[VoiceOps] What does you use for Hosted PBX and why?

Peter Rad. peter at 4isps.com
Thu Mar 16 14:09:51 EDT 2017

Most of the big names in HPBX built their own:

ShoreTel, RC, Fuze, Digium, Fonality - built their own

8x8 built there are; hold about 90 patents; and is one of the most 
successful HPBX company at $230M in annual rev.

Vonage - has 2 home brew + BSFT  (over 600K seats on VB)

Dialpad - Freeswitch

Nextiva, DSCI, Momentum, XO, VZ and 400 more are on  BSFT

15 Million lines on BSFT - more than 3x the next vendor for UC (Cisco)

Downside to that is that the patent trolls win, time and again.



Combined Level3, VZ, Sprint, AT&T have over 500 VoIP patents. That will 
bite you eventually. I see patent trolls regularly attacking clients.


It isn't the technology. It is knowing who to target with what bundle 
and what message - and then getting out there to sell it.

There are plenty of open source VoIP companies who have failed 
miserably.  Quite a few on Meta and BSFT.

Much of it has to do with product/market fit; marketing and sales. Those 
last 2 - marketing and sales - are like kryptonite to most folks who go 
open source. Why? They get stuck on the tech. It's all about features 
and custom and blinking lights. That doesn't appeal to a buyer.

Open source has its own challenges:  patents and skill set. You have to 
have full stack devs and engineers to run your own platform.  One CEO 
who switched from a commercial to home brew spent all of his licensing 
dollars on a team of devs and engineers to keep the cluster running.


Peter Radizeski


On 3/16/2017 8:48 AM, Fred Posner wrote:
> Another +1 here for open source.
> I came to the open source side after working with Broadsoft and Acme
> Packet... finding out that not only could we reduce unnecessary costs
> with an open source model, we could also improve the customer experience.
> Projects such as Asterisk, Kamailio, and FreeSWITCH are mature, tested,
> and trusted by large institutions, carriers, governments, and more.
> If you don't want to build your own, there's great products out there
> building on top of open source, such as:
> http://www.csrpswitch.com/
> high-performance SIP "Class 4" call routing platform for VoIP service
> providers of all kinds
> Kazoo/2600Hz
> http://www.2600hz.com/
> and... of course... you can always build your own (or hire a consultant
> to help you).
> --fred
> http://palner.com
> On 3/15/17 10:51 PM, Alex Balashov wrote:
>> Since we work predominantly with service providers that take open-source
>> approaches, we would be remiss not to plug that as an approach here.
>> It's taken by a significant percentage of the industry.
>> No, open source is definitely not free. But to those accustomed to a
>> Broadsoft-type experience, I think there are a lot of misconceptions
>> about it that stem from a lack of familiarity with how to approach the
>> open product ecosystem. There's a perception that it's "highly
>> technical" or, "Okay, I got FreeSWITCH to compile. Now what?"
>> In reality, there are _lots_ of "packaged" answers to this problem, if
>> you're just willing to look. If you don't want to build anything
>> yourself, there are many good commercial systems built on top of an
>> open-source technology stack. They cost some money, but nothing on the
>> order of the big brands, and are competitive and growing in the larger
>> operator and enterprise markets. Example:
>> https://integrics.com/enswitch/
>> It's built on top of Asterisk, Kamailio and MySQL, but very turn-key.
>> If you have the engineering core competency to build something yourself,
>> the ROI is excellent. Yes, there's a cost and a GTM lag, but once you
>> sink the cost, nobody's going to hit you up for $MEGABUCKS for another
>> 100 seat licences ever again. And again, it doesn't mean you have to
>> write a million LOC multitenant software product yourself.
>> There are lots of people on this list who provide hosted PBX with
>> Asterisk or FreeSWITCH and have not had to do this. There are many
>> approaches; you can certainly roll a home-spun multi-tenant platform if
>> you really want to, but you can also sell individual instances of
>> ready-to-go PBX distributions to customers inside a virtualised or
>> containerised environment. In the latter, the port density / unit
>> economics relative to hardware are excellent. You can put 100+ such PBXs
>> on a single commodity box. Automating deployment with all the tooling
>> out there these days isn't that hard. A lot of the tools already exist
>> in FOSS land, if you just look around. And you can use feature-rich (and
>> easy white-labelled) PBX distributions such as FreePBX or FusionPBX out
>> of the box. Just Google around.
>> The companies who have put a little bit of work into this have
>> definitely forked out some CAPEX (mainly engineering time or
>> consultants), but their ongoing OPEX commitments are comically low, and
>> accordingly, their gross margins and cash flow are that much the better
>> for it. What's more, the sunk cost tends to be largely fixed, so your
>> ROI gets better and better with subscriber growth.
>> It's not for everyone. Some organisations are sales-heavy cultures best
>> suited to selling cookie-cutter products and don't want to do anything
>> nerdy, or can't. But there are lots of people on this list making
>> excellent money with open source, and I count some of them among our
>> customer base (though we are not in the C5/hosted PBX platform
>> business).
>> -- Alex
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