This article originally appeared in the April 2011 issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY.
In these tough economic times small service providers are finding it harder than ever to remain competitive with the giants. Many have been swallowed up, or their client base has dried up as tier 1 service providers grab what little territory is left. Recently, we sat down with Philippe Babin, general manager at Media5 Corp., to discuss the changing role of the small service providers and the solutions that Media5 has put forward to address this interesting marketplace.
We have seen a few big shakeups in telecom over the last few years, how can a small service provider survive today?
Babin: Smaller service providers can compete with national service providers by offering better service and tailored offerings. What they lack in network reach and brand awareness, smaller service providers can make up for by offering a range of value-added services. Smaller providers need to specialize and focus on offering unique services to businesses.
Instead of offering a one-size-fits-all solution, the provider needs to evaluate the company’s voice, data and Internet access needs, and offer targeted service packages to handle the business customer’s growing needs at a reasonable price point.
Everyday small service providers are looking for ways to enhance their portfolios with new products and services, to make them competitive and give them a winning edge.
Media5 is known for working with a large number of service providers. How can it help the smaller service providers?
Babin: We are pretty fortunate, we have worked closely with a variety of different service providers worldwide for over 10 years, and we feel that we understand the unique needs that small providers face versus the tier 1 providers. They need to differentiate and offer the latest technology in a package to support their market. That is why we are pleased to introduce the Mediatrix iPBX Series, a solution that is specifically designed for the small service provider.
Tell us about the Mediatrix iPBX Series.
Babin: The Mediatrix iPBX Series is a unique solution for service providers deploying distributed telephony services for small to medium-size enterprises that require rich feature sets, reliability, professional support services and attractive pricing expectations.
Currently we have available the Mediatrix 4108iPBX, which is a cost-effective solution for service providers that want to offer an integrated on-premises telephony system for enterprises with five to 25 users. It offers a fully featured IP PBX based on the proven Asterisk (News - Alert) application including voice mail, conference bridge, IVR, as well as supplementary services including call forward, call transfer, third-party conference, do not disturb and call detail record and also supports the full feature set of the award-winning Mediatrix 4100 Series.
The Mediatrix iPBX offers strong reliability with 200.000 hours MTBF. It also offers an industry-leading three years standard warranty and optional seven years extended warranty. The 4108iPBX consumes18W, which is only 20 percent of the power consumption of a standard PC, making it not only a powerful solution, but also a green solution.
To accommodate the multiple applications that are capable with the iPBX, product modifications, customized configuration to ease deployment, and new voice prompt languages can be added to meet service providers needs for specific functionality.
Do you see the small service provider becoming obsolete?
Babin: No not at all. The market still has plenty of room for everyone, and I do not see that changing for the foreseeable future. Small service providers in particular face the challenge of finding the right equipment to provide hosted or distributed services, manage multiple suppliers for each separate solution, and train technicians to support different hardware platforms.
In the past the results were not always cost effective, and there was always the question of compatibility and the ability of the solution to grow as the company grows. Now with solutions like the Mediatrix iPBX, service providers have a cost-effective VoIP and IP PBX (News - Alert) product from a unique and reliable partner, Media5.
There is something comforting to hear that the little guy still has a chance to succeed. Unlike a tier 1 that can deploy nationally across a large base, smaller service providers have to focus on their end users, ensuring that they have both the solutions and tools in place to support their clients from economic recovery to sustainable growth.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi