Regardless of size, businesses constantly struggle with a variety of technical issues. Big or small, their existing IT teams don’t have the bandwidth, expertise, or desire to address all the problems or opportunities, especially their telecommunications. Even larger companies with their own internal technical staff should be regularly consulting with third-party professionals who can offer objective advice, including MSPs.
Outside experts bring fresh perspectives, innovative solutions, and valuable services to the business community. MSPs perform those activities every day for their clients. IT services providers often deliver solutions more cost-effectively than the customer’s existing staff, which is a major part of the channel’s value proposition.
With the right services and collaboration partners, MSPs can sell into virtually any size business. After getting that first foot in the door, your team can develop relationships and grow overall “wallet share from each client,” adding offerings (and increasing revenue) by uncovering new needs and taking advantage of those opportunities.
Hosted VoIP and UCaaS gives MSPs that leverage. Voice and collaboration are growing segments of business communications, and few organizations have the in-house expertise or knowledge to support the design, configuration, integrations, and ongoing maintenance of these systems. With several complementary services, including network assessments and upgrades, MSPs can gain a strong foothold with both new and existing clients.
Aim High with Voice
Steve Barnett is living that dream. The owner and CEO of Streamline Networks, a managed services provider business based in West Los Angeles, California, is leveraging hosted VoIP/ UCaaS to gain new customers and drive additional recurring revenue.
His MSP recently started supporting the voice communications systems for twenty-five corporately owned stores of a restaurant franchise with approximately 500 locations across the globe. Some providers might shy away from implementations of this size because of the potential magnitude of their initial and ongoing support needs, but Barnett saw an opportunity to scale and profit with the right partners.
The prospect was experiencing a problem all too common in the business community. “A while ago, they signed up for phone and internet service and recently wanted to get out of that contract due to delivery and support issues, plus it was incredibly expensive. Their systems were consistently down or performing poorly and, while the phone service was fairly reliable, their monthly bills were outrageous.” They looked to Streamline Networks for an answer.
After assessing the situation and discussing options with the company’s management team, Barnett pitched a hosted VoIP solution (ConnectMeVoice) with new phones (Yealink T42S) for each location. Those conversations also focused on network upgrades and feature requests.
Barnett cautions other MSPs to make sure their clients understand the upfront investments that will help them drive long-term costs savings “To deploy voice properly, you need to make sure the cabling and the infrastructure is set up properly, a lot of companies just want the phones installed. Then they blame the network, which can lead to high customer dissatisfaction.”
This project included POE switching and firewall changes, and the final solution tied in nicely with the chain’s Point of Sale (POS) system requirements. Streamline Networks recommended solution included high-quality VoIP phones, a much lower monthly service rate, and all the necessary infrastructure upgrades. Their attention to detail during the pre-sales phase of the engagement, as well as a recommended total solution including top-level support, sealed the deal.
Collaboration Partners are Invaluable
There is no mystery in delivering high-quality hosted VoIP/UCaaS solutions. MSPs lead the way by engaging with clients and prospects, assessing existing systems and future needs, working through various proposals, and leveraging their vendor partners and other support professionals to provide a quality phone experience.
Streamline Networks follows that same proven model. Barnett looked to ConnectMeVoice to assist with several needs for this particular client, including the highly cost-effective Call Path Pricing option as well as configuration and implementation support.
“Cost gave us the victory over other providers. Even though the corporate stores are managed individually, with their own budgets, they can pool all the different call paths. Every other provider pitched four phones and four lines for each location. With Call Path Pricing, they only need half that number of lines, and they’re easily saving 50-75% now.”
Partnering also gives MSPs flexibility. When an implementation requires additional insight and support, such as when customers make last-minute feature requests, be sure your team is working with a vendor team that is ready, willing, and able to help. “We could make changes and call support to walk us through any issues. Restaurant workers use phones a lot and get used to their old systems, so they tend to make some odd requests with new implementations, but ConnectMeVoice gives us immense flexibility and their support team helps us figure it all out.”
From firewall and VPN configurations to customer-generated problems, VoIP does require a unique skill set, and it helps to have partners standing behind your team when scaling your operations. It’s important to have people looking out for you and your clients. Be sure to work with a hosted VoIP vendor that understands the challenges MSPs face, especially the issues that can creep up during the setup and installation process.
Barnett learned that lesson first-hand. “I remember something minor happening during the implementation, and we received an alert, but ConnectMeVoice’s team addressed the issue before I could call. It must have been 8:00 PM in their New Jersey office, but they knew we were working on this project and stood side-by-side to help us with the deployment.”
Deliver a Complete Package
The first lesson in hosted VoIP/UCaaS is you can’t cut corners. Quality matters and MSPs who deliver these services need a fair amount of resources to ensure excellence throughout the implementation and support processes. Voice communications are a 24/7/365 proposition.
That doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. Partner with a channel-proven vendor like ConnectMeVoice to ensure your customers get the cost-effective communications platforms they deserve. No matter how big or small, our team is ready to help. Contact us today to find out how.
If you enjoyed this blog, you might also be interested in the blog: Create a Collaborative Communications Platform with VoIP and Microsoft Teams