Hosted voice of simply VoIP (voice over IP) is growing fast in the UK. For any IT or comms B2B VoIP reseller, it’s now an essential element of the portfolio. But there are still plenty of resellers that don’t offer VoIP as a service. If you fall into that camp, or you are one of the many who knows a little bit about VoIP but not quite enough just yet, this quick overview should tell you what you need to know.

What is VoIP and who provides it?

VoIP is quite simply what it says it is – a way of running voice over the IP network. i.e. the Internet. To offer VoIP, you need to use one of the software platforms that basically creates virtual PBXs on a hosting server to act as the digital exchange for voice calls. There are a lot of VoIP providers out there, so you have plenty of choices. That said, your supplier choice is crucial as you’ll l be depending on them to deliver a good service to your customers.

What are the benefits for customers?

The key benefits of VoIP are increased flexibility, enhanced functionality, better management and control, the potential to drive efficiencies through integration, and cost reduction. In all these areas, the impact can be quite dramatic.

Hosted voice services are easy and cheap to set-up and customers can easily add or remove users at any time. They can have just about any kind of functionality they want on the service, from voicemail to call recording. Most systems offer detailed reporting and it’s possible to integrate VoIP systems with CRM and other software to drive improved efficiency and customer service. Most businesses will reduce their telephony costs by more than a third when they switch to VoIP.

How does the reseller make money out of VoIP?

Resellers make money out of VoIP through recurring revenue income, which builds with every seat they sell. The reseller will take a share of the monthly spend of each customer and the volume soon builds into a meaningful total. As customers become confident in the quality and effectiveness of the VoIP service, and resellers grow more adepts at selling it, the initial handful of users can soon become hundreds, and the income generated very considerable. There are also margins to be earned on the initial contract sale and the ’soft’ IP phones or headsets that customers will need, but the main source of income is from recurring income based on customer spend.

How do I decide who to partner with on VoIP?

It’s best to work with a trusted and established provider with a good track record. Of course, every VoIP provider will claim that their service is the best and if you are moving into the market seriously for the first time, it’s advisable to work with an aggregator or distributor of services, such as DMSL, who have all the knowledge and experience of working with VoIP suppliers and can ensure you offer the right services for your customer base.