Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are making major gains in the business and government telephony markets, as customers show a clear preference to buy their IT and telephony services from a single source. This stands to reason, as phones have become computers and computers have become phones. The two product lines have converged, making it nonsensical to continue treating them as separate service lines.
Most of the tier-1 Telecommunications providers around the world have now established Wholesale business units to cater for “indirect sales” as they are seeing an increasing proportion of their business and government market shifting away from their own direct sales, in favour of those who have a closer relationship to – and knowledge of the target end-customer. A sensible and logical business strategy for the Telco’s is therefore to provide a wholesale offering and pro-actively build a channel of re-sellers. Those re-sellers are in most cases, MSPs.
A major stumbling block for MSPs moving into selling Telco services, such as VoIP, data circuits, mobile, MVNO etc is the billing process. Telco billing can be very complex, especially in the areas of mobile, tolls, toll-free and other usage-based services. Billing complexity and the time & effort needed to produce Telco-style billng and reporting is often the barrier to sales and success in this space. This is the problem that my company Datagate solves for re-sellers of Telco services (as outlined in this brief YouTube video).
With a suitable billing solution in place, MSPs are adding significant extra recurring revenue to their businesses, by selling and providing the data connectivity, VoIP and mobile solutions that they source from their local Wholesale Telco provider. This is also good news for the end-customer, who gets a full-service offering from their MSP, less bills to pay and access to better analytical reports and information via an on-line portal.