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ConnectMeVoice Takes Telecom Billing Out Of The Cloud VoIP Selling Equation

Gina Narcisi

The cloud VoIP provider that works exclusively through the channel can handle billing and taxation on behalf of MSPs, one of the biggest barriers to entry in selling voice, according to ConnectMeVoice’s Channel Chief Frank Seltzer.

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ConnectMeVoice is going head-to-head with its hosted VoIP competition by removing complexity around billing, according to Frank Seltzer, the cloud VoIP specialist’s channel chief.

The Summerville, South Carolina-based service provider got its start two decades ago and has been fulfilling the communications needs of small-to-midsized businesses through channel partners. ConnectMeVoice wants its agent and MSP partners to be more concerned with margins, rather than the “annoyances” that come along with telecom services, said Seltzer (pictured above), who attended CRN parent The Channel Company’s XChange 2022 conference this week in Dallas.

“We want our partners to be able to support their customers, without needing to do heavy reach outs to the vendor, [or] take on billing and taxation,” he said. “Believe it or not, most people sign up because of the taxation and billing piece than anything else.”

[Related: MSPs: How To Use QBRs As A Path To Customer Success ]

It’s the provider’s billing model that really differentiates ConnectMeVoice from the competition in the SMB voice arena, said Paul Nebb, CEO for Titan Technologies, LLC., an MSP that serves small business clients, primarily local legal and accounting firms.

ConnectMeVoice doesn’t charge by the seat, but rather, bases its pricing on the voice lines being used, not every phone listed on the account, Nebb said. The company also handles billing on behalf of partners.

Marlboro, New Jersey-based Titan Technologies works exclusively with ConnectMeVoice. “As an MSP, it’s really important that you and your techs are very familiar with your stack, instead of having five or six different products,” Nebb said. “ConnectMeVoice’s [product] can really field everything from the small clients to our larger, couple hundred seat clients.”

100 percent channel-focused ConnectMeVoice can work with partners via an agent model, but the typical approach in going to market with partners is done through a reseller model. The real money, Seltzer said, lies in the white-label model, which is often the opposite selling model that providers in the telecom space have traditionally offered to partners.

“That’s really our bread and butter, he said. “[Partners] sign up with us, bring on their customers and they’re able to support those customers the way they need to.”

From there, the partner can set their own price, Seltzer said. “The MSP can make the margins they need to be successful, but also have their customer pay the price that makes the most sense,” he said.

ConnectMeVoice offers what it calls Call Path Pricing. A call Path, as an example, can accommodate 10 concurrent calls while a customer may have 30 lines in total. The model helps partners cut their clients’ voice costs by about one-third or even one-half, while MSPs can earn margins of up to 65 percent by setting their own prices, Seltzer said.

The provider has a two-tier partner program consisting of a “starter” level and a more advanced tier, which offers lower buy rates, according to the company.

For MSPs that might still be on the fence about selling cloud-based voice, Seltzer warns that it’s another technology that touches a customer’s network -- something that most partners are already managing for their clients.

“If you don’t sell it to them, somebody else will. And if somebody else touches your customers’ network right now, they might go in and say: ‘Oh, let me sell you cybersecurity, or let me sell you your Wi-Fi.’ So, it’s incredibly crucial to at least have VoIP as an offer.”

Gina Narcisi

Gina Narcisi is a senior editor covering the networking and telecom markets for CRN.com. Prior to joining CRN, she covered the networking, unified communications and cloud space for TechTarget. She can be reached at gnarcisi@thechannelcompany.com.

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