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Hosted and cloud telephony: three challenges every entrepreneur faces

  • utworzony przez Ron Cottaar, Head of Marketing EMEA at Gigaset pro
  • Aktualności Gigaset pro
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What are the expectations when it comes to hosted and cloud telephony? What about connectivity, and can one single provider even meet the needs of every entrepreneur? Or should you partner with multiple providers? This blog answers all of these questions, so that you, as an entrepreneur, are able to make informed decisions. 


What is the significance of price in this market or is it more about flexibility and features?

The reality is that all customers have varying degrees of requirement for flexibility versus features and price expectation. For organisations looking for a basic feature set, price is one of the primary factors. But in many instances, if a customer is looking to achieve a certain level of capability or requires a certain feature, for example integration with CRM, this may move the discussion onto a higher priced solution. Yet above flexibility and features, I would suggest that reliability is also a top three criteria – especially at the device level. The standardisation around SIP makes changing cloud telephony suppliers a relatively straight forward move. If however the end-point device – whether that’s a desktop or DECT handset – is of inferior quality and not able to deliver the required feature set, then this is a major CAPEX expense that many customers would rather avoid. And they may very well blame the reseller for suggesting a hardware platform that is not up to the task.


Has the connectivity issue disappeared?

The availability of lower cost and higher bandwidth connectivity has steadily increased. Many companies have switched to fibre, for example, although a fairly large amount of SMEs still use ADSL, VDSL or COAX to connect to the internet. But when it comes to voice, connection via the public internet in general will always have inherent problems, and even though the issues are less frequent, it is still a risk. Direct connection to your ISP is the only method if you are serious about voice. Dedicated infrastructure is paramount for good quality and stable voice.


How practical is it for a reseller to partner with two or more providers? For example, Skype, Broadsoft and/or Genband. (Just as PBX resellers used to have several systems in their portfolio).

The wide variety of choice when it comes to vendors is healthy for the industry and ultimately good for the customer with competition keeping value at the heart of every sale. At a practical level, it’s easier to implement two or more ISPs than two or more PBXs, in terms of training and equipment required. Yet the decision often comes down to coverage, features and price that the reseller wants to present to its customers. In some cases, a single ISP or vendor may not be able to deliver on all these criteria. Historically, even the most seemingly sturdy organisations fail, with Nortel – the Canadian manufacturer of telecommunications devices – as a prime example. They went bankrupt in 2010. So it is wise to not put all your eggs in one basket.