When On Hold Messages players were attached to the clients’ PABXs, the provider was in control of the updating of the messages. By placing the updated recording on their own media player required no intervention by the telephone provider.
There are two main delivery methods for the new IP telephone service –
In changing to IP telephony, some Telcos keep the equipment on-site and access the internet via a SIP Trunk (like a bridge from the phone system to the internet). Depending on the hardware at the client’s site, an On Hold Messages player may or may not be required.
Other Telcos use “hosted voice” on a Server. This is where the handset itself changes your voice to data, which is then carried as data over the internet (VoIP) to the person you’re talking to, where it is turned back from data into audio. This Hosted Voice can either be on a server in your premises or “in the cloud” that is hosted on a server offsite or a combination of the two.
In this “hosted voice” and in some SIP Trunk environments, the On Hold Messages, welcome greetings, auto-attendants, IVRs and AH messages need to be uploaded onto the server as audio files.
Where audio files need to be uploaded it is almost always carried out by the Telco (sometimes by the company’s IT team). Unless the Telco has included this in their Service Level Agreement to the end client, they will charge for this. This forms a barrier to the On Hold Messages provider, being an additional cost to the end client.
Those On Hold Messages suppliers using an ongoing subscription model have usually based their service on a certain number of updates per year. This dates back twenty or more years ago when a CD or even a cassette tape was used to play the audio into the phone system. This model has carried on in almost all cases to players using flash media (USB or SD Card) where the on hold audio is swapped in and out of the player to change the messages. Some suppliers offer welcome and AH message recordings as part of their initial set-up, but in the past, these have needed to be uploaded by telephone technicians onsite, which is an expensive process.
Churn is mainly suffered by those suppliers who are protecting the old model of having players at each of their clients’ locations. As local branch exchanges are removed and centrally-hosted PBXs replace local PABXs, MOH providers are finding their services terminated due to messaging players becoming redundant.
The opportunities are for those who are close enough to their clients to predict this disruption and get in first. They are using education marketing to inform their clients of the coming changes and make sure they know when their client is about to move to a new IP phone system. These providers can then provide the service over the new phone system sending Audio files.