Information technology has always been dynamic with new ideas and changes taking place every single day. Currently the change is geared towards a full blown Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) communication and PBX resellers are left with no other option but to join the VoIP business. The key service providers of VoIP are already established and the only thing left is to get their product in to the consumer market. This is where the VoIP resellers and VoIP agents come in and, this is the only unifying factor in the two, otherwise they are completely different businesses. We are going to demystify the two by pointing out their differences so that a PBX reseller would have an easy task deciding the way to go.
What do VoIP resellers and VoIP agents do?
A VoIP reseller is in simple terms a secondary VoIP service provider. What they do is present the VoIP services as if they were the owner; taking direct charge over pricing, clients and branding. Of course they work on a contractual basis with the primary VoIP providers. A VoIP agent on the other hand is basically a non-contractual employee of the primary VoIP service provider who sources and directs clients to the primary provider.
With the knowledge of how each of the two work, a PBX reseller should easily be able to work out the fiscal indications of each option. A VoIP reseller negotiates with the primary VoIP provider percentage split on gross income for example the reseller gets 70 % and gives the remaining 30 % to the provider. With their control over costs at which they sell the VoIP services, they have complete control over revenue from the business. A VoIP agent on the contrary only gets commission from every sale say 15 % from each client. They do not control the prices of VoIP services so they cannot increase their revenue unless the primary VoIP service providers do so. From the foregoing explanation it is apparent that the reseller business is more lucrative.
It is quite that a VoIP reseller earns more than a VoIP agent but that is not the end of the advantages that come with reselling. Looking at the two in terms of value, a VoIP reseller is well ahead of a VoIP agent for two major reasons. Firstly the reseller owns the customers and has them on contract so they can tailor their services to make the customers keep renewing contracts, the agent on the other hand cannot claim the customer because they belong to the primary VoIP service provider. Secondly, the reseller has a better bargaining chip when it comes to sale opportunities, they have a brand and affirm client base to bank on. The agent on the contrary can only claim to have a praiseworthy commission which wouldn’t sell much. The aforementioned elucidation can only mean one thing; as VoIP reseller business expansion is a given while as a VoIP agent stagnation is more likely unless the VoIP service providers expand.
Impact on PBX business
As a PBX reseller, one has an already established business that requires change over in terms of technology. The appropriate comparison here is a store having to clear a given stock for incoming new stock, does the owner throw away the old stock or gradually clear tit for the new one. Becoming a VoIP agent is equivalent to the former while becoming a VoIP reseller to the latter. This means as an agent one would have to dispose of their business altogether by either selling it elsewhere , which is plain difficult, or just shutting down altogether, which is basically a waste. A reseller in contrast gets to keep their initial business with only a few changes to make like rebranding and getting additional internet telephony equipment. One may not have to entirely dump their previous traditional telephony equipment because there are hybrid options which can later be replaced by full VoIP services. This further highlights why the VoIP seller is the best way to go.
The bottom line
The only thing that would make PBX resellers decide to go the VoIP agent way would be the fact that it wouldn’t incur any extra costs on them. No capital or investment needed to start off. It calls for only excellent marketing skills but it doesn’t make one any different from common marketers. As a matter of fact, being an agent is very taxing if the VoIP service provider doesn’t guarantee quality services. Becoming a VoIP reseller in contrast requires one to invest an affordable amount into the primary VoIP service provider and spend some capital upgrading equipment but with a promise of a better future because they can guarantee their clients quality as their direct VoIP service providers.
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