If you’re on Versature’s Blog, I’m thinking that you probably know about the underlying technology that Hosted PBX providers use, namely Voice over IP (shortened to VoIP). Recently we’ve come across competitors using the term “VOPI”, or Voice over Private Internet. It’s their way of trying to confuse and complicate, to inject some uncertainty and doubt, to convince you that their technology is superior. Dive into the details and you’ll see that VOPI is actually a Hosted Voice providers’ way of selling you inferior connectivity in the guise of increased security. Let’s take a look under the covers, shall we?
Let’s get this one out of the way right away. Companies will tell you that a private connection is more secure because your telephone calls do not traverse the public internet. Yes, that is true, and if you are in an industry where security is paramount to you or eavesdropping is a common occurrence, then absolutely you should investigate the private option.
If that is the case, I’m sure you are quite familiar with this device, the STU-III, which is an analog telephone encryption device that you *must have* used up to this point to secure your calls. What? You mean you were using analog lines without them being private (analog lines, by their design, could not be provided in this way) or without encryption in any form? How did your business survive? Especially considering the fact that anyone with a telephone and two wire clips could tie into your phone lines at numerous points along the telco’s wireline path, including right outside your building or at the neighbourhood POP. In all honesty, it was way easier to spy on you and listen to your phone calls when they were analog as opposed to now that they are packet based and require specialized skills and some kind of man-in-the-middle attack or network sniffing (requiring physical access to your network) to make this happen. Let’s call this what it is .. it’s fear mongering, preying on those who don’t know any better, since anything private must be better, right? Not so fast …
Here’s where the VoPI argument really falls off the rails. In Canada, the easiest connectivity option to resell is DSL. Most providers offering private connections do so over DSL because they are inexpensive and reach most of the population. Others use a technology called T1, which is better than DSL but is prohibitively expensive. The problem with both DSL and T1 is the bandwidth available is poor, and has been eclipsed by technology being provided by the cableco’s, Bell’s own Fibe product, and the fiber providers who may already be in your building. Why use outdated DSL or T1 to connect your phone system to your provider, if you could use higher bandwidth solutions like cable or fiber, and also use that same connection for your internet? You can make better use of your limited resources that way, no? We think so too. Versature helps you to survey the connectivity landscape available to you in your area, and help you to choose the best value for your business. Most of the time, that is cable, a product these VoPI providers are not authorized to sell (hence, the reason they sell you outdated DSL or T1).
If you have a distributed workforce (and who doesn’t these days), you’ll probably ask these providers what happens when you are not in the office, and connected to the “private” connection. They’ll happily tell you that your phones will still work offsite, but that the call will traverse the public internet. Ah, but doesn’t that completely destroy their argument? If secure calls are so paramount, why allow people to make calls over the public internet at all? Doesn’t having even one employee off-site, dialling into conference calls and talking to co-workers back at the office cause issues with the “private” argument? Sure it does, but if they required private connections to every remote and home office, one of the biggest benefits of VoIP would be ruined, so they ignore the insecure aspect of these calls and happy call it a feature .. unfortunately it’s one that completely breaks their argument for a private connection made earlier.
Another reason why other Hosted PBX providers are intent on providing you with private connectivity is that they feel this will lock you in and make you more “sticky”. Here at Versature, we feel the only way to lock-in customers is by providing an amazing service that you will want to tell your friends and colleagues about.
Hopefully I’ve dispelled some of the misinformation that is prevalent about this VoIP vs. VoPI issue. We’re available to discuss this at any time, and unlike most of the other providers, we’re customer service focused so we’ll actually answer your call. Give Versature Sales a call today.