As more and more Managed Service Providers consider adding Hosted PBX services to their list of products. It’s important to know where HPBX is great and where you may run into issues. Below are the top three things MSPs need to know about offering HPBX services to their clients.
1. Call Quality is NOT Guaranteed
What do we mean when we say, “guaranteed?” In a nutshell, guaranteed call quality means that a call can be placed at any time without issue.
Until the advent of cell phones, the idea of call quality had never been one people questioned. The public switched telephone network which had carried our calls simply worked. It was tried, true, and reliable. Even when the power was out, we could still pick up our home phone mounted on the wall of the kitchen and call our loved ones.
Then, as technology progressed, we began sending calls over other networks. These networks weren’t nearly as reliable as the traditional phone service, so we began experiencing quality issues; specifically, over cellular networks. Dropped calls, broken conversations, and delays were suddenly common occurrences. Then, just as cellular networks began to mature, VoIP and Hosted PBX reignited the call quality frustrations again.
Hosted PBX systems reside in the cloud. That means calls to and from that data center traverse the public internet. While edge devices can be deployed to shape and manage traffic on the LAN, providers and users have no control of the call once it begins hopping around from router to router on the internet.
The only way to guarantee call quality on an HPBX deployment is to run a dedicated internet connection like a T1 or Metro Ethernet circuit from the provider to the client site. Most HPBX providers do not offer dedicated internet options to their resellers.
2. Not All Features Are Supported
Many of the standard features to which your clients have become accustomed to ARE supported. Features like voicemail, auto-attendant, extensions, find me, call waiting, etc. are available on most HPBX platforms.
A few of the features not typically offered or supported as a standard offering are:
- Call Center
- Call Recording
- Conference Bridging
- SMS, Chat, and Soft Phone
Many HPBX platforms do offer these services, but clients will most likely have to pay extra. The primary reason they aren’t supported as standardized offerings is because these services utilize more of the server hardware resources like CPU and RAM. HPBX systems are built in a multi-tenant environment. Many installations are sharing the same server resources.
3. Not All IP Phones Are Supported
Depending on the HPBX system and software at the provider, you may discover that certain types of phones aren’t supported. This is due to the fact that the soft switch (HPBX platform at the provider) hasn’t been configured to support a particular handset.
For example, you may be able to use Cisco, Yealink, and SNOM phones with one provider, but not Grandstream or Yealink. The HPBX soft switch needs to be able to communicate and provision the handset to work. Whether it’s a lack of firmware or incompatibility, some IP phones may not work.
It’s always recommended that you check with your prospective HPBX provider ahead of buying that lot of IP phones on eBay just to make sure they can support the use and provisioning of those handsets.
Whether you’re looking for a new partner, or migrating an existing installation, N2Net can help. With over 23 years in business, N2Net can offer its MSP partners HPBX solutions that work! N2Net is one of the few VoIP carriers who can offer dedicated internet connections to your clients, offering you the option to guarantee call quality. Contact a VoIP specialist today and find out how N2Net can make you look great to your clients.