ITSPA Awards 2011 – Do they need “a more rigorous testing process”?

I came across a very interesting blog post this evening called ITSPA announces best VoIP service finalists

I made a few comments on it, but I do think Charles Chance of Cloudnet UK raises some valid points:

It is my opinion that for awards like these to mean anything, we need to see a more rigorous testing process including the engagement of ‘mystery shopper’ services, gathering feedback from existing customers and the assessment of financial standing/profitability. We need to ensure that the post-sales support is as good as the sales pitch and that our chosen provider will still be around in 6 months time.

Let’s address the first point? How do you implement a “Mystery Shopper” for services? What do other sectors do? It’s not like just buying a physical product online, or is it? I suppose a shopper could purchase a hosted VoIP account or set of hosted VoIP accounts or SIP trunks and test but who pays for that? ITSPA with membership money?  Is that the best use of the membership income versus working with Ofcom?

How do you contact customers and get a good overview if the company picks the customers? Surely they’ll only pass over good ones? As a potential customer choosing a business service supplier, should you credit check that company? Isn’t the supplier being a member of ITSPA supposed to save you that hassle? We credit check a new customer before we let them on to our systems so that we don’t get abused and our existing customers then suffer. Being a member of ITSPA carries certain fees and as I’ve always said the best companies join ITSPA.

Post-sales support is a good requirement though and some set of tests would need to be developed. Like what though? Does the shopper break things or does this mean sitting in a support queue? We have live support chat facilities which helps with this, although new it is working very well.

The truth is that anyone can go for any of the ITSPA Awards categories like we did and anyone can go for the ITSPA Quality Mark like we did, but yet not enough companies do. Why?

The VoIP industry really does need a body like ITSPA and I promote it when ever I can. When in London next week for the awards I’ll mention all Charles’ points and hopefully it will be tougher next year!

I would ask Charles though, did Cloudnet UK enter any categories? Do Cloudnet UK re-brand the services of larger, wholesale providers? Are his comments bitter? I don’t think so as you’ll see above that I think he’s raised some very good points.

To be honest all business VoIP providers will have wholesale suppliers in the mix as well as direct interconnects with the likes of BT as that’s how it works! BT for example use Tata Communications for their international traffic.

Thanks,

Gavin.

 

SureVoIP become Best Business ITSP (SME) Finalist in The ITSPA 2011 Awards

Just a quick note to say that ITSPA have announced the finalists for the 2011 ITSPA Awards, sponsored by Magrathea. The award winners will be announced at a reception in the BT Tower on Monday 7th March 2011 in London.

SureVoIP are 1 of 6 up for the Best Business ITSP (SME):

Entanet

Gradwell

Inet Telecoms Ltd (Voipfone)

SureVoIP (Suretec Systems)

Teleware

Timico

sponsored by:

I’ll announce the result at the dinner on the 7th March at BT Tower in London when I hear.

Wish us luck!

Live Chat feature now enabled

After some great suggestions over on the Business Forum we’ve added Live Help chat to our main website.

We’re using Olark with the Olark Drupal plugin and it’s extremely handy. We don’t need any desktop applications to run it either.

If you have any sales or technical support questions about our VoIP products and services for business and can’t be bothered to call or email, reach for our Live Chat!

Thanks,

Gavin.

VoIP providers in the UK vs Skype

Recently we were contacted and asked:

Why is your system/service better than skype?

SureVoIP and Skype® are aimed at totally different markets and each have their own strengths and weaknesses. SureVoIP differs because:

SureVoIP is a business VoIP service and it provides high quality and reliable VoIP connections with contracts and telephone support, not just email support.

Here is a quote from the very bottom of the Skype features page:

No emergency calls with Skype

Skype is not a replacement for your telephone and can’t be used for emergency calling

All the best VoIP providers in the UK are members of ITSPA.