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Differences Between Agents and Resellers of VoIP Solutions

Differences Between Agents and Resellers of VoIP Solutions

Bob Webb
In the fast-paced world of Voice over Internet Protocol services, grasping the differences between resellers and agents is essential for businesses aiming to deliver exceptional communication solutions to their customers. Here at ClearlyIP, we’re dedicated to equipping Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and other entities with the insights and resources necessary to thrive in this dynamic environment. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the contrasts between resellers and agents, providing clarity on their roles, duties, and advantages.

Revealing the Difference: Resellers vs. Agents

The first step in navigating the world of VoIP services is understanding the fundamental difference between resellers and agents:

Resellers

As telecommunications service providers recognized by federal law, resellers directly invoice their customers for ClearlyIP’s services. They enjoy discounted rates from ClearlyIP and have the autonomy to set pricing for their customers. However, resellers bear significant compliance responsibilities, including adherence to federal USF and tax requirements, state and local tax regulations, Robocall Mitigation Fillings, and compliance with Stir/Shaken protocols mandated by the TRACED Act.

Agents

Agents, on the other hand, operate as sellers of ClearlyIP’s services and earn commissions based on sales. Unlike resellers, agents are not responsible for billing their customers or managing compliance requirements. Instead, agents focus on promoting ClearlyIP’s offerings and facilitating sales. They receive commission payments from ClearlyIP for the customer’s monthly recurring services and additional call usage, providing a lucrative opportunity without the administrative burden of billing and compliance.

The Agent Advantage: Simplified Solutions for MSPs

For MSPs venturing into the realm of VoIP services, the agent relationship offers a straightforward and streamlined approach. MSPs can bill their customers for the time spent designing and implementing ClearlyIP’s cloud or trunking services, with configuration assistance readily available from ClearlyIP. Moreover, agents benefit from perpetual commission payments for their customers’ ongoing services, ensuring a steady revenue stream without the complexities of billing and compliance management.

 

Minimum Requirements for Resellers

To become a qualified reseller, adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. Obtain an Operating Company Number (OCN):
    Collaborate with the National Exchange Carrier Association (NECA) to acquire an OCN, which is essential for operating within the industry.
  2. Manage Universal Service Fund (USF) Contributions:
    Resellers must collect USF charges and submit a USF Form 499. While there are defined minimums for carrier contributions to USF funds, reporting of these funds has no minimum threshold.
  3. Handle Taxation and Regulatory Fees:
    It is crucial to accurately rate, collect, and remit all applicable State, County, and Local Taxes, Fees, and 911 surcharges.
  4. Implement a Robocall Mitigation Plan:
    Develop a Robocall Mitigation Plan and ensure it is filed with the FCC to combat unwanted and illegal calls.
  5. Secure a Service Provider Code Token:
    Work with iConnectiv to obtain a Service Provider Code token, which verifies your credentials as a service provider.
  6. Acquire a Digital Certificate:
    Partner with an approved Certificate Authority (CA) to obtain a digital certificate based on your token. This certificate is crucial for signing/attesting calls originated by your customers.

    At ClearlyIP, we have integrated reseller signing support directly into our trunking and ClearlyCloud UCaaS platforms. We ensure that calls originating from a reseller’s customers are signed using the reseller’s certificate, thereby enhancing call security and compliance.

 

agent and reseller 2 paths to success - VoIP Solutions

Partnering with ClearlyIP: Your Path to Success

Regardless of whether you choose the reseller or agent path, ClearlyIP stands as the ideal partner to support your journey. Our comprehensive suite of VoIP services, coupled with our unwavering commitment to customer success, ensures that you have the tools and resources needed to thrive in today’s competitive market. Whether you’re looking to offer tailored communication solutions as a reseller or leverage commission-based opportunities as an agent, ClearlyIP is here to help you succeed.

In conclusion, understanding the roles of resellers and agents in VoIP is essential for businesses looking to provide cutting-edge communication solutions to their customers. With ClearlyIP as your trusted partner, you can navigate the complexities of the VoIP landscape with confidence, knowing that you have the support and expertise needed to succeed. Whether you’re a reseller or an agent, ClearlyIP is committed to helping you unlock your full potential and achieve your business objectives in the world of VoIP.