Is VoIP driving business away from you?

voipOver the years I have noticed that more and more of our new customers are no longer VoIP Entrepreneurs wanting to join the telephony provider venture. Seems like the more VoIP becomes the present and defines the future of communications, the more industries it touches.

These days, any business that provides IT industry related services is somehow related to, or forced to be related to, the communications infrastructure of their customers. Even better if the customer has some knowledge or is at least aware of the unified communications experience.  

Industries like Internet service provides, cable services, and/or fiber providers have already joined, are planning to join, or at least know the future is to integrate in order to gain and retain customers. To mention a few of the most common that will ring my desk, I should start with hosted service providers. Either hardware, software, or a mix of the two, is something that, sooner or later, VoIP has to become an integrated part of. Either a multi-tenant platform like ours in order to centralize all hosted PBXs, or separate Call Center/Custom environments, this is something that, along with other value-added features, a hosted service provider will get asked for pretty often.  

Other industries, less related to network services or hosted services like IT Managed Services, will encounter themselves one way or another supporting an IP Phone, a local PBX, or a PBX hosted by someone else. They will notice the additional revenue and increased customer retention will come as soon as they can also take care of the telephony needs. 

Many of my customers will often express how VoIP service may be just one service out of many, and maybe not the one that bring the most revenue in from customers. But VoIP is an essential piece of the relationship since it is the part that allows their customers to unify their communications, in addition to the suite of services it provides.

This article is a ‘heads up’ to all those out there that think VoIP services ‘could be’. Soon VoIP will be a ‘major’ part of any one proposal because it will become part of the request. The end-user likes to feel a level of unification that provides them the security that a single provider can serve, understand, and support all their technology components.

VoIP is so flexible that anyone that has a customer base and provides any type of service, even non-technology, could find a way to integrate it into their suite of services with a huge value and even bigger retaining element. Make it drive business towards you, not away from you. At this very moment deals are been turned down because the competitor shows a unified set of services with telephony, or impressed the customer with an additional service made possible by VoIP. 

Just because everyone related is getting involved does not mean that it is easy. We still hear horror stories. Even that the voice quality is not working out, loss of RTP, but less. More and more it’s ‘how do I?’ Whether CRM integration or producing better reporting and so control of daily lives.

If you would like to explore your options, whether you are related to technology services or not, Bicom Systems would be happy to assist with whatever ideas you may have. We have not seen it all yet, but with the many we have worked with already, I’m sure you are at the right place for finding a solution. Our IPPBX PBXware comes in a Single Tenant Business Edition, Multi-Tenant Edition, and Call Center Edition, and the mix of all of them is as customizable and flexible as it comes.

VoIP vs IP PBX

voipVoIP and IP PBX are terms that we use all the time, but despite similarities, they are not interchangeable. VoIP has evolved to be a very broad term covering a whole range of technologies, while IP PBX is more specific.

VoIP – Voice over Internet Protocol – describes any telephony system that uses Internet rather than PSTN. The term is used for many types of modern telephony that have replaced legacy systems.

IP PBX – Internet Protocol Private Branch Exchange – is a specific type of telephony system that switches calls between an internal data network and external networks.

IP PBX is a type of VoIP system.

To learn more, visit our products page or contact us today.

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Hosted PBX vs On-Site PBX

pbxThe Hosted PBX vs On-Premise PBX debate is a recurring theme on this blog, so when we saw an elaborate infographic on just that topic we knew we had to share it here!

No Jitter shared a Hosted PBX or On-Site infographic with some great information. View the graphic here.

In summary:

Hosted PBX is a great option for SMBs, low budgets, or companies that do not want to dedicate time and resources to the phone system. Cloud PBX systems have lower costs, though they are ongoing as monthly payments. They are simple and easy to use and the provider will manage all maintenance, upgrades, and expansions. Read more about the benefits of Hosted PBX here.

On-Site PBX is a good option for larger enterprises or companies that need complete control at all times. An on-premise PBX is housed within the office and will involve more time and money up-front. Maintenance, upgrades, and expansion will be the responsibility of the company, but on-going costs will be relatively low. Read more about the benefits of On-Site PBX 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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On-Premise vs. Cloud IP PBX Systems

Last month we learned what exactly “PBX System” means and some of the different deployment options. The two most common options – and hardest to choose between – are on-premise IP PBX and hosted or cloud IP PBX.

cloud ip pbxOn-premise solutions are owned and managed by the user. The physical IP PBX is stored on-site and all of the technology is set-up and maintained in-house.

Hosted or cloud solutions are rented out by a service provider for a monthly fee that covers service, maintenance, and upgrades. The user needs only IP Phones that connect to the cloud PBX system via Internet.

Both are good options depending on the size and type of your business.

Let’s look at the benefits of each system:

On-Premise IP PBX System

  • No monthly fee
  • More control over the solution
  • Long-term investment
  • No reliance on a service provider
  • Can integrate with other solutions
  • May have more features

Hosted or Cloud IP PBX System

  • Low or no up-front costs
  • No additional maintenance or upgrade costs
  • More flexible and scalable
  • No need for IT expertise or personnel
  • Less employee training needed
  • Advances in technology will come in automatic upgrades

Clearly both systems have benefits and drawbacks. In general, hosted deployments are better for SMBs, organizations limited by budget, or companies expecting to grow in the future. On-premise systems make sense for very large companies that are prepared to own and support their own PBX.

PBXware is an example of a hosted IP PBX solution. Learn more on our website.

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