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What Every MSP Should Know About Voice and Data Providers

What Every MSP Should Know About Voice and Data Providers

Offering the Right Service Options All Comes Down to the Provider

data_voice.jpgIn the old days, the phone company handled voice and the ISP handled data. Nowadays with the proliferation of Voice over IP, traditional PBX systems are becoming obsolete. The internet is also being used for a lot more than just surfing the web. With so many different technologies now utilizing data networks, are there really any differences between voice and data providers? The answer is yes, absolutely. While there are many small differences among different providers, the two major differentiators are:

  1. Network – When we’re at the provider level, the network can look a lot different. The big telco companies like AT&T, Century, and Verizon utilize their own network backbone as well as the network equipment at their local offices. Smaller, regional providers often resell a larger provider’s network. 
    • As an MSP, understanding the network of your client’s provider can mean the difference between a very good or very bad experience.
    • Does your client’s provider own and manage their own network, or are they simply a front-end sales organization for a third-party network?
    • Who is the provider using to send and receive data to the Internet? Do they have an upstream connection to a well-known and reliable network like Level 3, or are they relying on a wholesale bandwidth provider?
    • What type of fail-over protocols are in place at the provider level?
    • Can your client’s provider offer dedicated internet access connections like T1 and Metro Ethernet, or will those connections be provided by a third party?


  2. Soft Switch – The big brain which processes all incoming and outgoing VoIP traffic is called a soft switch. The soft switch manages traffic, phone numbers, and hosted PBX features like auto-attendant and voicemail. You’d be surprised at how many VoIP providers are reselling services offered by a different provider. Understanding where your client’s voice service is coming from and how it’s being supported can make your job a lot easier, or a lot harder. 
    • Are the VoIP services being provided by the same company who provides the internet access?
    • Are voice calls being routed over the public internet, and if so, how are voice calls prioritized?
    • Does the company providing voice services manage their own soft switch, or are they reselling another provider’s service?
    • How many layers of support are there when there’s an issue? Are you going to have to talk to three different companies when call quality becomes an issue?

In addition to the two main points above, a quality voice and data providers should be able to offer:

  • An easy way to get pricing and quotes for your customers in real time.
  • An easy way to get all of the data options you need just by having an address.
  • The ability to outsource voice and data with absolutely no hassle.
  • The ability to provide you (and your customers) with multiple options to choose from.

If your voice and data provider can’t offer all of these, then you might want to consider whether this is a reseller partnership that you’re benefiting from. As an MSP, it’s up to you to decide where to take your customers, and having an honest and transparent provider who’s got your back will benefit your business in the long run.

Learn More with the Team at N2Net

Your voice and data provider should make it easy for you to be a hero to your customers. By providing high quality products and an industrious service team at your back, N2Net helps you keep your business strong, and makes it easy for you to grow.

Contact us today to learn how you can become a voice and data hero for your customers.