Darren Farnden, Marketing Manager at Entanet believes that one of the many reasons why resellers choose to resell hosted IP telephony solutions is the ease to maintain and provision them, unlike on-site IP PBX or traditional PBX solutions which require technical engineering knowledge and the capability to install and maintain the service for the customer.
“Hosted solutions remove the burden of technical engineering from the reseller and this therefore makes the product much easier to sell.
However, this makes the IP telephony supplier’s capability absolutely critical to the success of the product, not only in terms of the stability and maintenance of the platform but also in its ongoing attention to market demand so that it is able to develop new features on the platform.
Entanet launched its hosted IP telephony solution to its existing channel in April this year, quickly generating a lot of interest from Partners and their business customers as a way to manage their business more efficiently. However, thinking ahead, as soon as the product was launched our programmers began developing additional features. “For the users, we have developed a new audio file handling interface for recorded prompts; an improved user interface and reporting; improved global, group and individual pickup functions; and notification of voicemail via SMS” says Elsa Chen, Entanet’s Voice Business Development Manager.
“Our hosted platform can now also support full call recording, video calling and mobile VoIP. Following the FSA’s announcement regarding the requirement for call recording for all legal and financial firms from November 2007, the addition of this feature enables resellers to capture this new market opportunity straightaway.”
For its Partners, Entanet’s new platform can be fully white-labelled to include their own style sheet for all web interfaces, their own domain and SIP service addresses. “This again highlights our channel-focused market approach and our determination to support Partners the best way we can” comments Chen.
Evidence of the growing hunger among resellers to get into VoIP is Entanet’s recent series of free one-day VoIP training days for Partners who were already reselling its broadband and traditional telecoms services. “We originally organised two training days” says Chen, “but within a few hours of announcing them, each was oversubscribed to the point that we needed to organise a third day.”
Unlike many suppliers’ training events which only talk about the IP telephony product itself, Entanet’s training also covers the important underlying connectivity options. “This is a main area in the service delivery which is often overlooked by suppliers in their product training. At the end of day no matter how good your VoIP product is, if you don’t have a sufficient supporting Internet connectivity, the VoIP service won’t work effectively. It is the supplier’s responsibility to make resellers aware of this and help them to understand and learn about all aspects of delivering a successful solution. Our training days therefore provide an explanation of the market opportunities, detail our VoIP portfolio, discuss the underlying connectivity requirement and demonstrate VoIP hardware options and their configuration.”
She adds: “What’s more, we had 95% attendance each day.” In total almost a hundred Partners attended the training. The audience reflected a mix of experience, from those who were already dipping their toes in the market to those who were eager to understand the opportunities.”