The technical side of a modern phone company…
As a developer and network engineer, understanding the way today’s hosted phone systems works is a fairly easy task. Yet such a profile is not found in every person that is willing to start in this business. In general, there are two profiles that look to start in this business more often:
Integrators: small, medium and large integrators used to serve the customer locally with well-known brands and a mix of digital and analog technologies.
Service Providers: on the other side, often Internet Service Providers and/or hosted services providers. Sometimes even CLECs already providing dial tone one-way or the other.
This is pretty much a salesman with a complete understanding of the phone systems’ capabilities and the handsets that are been implemented with it. Technical skills are crucial in order to take control and set up an optimal local network and the way of the IP terminals to the remote network were services are been hosted. In fewer words, a “Sales Engineer”.
- Profile the customers and phone system feature set that will fit.
- Identify market needs, pack and test those in an easy to deploy way.
- Use the same hardware in all deployments; this includes switches, routers, IP phones and so on. Become a master of them (Standardize).
- Know all the “good-things” about the system but more important have a better knowledge of its limitations. The work around will just appear.
The Service Provider
With a well-done Integrator part there is no need to worry about the sales, but you still have to take care of a few elements and be sure that he becomes an expert on them at the same time.
- Path from customer to hosted services
- Platform behavior in customer and data center environment
- IP Trunking and Carriers Interconnectivity
- Data Center Software and Equipment Management
- A way to monitor and provide Security to all items above
In conclusion, either the Integrator has to also become the Service Provider or the Service Provider has to become an Integrator as well. Any other categories will have to become both of them in addition to anything else they do and/or could bring to the table. This is not just a mind-set, I strongly suggest you understand the skills that each one must have in order to accomplish success. Of course, the mix of the two will simplify some things and won’t require duplicating all the human resources.
Consulting is always a good step in the process, me and my team are always available and willing to help, don’t hesitate to contact us. We also offer a number of solutions and products that may be of interest, such as our PBXware in the Business PBX, Multi-Tenant PBX, and Call Center PBX editions.