Telesmart is growing its wholesale IT Managed Service Provider channel with a two-prong strategy: make it fast and easy for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to provision, support and bill telecommunications services; and at the same time empower MSPs to retain ownership and control of their own customers.
Empowering IT managed service provider partners
One of Telesmart’s biggest wholesale business growth areas is providing cloud calling by voice enabling Microsoft Teams. Telecom carriers are moving to take control of Teams voice, says Telesmart Chief Technology Officer, Geof Robinson.
“In Australia we are seeing some incumbent telecommunications carriers take the Microsoft licensing revenue off MSPs when they voice enable Teams. Businesses are investing in the modern workplace and voice completes that picture, but it’s a competitive threat for MSPs to give those carriers access to the Microsoft environments of their customers. It takes revenue away from the MSP and worse, it prevents MSPs from providing the ‘single point of contact’ service which their customers increasingly require. Part of the reason we recommend Datagate is that it empowers MSPs to create their own commercial telecoms model to market.”
Telesmart solutions include Teams voice, cloud UCaaS, cloud contact centers, video conferencing and telepresence software, traditional phone systems, data switches and Wi-Fi.
Telesmart does have a direct practice, usually for complex or bespoke solutions like contact centers or multi-site integrations. Most business can be handled by MSPs and Telesmart works with, or on behalf of, those MSPs where they need to augment an MSP’s skill set, Geof Robinson says.
“Our prime focus is to empower our IT Managed Service Provider partners. Our MSP channel partners choose us for two main reasons. One, we empower MSPs to manage their own business and their own customers. It’s the MSP’s customer – not ours. And two, we’re voice specialists. We take care of the back-end efforts of providing quality voice, caller comfort, and monitoring for any issues. We worked closely with Microsoft to develop a multi-tenant capability for Teams and we know how to translate customer requirements into technical requirements. We make it easy and profitable for MSPs to deliver the Microsoft modern workplace.”
Simplifying complex billing requirements for IT managed service providers
Fast, accurate billing of telecommunications services is part of the Telesmart service offering for MSPs. For this, Telesmart uses and recommends Datagate’s billing platform. Some MSPs tried selling voice in the past but stopped after struggling with billing, says Geof Robinson.
“It can get quite difficult quite quickly. The billing is complex and, in the past, you needed specialist industry knowledge. These are the problems Datagate solves. Datagate makes billing easy and you don’t need that industry knowledge. Providing a fast, accurate billing solution fits with our philosophy of empowering MSPs,” he says.
“I value the working partnership I have with Datagate. The engagement is a trust relationship.”
Geof Robinson, Chief Technology Officer, Telesmart
MSPs can access the Datagate billing software through Telesmart or set up their own Datagate portal. Datagate processes Call Detail Records (CDRs) by plugging into the call detail data feeds of the MSP’s chosen wholesale telecommunications providers. MSPs turn their own services on and off for customers, create their own pricing plans and bundles, generate and email their invoices and automatically update their accounting system.
Datagate also assists MSPs with integrations, including with ConnectWise. The integration between Datagate and ConnectWise minimizes the need for re-keying, maximizes data accuracy and integrity and makes ConnectWise the single “source of truth” to see data from both systems in one place.
Telesmart uses Datagate for its own internal billing, as well as reselling to its partner and distributor community. The company implemented and threw out two other billing platforms before going with Datagate.
“Datagate is just an easier platform to work with. I haven’t had to escalate anything,” Geof Robinson says.
“I value the working partnership I have with Datagate. I can catch up with the Datagate team and we make things happen. The time frames they give me are realistic. The engagement is a trust relationship.”