and thirdlaneanother hour to read the manual. You repeat that with the customer. Next day, the customer wants something that is missing … it is crashing … whatever happened to your sales plan that week?

For some though, there is the matter of scalability. To simply ‘add another server’ and ‘stick on another few hundred customers’ is not enough. All the customers need to be brought together in a single interface to be found easily and redundancy needs to be in clusters often with the options of dual location.

Stay tuned for Thirdlane vs PBXware, Part 2: Cost of Entry and check out these other posts in the meantime:

If you found this useful or can add, please feel free to post and of course visit our whitepaper on How to Start an ITSP or watch the video below.

5 VoIP Technology Basics That Increase Value

voipWe all know that VoIP reduces telephony costs, but we don’t necessarily know why. Understanding the technology behind VoIP allows us to better appreciate and market the value that VoIP brings to SMBs.

Ziff Davis explains the technology in their recent article entitled VoIP Primer – Five Technology Basics SMBs Need To Understand. 

Five VoIP Technology Basics:

1. VOIP IS DATA
The first thing to understand is that VoIP is data just like emails or files or instant messaging. While PSTN was a dedicated technology meant only for voice, VoIP turns voice into another form of data. Data is a much more efficient and cost-effective technology.

2. VOIP USES THE DATA NETWORK
Legacy systems require two separate networks – one for voice and one for data. A desk telephone uses the voice network while the computer uses a separate data network. VoIP integrates voice technology into one data network, resulting in a less expensive and easier to manage solution.

3. VOIP IS PACKET-SWITCHED
For VoIP to be transmitted over the data network it must be digitized and transferred as packets. The advantage of packets is that they travel across the most efficient route resulting in high-speed and lower costs.

4. VOIP IS REAL-TIME
Legacy telephony has always offered high quality voice in real-time because that’s what it was made to do. This has been VoIP’s biggest challenge but after over 20 years it is finally a worthy opponent of PSTN. With an optimized network and good VoIP software voice calls can be in real-time just like traditional telephony.

5. VOIP IS STILL EVOLVING
While Legacy telephony is a tried-and-true solution, it is no longer evolving and improving. On the other hand, VoIP is not yet a complete solution meaning it still has infinite potential. As technology continues to improve, VoIP will improve along with it. For example, Unified Communications opens a world of options to users and is only going to get better.

In conclusion, understanding these 5 pieces of VoIP technology gives us a greater appreciation of the value of VoIP. To read more, visit VoIP Primer – Five Technology Basics SMBs Need To Understand.

 

5 Reasons to Migrate to VoIP from Ziff Davis & 1 From Us

voipWhile sticking with a legacy system may seem like the easiest option, there is a plethora of reasons to migrate to VoIP. Ziff Davis brings us 5 of those reasons that we summarize below.

  1. Cost
    What is the primary motive for most business decisions? Cost! From cutting costs to increasing revenue, the budget is central to an SMB’s agenda. Thus it is the first reason to migrate to VoIP. Check out a few VoIP options and crunch the numbers. We guarantee that VoIP will end up costing you less in the long run.
  1. Employee Behavior
    Take a look around your office – are employees using their desk phones? looking at their computer screens? on a mobile device? Employee behavior is changing and the desk phone is losing its place as the center of any office. Modern business is done not only via voice, but also through email, instant messaging, and even video. VoIP integrates voice with all of these new technologies.
  1. Productivity
    Along those same lines, the ability to integrate VoIP with a wide range of other communication methods means increased productivity. A desk phone limits employees to communicate only when at their desk, and only when the other person is free. A comprehensive VoIP solution opens the door to employee collaboration through a variety of channels. Features such as presence give the real-time status of users, saving time spent looking for coworkers.
  1. Voice is Data
    Employees and usage aside, VoIP is a better option because it runs over the data network. A legacy system runs on a dedicated voice network, forcing companies to have two networks. This means paying two networks, maintaining two networks, plugging in two networks, etc. It is much simpler to run all of your voice and communication applications over one data network. 
  1. The Industry
    The final reason to switch to VoIP is simply keeping up with the industry. Not only users are migrating to VoIP, vendors as well are shifting from legacy solutions to VoIP. It will not be long until legacy support is difficult to find. Now is the time to take the leap – stay ahead of the industry, not behind it.
  1. It’s going to happen anyway
    Depending on where you are in the world, the TDM networks may have already switched off, or will next year. Find out before you’re found out.

Whether you are ready to sign up now or still not convinced, we recommend taking a look at gloCOM. A business softphone that simplifies and enhances communication, gloCOM embodies the essence of VoIP and Unified Communications. gloCOM empowers business users to communicate and work better in modern workplaces. Among other things, gloCOM can

  • Simplify and enhance business communications
  • Save time and money spent on communications
  • Encourage collaboration and productivity

Visit our gloCOM page to learn more!