FOOD FOR THOUGHT Reselling VOIP

discipulus

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Hey Guys,

I know we have some people on here that resell VOIP services, so I was wondering if you have partnerships in place and the client pays you monthly for the phone services, or if you set them up with the provider and just get residual from their provider every month?

Thanks.

Also, what providers do you use?
 

hecatae

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@discipulus,

any chance you can tell us where you are in the world, I'm UK based, therefore some of the things we have to put up with, like free inbound calls may not apply to your situation.
 

Jake

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I've used both voip.ms and Callcentric. With voip.ms I have to bill them separately (there maybe a better way) however with Callcentric they just give you a percentage of the products and usage of your customers accounts. You can charge whatever you want with voip.ms but Callcentric the pricing is the same.
 

atsak

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I don't do a lot of it, but for clients whom I also look after IT we host PBX services - sometimes as a standalone PIAF install and sometimes in a hosted platform I have a2billing installed on. However, I just bill flat rates. I *know* all my clients so it provides a little revenue and provides a service they need. Host their origination (DID's) with Voip Innovations and Anveo Direct (but know who the underlying carrier is in Canada so I can fix it if things go south with those carriers) and terminate with, well, whomever is reliable and reasonably priced.
 

rchalk

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I use RentPBX for servers, and VOIP.MS for inbound calling. I use Anveo, Alcazar, and VOIP.ms for outgoing, with the least expensive at the top of the list. I bill the clients flat-rate, some monthly, some quarterly, and absorb the small monthly variations in actual cost. My rates are more than enough to cover that.
 

discipulus

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I'm based in the US and we are looking at doing both client location PBX and our private cloud hosted PBX.
 

dicko

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If you are providing and profiting from VOIP services then I suggest you register your business with Federal, state and maybe the various cities you do business in.

In California for example there is a general 9% tax you are exposed to and various cities where you supply service can add a few more %, it is crazy and nobody at city hall fully understands it, but if you FU, they might well be on your ass, (been there, done that and it hurt :) )
 
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atsak

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^ this - not sure what the rules are in the US - in Canada I had to register with the CRTC (the equivalent of the FCC) as a reseller. Not an overly arduous process but requires some forms to be filled out every year. That reminds me . . .
 

dicko

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In the US, it costs nothing to register with state or federal, but to do business in a local jurisdiction, it often takes a "business license" in each city , somewhere between a flat rate and and a percentage of profit, I would rely on your accountant ( in my case, she failed and I got bit) so maybe just rely on yourself . . . .
 
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w1ve

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I will have to start the registration process, as I'm now doing some reselling. What I normally do is build custom pbx configurations for business clients, who have unique needs not provided by, or too expensive from, many of the bigger companies. You simply can't make much money from reselling minutes, and I don't want to have 1000s of customers. I've found some verticals that can use the flexibility of a VoIP PBX and this has been great. VoIP minutes is a race to the bottom.
 
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dicko

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It is indeed a race to the bottom, well built voip termination/origination would cost maybe $0.005 per minute, but well built telcom service needs to be 5x9 (about two minutes a year of downtime.) no matter what technology you use, this is basically not feasible with Asterisk/FreePBX on it's own.

Your profit can only be in "value added service" or sweetheart deals.
 

discipulus

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What entities do we need to register with - on the federal and state level?

Also, what aside from Asterisk is required for 5x9 uptime?
 

atsak

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What do you mean 5 x 9 uptime? Do you mean 99.999% uptime? Not Asterisk. You'd need a commercial product for that and a datacenter on a tier 1 carrier directly. Big money.
 

dicko

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Well, come April 15th surely you need to complete all sorts of W2's, 1099, 1045 and whatever, the states have similar forms, if your's don't agree with what the other folks that provide you income or charge you money do on their forms, then sooner or later expect a call/audit. cities at least around here expect a business tax from you if you are in any way in doing business in their jurisdiction, that is both where you are and where they are.

Abstract what is needed for voip to work, Three things that must ALWAYS work . Inbound Calls from the PSTN, Outbound calls to the PSTN, so derivitivly and most important an internet connection in the absence of a PSTN solution, PRI's BRI's or even just a phone line

So I suggest most importantly BGP in front of a multi-homed SIP proxy in front of a multi-homed internet. Then redundant outbound routes for failures of VSP's or call routing, and absolutely if using Asterisk an immediate and effective failover HA solution , I would go with KVM, perhaps ProxMox, you are left with indound DID's , either go on the exchange and buy you own (but you would need 100k's or more minutes a month to justify that) or make sure that your VSP has an effective failover policy and you yourself have an equally effective failback policy

Three things that aren't 5x9's Asterisk ( never will be ;-) ), your VSP (Don't know of one yet), and your ISP (that is related to cost :) )

Generally all the above is moot as anybody who buiys cheap shit expects it to break quite often, it's just that you really don't have to break as much as most folks do.

Good Luck
 

discipulus

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Well, my employer has a data center, and we're currently working on upgrading it to tier 3, and we'd like to get into the VOIP market. What commercial products do you recommend?
 

atsak

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Well, my employer has a data center, and we're currently working on upgrading it to tier 3, and we'd like to get into the VOIP market. What commercial products do you recommend?
I've seen a lot of small and medium size folks use metaswitch for all the interconnects and a clustered Asterisk server for voicemail handling (I think Freepbx has a commercial product that handles that), and there's an offering from Cisco that is likely available with failover; Sangoma has some things as well. What I'd do if I were you was get to one of the trade shows for carriers and gather some information on the products there. Speaking plainly I'm really not qualifed to tell you what might be best because my exposure is quite small - I host for a half dozen clients and some "friends and family". Even in a high end datacenter with a tier 1 and tier 2 internet carrier things can happen . . . they have to me.

I'd get hooked into Level 3 for SIP trunking and DID's etc so you're working with the best in that regard, but again, my opinion.
 

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