Our Guest Post this week comes from Michael Ventimiglia, Managing Editor and Tech Enthusiast at GetVoIP.com
As VoIP has ascended to new heights of popularity, more and more providers have begun to offer more services. As such, this expansion has brought with it added features and functions, new innovations, and new applications. While these new applications are widely available, they are not for everyone. In expanding services, providers have developed different modes of service intended for specific uses. For example, residential, business, Wholesale and Private Label VoIP services all offer similar functions; however, they are all intended for different demographics of users. Although they may overlap at points, these services are ultimately designed to cater to different user needs—i.e. while residential and business VoIP services are retail services, Wholesale and Private Label VoIP services are intended more for business/provider use. Even so, although both Wholesale and Private Label VoIP services are intended for similar demographics, there are variances between these modes too.
Simply put, Wholesale VoIP service equips other service providers (i.e. small to medium sized businesses, VoIP distributors, etc.) with VoIP functionality dealing with start ups, additions, and/or extensions to their networks. In doing this, Wholesale VoIP includes a number of different services including VoIP Origination, VoIP Termination, Colocation and PBX Hosting, International A-Z, Control Panels for customer management, inbound CNAM (query/dip), outbound CNAM (storage), E911 emergency and alert notification services, fax-to-email, email-to-fax, 411 termination, and 411 listing. Each of these features allows users to better manage their system. For example, Colocation is in reference to users’ ability to properly manage and maintain all the hardware necessary for a Wholesale operation; International A-Z refers to termination for international calls; Origination and Termination are in reference to a user’s ability to interact with the PSTN; and so on. While some of these offerings can be found via other modes (business, residential), Wholesale services cater to service providers looking for cost efficiency as well as purchasing options (build, buy, or rent). While features are expansive, Wholesale service is ultimately unable to reach every type of user.
Similar to Wholesale services, Private Label services enable resellers to sell a full suite of VoIP products/services under their own brand/name. Typically, Private Label services include residential and/or commercial lines, SIP Trunks, and Hosted PBX. In addition to this, users are also privy to VoIP features including unlimited US and Canada calling, call waiting, call forwarding, 3-way calling, etc. Private Label reseller programs usually include everything businesses need to not only sell VoIP, but sell services under their own brand—i.e. dialers, software, 24x7 tech support, account management tools, and other online tools.
When held next to one another, Wholesale and Private Label VoIP services may seem indiscernible; however, that is not the case. Private Label services stem from Wholesale services, but is able to reach more users. Wholesale services cannot be sold to the public—i.e. they cater to businesses and service providers. Inversely, the Private Label reseller solution allows for both commercial AND residential offerings; therefore, they can cater to a much wider audience. In addition to reach, Private Label service is more an entry level platform—“designed and targeted specifically for the entrepreneur with limited technical knowledge, but a whole lot of heart for meeting the customers’ needs.”
As stated above, VoIP’s growth has affected (and is likely to continue to affect) both users and the industry in a big way—namely the expansion of available services. This has subsequently caught the attention of many businesses, distributors, entrepreneurs. As a result, many of these interested parties are looking to offer VoIP services to their own customers. That being said, both Wholesale and Private Label VoIP services offer users a way to do so; however, despite a similar approach, both modes vary from one another. Unlike residential and business VoIP, Wholesale and Private Label VoIP services are aimed at providers and resellers interested in offering their own VoIP services. As such, these services fit these users with VoIP capability so these users can then extend capability to their own customers. While both modes enable users to become telecommunications providers, they both differ from one another. Though service offerings are similar, and even overlap, the difference ultimately comes down to the type of user deploying the solution.