Richard talks to George Bardissi of BVoIP, which provides VoIP services which MSPs can supply to customers. They discuss how George evolved BVoIP from Bardissi Enterprises, why MSPs are moving into the vendor space and how to successfully add VoIP to your MSP portfolio.
They also talk about how MSPs can integrate BVoIP with their other tools and the importance of being aware of security when implementing and maintaining VoIP systems for clients.
An interview with George Bardissi
Who is George Bardissi?
George Bardissi is the founder of BVoIP, which began as a channel-only company to work with other MSPs and IT providers on a global scale. Feeling that the approach that most companies were taking – direct sales with bolt-on partner programmes – wasn’t for him, he took a different approach.
BVoIP has been built, designed and structured from the view of the MSP (managed service provider). They understand that MSPs need to support their customers, so they provide automation, monitoring, scalability and integration to help them to do that.
I first interviewed George in TubbTalk episode 14 about the opportunities for MSPs in Voice-over-IP (VoIP) and he’s come a long way since!
Why George Thinks so Many MSPs are Moving into the Vendor Space
George says that many new businesses have sprung up from MSPs to meet a need or solve a pain point in the industry. Being able to access talent from around the world has made the playing field smaller, and its enabled businesses to scale and become successful very rapidly.
He adds that while bigger companies at the top of the industry are consolidating their offerings and merging with each other, those lower down are innovating more. No matter who you are or where you’re based, you can create anything you want. There’s no limit to what you can do if you’re willing to put in the time and effort, so it’s a very exciting time.
Lots more businesses are seeing opportunities, and it just needs to start with a spark to generate an idea. They find themselves struggling to overcome a challenge because there’s nobody offering a solution to solve the need, so they fix their own problems.
How MSPs can Successfully Add VoIP to Their Portfolios
Customers often come to an MSP for IT support and don’t realise that they can provide telecoms and communication support, or aren’t keen to talk about it. However, George says that MSPs need to make that a priority and be proactive at promoting telecoms to their clients. He recommends choosing one solution, getting to grips with it internally and then recommend it to customers.
It isn’t too hard to persuade customers to replace their phones with VoIP, either. They may be worried that having it installed will be disruptive, but the best way to think of it is that you’re simply overlaying one app onto an existing network. If you’ve done a good job and all the pieces in place, you’re simply delivering an outcome your customers want.
Wondering whether your MSP should be selling VoIP services? Take a read
How BVoIP Integrates with Other MSP Tools
George explains that BVoIP have worked hard to wrap together all the tools that MSPs rely on, coming up with three categories to make the process simpler. The first is a central partner portal for monitoring, adding accounts and managing and changing services.
The secondary portal monitors devices and manages firmware updates and remote support. Then, the integration portal, 1Stream, deals with business intelligence and manages the ERP (enterprise resource planning), PSA (professional services automation) and CRM (customer relationship management). Each portal can be accessed from another.
What MSPs Need to Know About VoIP Security
George admits that many MSPs and businesses don’t think of their phone system as a security concern, but it’s important to think about what information is held at the phone system level.
This includes things like call logs, which include phone numbers belonging to clients, prospects and vendors. The directory may also reveal staff names and contact details.
He adds that a hacker could access sensitive, private information, depending on the type of client the MSP works with, such as medical professionals or card payment information, which should be safeguarded.
It’s also vital to remember that a VoIP device is an endpoint, which could allow a cybercriminal to get into a network. If the MSP isn’t protecting the telecoms system, they need to ensure their provider is, and a basic numerical code as a PIN isn’t good enough in 2020.
Mentioned in this Episode
Richard and George mentioned the following companies during their conversation:
- George’s company, BVoIP: https://www.bvoip.com/
- BrightGauge: www.brightgauge.com
- IT Glue: https://itglue.com/
- IT Boost: https://www.itboost.com/
- Wise Sync: https://www.wise-sync.com/
- ConnectBooster: https://www.connectbooster.com/
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