By Frazer Barnett
TL:DR – Simwood Launches a new Dealer product.
It’s been a while now since Pete, our Chief Compliance Officer, started talking about the UK’s new telecommunications security regulations (or the TSRs to save typing) and other impending changes and obligations within our industry. Our blogs on this subject are available in helping our wholesale and channel partners understand what is coming, what has arrived, how they should be handled and what we think you should be doing. Avid readers will know that we champion a fair and transparent marketplace. I’m proud that we’ve banged that drum a lot and see we still need to.
We want and expect all end-users to be protected and serviced correctly, we want them to have the features we consider mandatory at no additional cost. People should be entitled to use a service worry free about interception because their chosen networks are using encryption, while also having uninterrupted access to emergency services etc etc… Unfortunately not everyone has the same mindset as us and we see people saying ‘encryption is pointless’ or ‘they can use their mobile to dial 999’’. Yes people have said this to us (and worse) and in public forums.
When the new security regime is in full effect, we might well see some of these operators throwing in the towel (or the regulator throwing it in for them), as the requirements are wide-ranging and technical. For example, if you’re running a telecommunications platform from your bedroom on an Asterisk server running version 1.4, without the latest security patches and zero resilience, then these regulations are aimed at you (as are some of the existing ones, for that matter). If one of your end-users tries to call 999 in the middle of one of your outages (say a power cut to your single Asterisk instance) then you are going to have a visit to the Headmasters’ office. Thankfully, Ofcom doesn’t use the cane, but they can fine you 10% of your turnover and prohibit you from conducting any telecoms business ever again.
This may be the biggest change in the forefront of our minds right now, but there’s others. We have the cost-of-living crisis which will bleed through into retail and wholesale bills shortly, rampant protectionism across other countries with CLI blocking Norway and Germany, oh and don’t forget all the dirty surcharges which we don’t make.
The world is changing, and we need to change with it, so we have created an addition to the Simwood suite of products so our customers can adapt to the new reality.
But first a recap about our existing services:
Simwood Carrier Services
We’ve had Simwood Carrier Services for 25+ years, although we did use the term “Simwood Wholesale” interchangeably for most of that time. It is aimed at those organisations that are running their own networks and platforms, passing millions of minutes and are hosted in multiple data centres with interconnects directly into our core. They have all their obligations and responsibility boxes fully covered and are aiming to be compliant in every area. These customers tend to have their own Ofcom ranges and probably have their own channel partner/reseller bases and are better resourced to handle changes in the compliance arena.
These customers have a phenomenal ability to add value, and perhaps see telephony as an ancillary service or are ISPs selling connectivity and want the experts to take care of the voice. Simwood Partners, also known as channel partners or resellers, benefit from the protection of our network, platform and service. They enjoy knowing they don’t have to ‘run their own platform’ and can in fact use ours with significantly lower risk. They brand it as their own and can concentrate on adding value by not having to worry about up-time or whether 999 is enabled, while retaining the value of customer ownership.
Our residential flavour expands on this expanding our visibility into new sectors. Don’t get us wrong, there are still obligations and responsibilities a Simwood Partner needs to be on top of when it comes to servicing end users like supporting them and handling the billing, and the mountain of paperwork that needs to be sent to them before and during their time with you, but it’s significantly lower risk than running your own platform.
And now, a drumroll…
This is the bit you’ve been waiting for: what has Simwood done now? Some of you may have seen or read the latest edition of Comms Business [link] where our cover story leads into a discussion on our new offering called Simwood Dealer. It’s aimed at anyone interested in telephony who wants to earn commission from sales, but without all the headaches of reselling or being a platform provider. Perhaps you’re a CCTV installer and want an additional arrow in your quiver, or you’re an IT maintainer and get asked about voice solutions but were too wary of the regulations before?
Simwood Dealer allows you to refer and sign up businesses to our rock-solid Hosted PBX service, while you get to ignore almost all the regulatory requirements (letting us take care of those). All you have to do is make the referral and move on to the next one, earning commission for the lifetime of that account while it stays with Simwood.
Which Way Are You Going?
If you’re looking at the direction of travel of the industry and think it’s time to say ‘nah, sod that for a game of soldiers’, we have a path to take you from Carrier Services to Partner, or Partner to Dealer, including, in some cases, the ability to migrate your existing estate from other network providers. If you want to double down where you are, you’ll the boxes we can tick, being ticked for you.
We’ve loads more to come from our Hosted PBX platform in the future – this is just the next step in enabling businesses that want to ditch their regulatory burdens and continue to enjoy the revenue at the same time. If you want to become a dealer then feel free to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org