Episode 4: How to do business with ISP?
– 6 Tips from a REAL ISP

How do I work with an ISP?

As the global promotion of cloud PBX continues to gain momentum, this question grows in significance. That’s why we’ve brought in a true ISP expert, Lily Zhang from Cocoa Oriental, who will be sharing her insights on typical ISP cases, important project considerations, and 6 useful tips for vendors looking to collaborate with ISPs.

If you’re searching for collaboration opportunities with ISPs, this episode is a must-listen. Don’t miss out on your chance to gain the inside scoop!

Tune in to the episode here.

As we gather more information, our chances of seizing opportunities and securing deals increase. However, even if we consolidate these resources, the end user has the final say.

Guest Info

Lily Zhang is the Global Sourcing and Pricing Manager at CoCoa Oriental Network Limited.

CoCoa Oriental Network is a leading ICT service provider dedicated to providing high-quality end-to-end WAN solutions and integrated IT network services in Mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.
To learn more about Cocoa Oriental Network, please visit their website.
Follow Lily’s LinkedIn at @Lily Zhang.

Key Takeaways

Tip #1: Understand how ISPs do their jobs

They evaluate service providers and integrate resources. You can see them as BROKERS.


Lily: It’s pure resale for us.

Jason: So for our partners, if you wanna work with the ISP, first of all, you need to make your solutions very clear. You have different levels and different tiers.

Ramon: And clearly presenting the added value you can provide will make you more appealing to the ISP.

[34:31] You can see ISPs as BROKERS

Ramon: ISPs are kind of like brokers, they find resources and tier prices. Finally, all solutions on paper can satisfy your requirements with different prices and extra values. ISPs strive to understand the needs of end users and act as intermediaries, reselling your property once you provide it to them.

Lily: Yes. The more information we get, the more opportunities we grab, and then we can get more deals. Finally, we put these resources together, but the deal depends on the end user’s decision.

Jason: The opportunity for us is to get ready with all kinds of resources. Because eventually, customers will choose the best option, which often involves budget control.

Tip #2: Step out there and pitch your solution to ISPs

Clearly present the added value you can provide. The easier it is for ISPs to grasp your offering, the greater the likelihood of collaboration


Lily: Sometimes we will bundle this hardware and resell with our platform network and also MPLS VPN bundled with internet resale. This helps us to win more cases.

Ramon: So you guys just get all kinds of resources from different providers? I guess that’s also another case because they see phone systems or PBX more precisely as a resource to help them win the case.

Lily: Yes, correct.

Ramon: So that means this resource should cost as little as possible for you guys and earn as much as it can for you guys.

Lily: Yes, we combine different resources for customers. They don’t need to ask the price from different suppliers.

Ramon: So guys, don’t get into the features, control your cost. That’s very important. And be clear that it’s very stable, and it won’t cause any trouble.

Tip #3: Tier your solutions and pricing to give ISPs more flexibility

Ramon: You will find products or solutions with different prices. You will find something that is cheaper, in the middle or something that is high-end.

Lily: Yes, it’s different levels.

Ramon: Then you will give them different options based on different prices that can all satisfy their needs.

Tip #4: Demands vary among enterprises, SMBs, and call centers

By understanding this, you will have a better chance of helping ISPs win their projects.


For Big Organizations:

Lily: Big organizations will set up a team to handle these issues for purchasing. So they know exactly what they want about the call features. So it’s very easy to purchase this product.

Jason: Customers as you mentioned do have some background knowledge, they already know something. So that’s gonna be much easier for you guys to build the communication.

For Professional Call Centers:

Lily: We have another project about the call center. Some financial organizations from Hong Kong, they would like to go into Mainland, China. They’ll purchase the SIP trunk bundled with a PBX. So they also have the detailed requirements, then we can present solutions to them to make a decision.

Jason: Because they already have the background knowledge, they can just tell you what they’re looking for and you can just provide them such a solution.

For SMEs:

Lily: For medium and small companies, maybe they don’t even have an IT manager. They just need a simple solution, sometimes even a device.

Ramon: Then you will still prepare different types of solutions for them, right?

Lily: Yes, correct. It depends on their budget.

Tip #5: Prepare for evaluations from ISPs

ISPs evaluate service providers from several perspectives, such as past successful projects, technical abilities (proven by certificates), aftersales service, system stability, as well as whether you have cloud PBX solutions and voice gateway

What kind of successful cases have you done?

What licenses have your engineers earned before?

How about your after-sales customer service?

Can you share the price list for the hardware?

Are there any products for Cloud PBX?

Can you provide some voice gateway solutions?

Tip #6: Understand ISP’s preferences for public cloud vs. self-hosted


Ramon: From Lily’s view, for the public cloud, there is a problem of stability, while self hosted cloud is taking my resources and, therefore costs. Are they playing balance here?

Jason: I think it’s okay for our partners to provide you with both of the solutions. If they provide you a public cloud solution, we have the capability to keep it stable. But if they have some resources to work together with the ISP to solve the cost issues, you can also try the self-hosted.

Lily: And for the Cloud PBX, we may bundle with our SASE service (a security service called Security Access Service Edge). It helps establish a strong network framework to protect against cyber stress.

UC & C Huddle

Value Your Input!

If you’d like to be our next guest or have any topics in mind for future episodes, please tell us. We’re all ears.