Modern Integration: Embracing Hardware Agnosticism In Telephony

Written By Bicom Systems Team

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Convenience is an important part of modern business. After all, its landscape constantly shifts and only those who can adapt on the fly and adjust when needed are able to come out on top.

Long gone are the days of reliance on specific hardware to be able to support a specific software setup as most modern service providers have shifted to being more hardware agnostic, expanding the freedom of choice for their customers.

We do say most, as some still opt to chain the capabilities of their product suite to specific hardware, usually for greater profit while only providing inconvenience for the customer, all the while tempting them with an offer that is hard to refuse.

It is important to note this distinction as a UC provider as it may influence your own customer base in a negative way, so let us see why it is better to avoid such practices.

downsides of single hardware manufacturers

Hidden Fees/Rented Equipment

One of the main problems that arises revolves around pricing. If the product only functions on very specific hardware that either only a specific manufacturer produces or the service provider itself does, then the hardware partnership was created to benefit the original vendor rather than the partner in question.

And, even if it was partner-centric at the start, it likely will not stay that way for long, leaving a large segment of the client’s budget strained and open to change for the worse with no ability to negotiate.

Chaining The Customer To The Service Provider

Some will even resort to not directly selling the equipment itself, but renting it out, a practice that, while it may seem ideal at the start, eventually racks up more costs over time than simply owning the equipment would incur, further straining the business’ budget and removing the possibility of hitting the high margin stage after the customer onboarding has been paid for..

Thankfully, these practices are being phased out, but remain wary as some service providers do still resort to these old-fashioned tactics.

Inflexible Infrastructure

In order to rise above the competition, it is often necessary for your service to be as hardware agnostic as possible. After all, this greatly impacts the end customer and either greatly simplifies or complicates their buying decision depending on the available option.

Having the software rely on a specific set of equipment can lead to a number of problems from leaving a business’ infrastructure constrained with little room to grow or evolve to meet customer demand, to issues with support or lack of supply for specific hardware as said demand grows.

Ultimately, the issue here lies with integration. This hardware may not be compatible with a business’ existing set of hardware, incurring even further costs and forcing them to restructure entirely if they are to even sign on.

Reliance On The Manufacturer To Stay In Business

The less likely downside, but one that is equally real, especially if the service provider itself does not double as the hardware supplier.

Having the manufacturer go under while the service provider’s hardware hinges on it will leave clients stranded, having to struggle with aging hardware, leaving a gap that the service provider may not be able to fill as quickly, leaving customers dissatisfied and likely looking elsewhere.

The problem of manufacturer exclusivity also reflects on the hardware manufacturer’s supply chain capacity. It needs to be capable of fulfilling the orders placed by customer demand which, if it is unable to, is likely to cause a loss of potential business partners for the service provider due to not meeting required deadlines.

hardware choice in telecom

Easier Integration

Additionally, this allows for a more frictionless transition from one system to another should there ever be a need for the business to do so, saving them money in the long run.

We here at Bicom Systems greatly value making setup easier for both our partners and their clients, so on top of the existing ease of integration, our in-house team is ready to assist anyone should they still encounter problems with transitioning or setup.

Cost Effectiveness

Finding a service provider that offers this level of freedom in regards to hardware choice will also bring about a rather beneficial byproduct, cost efficiency.

After all, businesses are now spoiled for choice when it comes to hardware options, enabling them to run on their own budget rather than being constrained by the costs of a singular hardware manufacturer.

On top of that, they will now own the hardware rather than rent it. This might be a bigger upfront cost, but it becomes more profitable for the business in the long run.

Some service providers will even offer to host their client’s servers on their own hardware for those who wish to save up on office space.

Bicom Systems offers your clients both depending on their preferences; either saving up on hardware costs in general by letting us front the server hosting expenses or by creating their own infrastructure. All of that at competitive prices. 

Customizable Infrastructure

This leads us to the final benefit which is customizable infrastructure.

Considering the pace at which telephony is evolving at, service infrastructure needs to be flexible, and by going the hardware agnostic route, future upgrades are made easier to integrate and cheaper too, eliminating the tedium that normally comes when having to restructure everything for the sake of modernization.

Bicom Systems’ partner-oriented mindset has led us to enabling our partners exactly that, the ability to future-proof their customers’ setups, improving overall customer experience and reducing frustration down the line.

As you can see, sticking with service providers that limit your customers to a very narrow (or even singular) amount of brands brings about a lot of negative aspects that they may not be too fond of which will assuredly lead to growing customer frustration and product dissatisfaction.

At the moment, the hardware agnostic way seems to be the way to go, and sticking with service providers that can enable that even more so.

We here at Bicom Systems have adopted this method of operation as it benefits everyone while retaining good relations with both the partners and the customer base as a whole, treating everyone as equals with everyone’s needs met to the best of our ability.

Of course, this is but a fraction of what partnering with us will get you. We are always researching further ways of mutual benefaction and trying to implement them into our strategies to ensure prosperity and growth on all sides.

If you wish to learn more, be sure to give us a call.