SIP and Hosted IP PBX is the future

Neil Linter, CEO at tIPicall, says SIP and Hosted IP PBX is the future;

“Several years ago a SIP trunk or Hosted IP PBX solution required investment in long-term contracts. Delivery to the customer was plagued with unreliable broadband, expensive handsets, poor call quality and a weak feature set.

Today broadband technology has improved, the pricing has come down and we are awash with bandwidth. The SIP or Hosted IP PBX contracts are much more flexible and the pricing more reasonable. The whole SIP proposition has become much more viable. Handsets have reduced in cost and are more reliable with the features that you would normally associate with an expensive premises-based PBX now available on a pay-as-you-use model.

These changes combined have made a significant improvement on the return on investment for the customer making for an easy to understand and sell proposition for the channel.

The latest global business VoIP services forecasts from ABI Research shows that the value of the overall market, which includes VoIP integrated access, SIP trunking, Hosted IP PBX/IP Centrex and managed IP PBX services, is set to double over the next five years, to exceed $20 billion by 2015. Whether you believe the forecasts or not the one common theme is that the market has changed and SIP trunking and Hosted IP PBX is set to overtake traditional PSTN and PBX sales. SIP and Hosted IP is the future.

Hosted IP PBX has come into the business telephone mainstream. For small companies starting out with only a few extensions and no IT manager to large multi-site organisations looking for inter-site communication or for companies who have decentralised their telecommunications services, Hosted IP PBX represents a significant opportunity to structure and run a service, save money and improve efficiency.

When we were putting our tIPicall Hosted IP PBX service together we knew that our choice of partner to supply those services was key to our success. We wanted to make our service unique and highly attractive so we selected Tata Communications, a tier 1 carrier and the largest global wholesaler of minutes. The partnership complemented our own experience and expertise with the resources of a global supplier. As our partner arrangement was exclusive with Tata Communications it enabled us to make our offer to the channel unique and valuable.

Historically, by the time a reseller had added their margin to a hosted service they had priced themselves out of the market. Even if they could make a sale they had to factor in how to pay their salespeople enough cash upfront to motivate them and still make enough money to make it interesting for their business.

So how can selling a Hosted IP PBX seat enhance your profit margin and ultimately improve the way you do business? By selling Hosted IP PBX much like selling a mobile phone connection you could include the handsets in the monthly rental and charge one monthly fee for everything on a 12, 24 or 36-month contract which means your customers will know their costs and can budget accordingly.

Once the hosted services are sold you have the opportunity to sell SIP trunks and competitively priced minutes to your customers. This makes the whole proposition more compelling and builds customer loyalty. The more services you sell the longer the customer will stay with you and the harder it will be for a competitor to replicate.

SIP trunk rentals are cheaper than ISDN, the quality is comparable the feature set is the same and the cost of the calls are cheaper than traditional CPS over PSTN. If the customer wants to keep their current PBX this can simply be connected to a SIP trunk using an external Media gateway box.

The result is a satisfied customer buying multiple services and giving you multiple ongoing revenue streams.