Business VoIP Featured Article

UCaaS: The Stepchild of MSP Stack? It Doesn't Have to Be

February 16, 2023

By Greg Tavarez, Business VoIP Editor

Traditional phone systems are expensive. Today’s VoIP and PBX customers need a solution that meets their requirements and will scale with their business.

Jim DeBald, chief revenue officer, White Label Communications, spoke during a keynote presentation at ITEXPO in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, on the UCaaS landscape, a service that benefits small businesses. White Label Communications is a gold sponsor of ITEXPO.

“99.99% of businesses in the U.S. are small businesses. They are ripe for the taking,” said DeBald. “They are the bread and butter for this country, and they need us to look over their company.”

DeBald started off by going over the different business models for offering UCaaS. He grouped three models as agent/referral, private label and buy/build.

“Being a service provider means we have a big responsibility to support our partners,” said DeBald. “Your appetite for responsibility will dictate the business model that is best for you.”

He then went over a basic MSP service stack. Most are familiar with storage and backup, security and access control. But then, when he got to UCaaS, he had this to say about it: “UcaaS is like a stepchild compared to the others in the stack."

What he likely meant by this is that UCaaS is not thought about often in that MSP stack. Nothing compared to cybersecurity.

UCaaS offers infinite flexibility, reduces costs and is scalable, providing business leaders with the opportunity to add users and features into their system with minimal effort. Again, it is important for managed service providers to not leave voice services on the table.

A little background information by White Label Communication: A hosted service’s features, driven by White Label Communications’ platform, keep clients’ businesses charging forward. A few benefits by White Label Communcations include a bug business feel and small business price, 24/7 support, a completely integrated platform, 95% customer retention rate, virtually no hardware to manage and a simple to use customer management portal.

Back to the presentation, DeBald mentioned two elements of a UCaaS offering – implementations/installs and operations.

Phones and network are categorized under implementation.

For phones, the key takeaways are to use phones that are transferable from multiple business models, use phone templates that are in your control, avoid touching phones during the implementation process and use a button to reboot when providing services off-site.

For network, the key takeaways are DHCP Option 66, a pervasive way of making sure phones are not touched during the implementation process; managed POE switches that put eyes over the infrastructure provided to customers; and SIP capable firewall to avoid fraud and make it possible for the voice experience to be good.

Now, for operations. DeBald mentioned Level 1 support, which he highlighted is important.

“Have your customer contact you,” he said. “You are the organization they trust for IT support. Always provide Level 1 support.”

He also had IMACD, pricing, network evaluations, onboarding and training as well as quoting, invoicing and selling under operations.

DeBald did spend a little bit of time chatting about the importance of pricing.

“Dictate pricing to your customers,” he suggested. “Provide the pricing that is most comfortable for you. It should be in your control.”

Before finishing his presentation on why UCaaS should not be the stepchild of the MSP stack, he talked about the platform, which is what delivers the UCaaS services to customers. The main takeaway was to plan for no downtime, especially during migrations.

All of these points in his presentation are key when delivering UCaaS services, especially when turbulence is expected in the UCaaS space.

“I expect turbulence in the UCaaS space in the next few years,” said DeBald. “Stay close to your customers, and there will be a lot of opportunity for you. No one takes care of your customers better than you do.”

Edited by Greg Tavarez



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