A VNO or Virtual Network Operator is not only a rather complex business to understand but also a less familiar concept than major carriers. With global business, global internet access demand has emerged, but most ISPs have not been able to adapt to this quick internationalization and are mostly still very nationally oriented.
A VNO is a network service provider reselling internet access services from local ISPs at a regional, continental or global level. Virtual Network Operators companies do not own any physical infrastructure as they relay on their partner’s network receiving special wholesale reseller rates.
VNOs are capable of covering the whole world by extending through an important network of hundreds of partners and thus getting to reach even the most remote parts of the world. Some Virtual Network Operators would have special agreements with one operator per country, which offers them the possibility of getting volume discounts, but with the important inconvenient of considerably shortening their service catalog. Other VNOs prefer working with a bunch of different ISPs in each country having then the chance of choosing the right option considering their customers’ needs.
We may find different customer oriented VNOs. Some are oriented directly to all types of international companies and others opt to work just with ISPs or system integrators avoiding direct competition and this way standing as their international department. With this type of agreement local ISPs are able to extend their service portfolio throughout the world but most important they now have the opportunity of giving full response to those project requests with historically rejected international sites.
Some differences may also be encountered in terms of Support Team; some VNOs decide to have their customers directly opening ticket with end providers, which I personally think is not a good idea. Others would prefer to own their own technical facility and support team while managing all incidences as a single point of contact.
What type of companies should consider working with a VNO?
In my opinion it nakes sense to work with a VNO once two or more countries are involved in a project as most benefits VNOs can offer, discussed later in this article, involve some type of internationalization.
The companies most interested in VNO’s services are:
-Local businesses in the process of internationalization.
-Local carriers, ISPs or system integrators whose nationwide projects sometimes go beyond their frontiers.
-VoIP, MSPs Managed Service Providers and ERP implementers with multinational customers.
What are the advantages of working with a VNO?
One Provider: Instead of involving in the labor intensive and cost prohibitive work of trying to find the right coverage from multiple service providers a company should focus in its core business. There are no needs of maintaining relations with too many internet service providers. A VNO will look into each market with its previously built relations and find the right solution among hundreds of available options. A single point of contact with enough knowledge and expertise can really make a difference.
One Bill: There is no need of receiving hundreds of bills delivered to all delegations which will on their turn be kept, scanned, resent and later processed. A VNO enables to reduce this to just 12 per year. Easy and clean.
One Currency: You can avoid the complex and timely accounting task of processing all international payments to different countries in distinct currencies and reducing your monthly bank transfers to just one per month. Fast and cost-effective.
One language: You can manage all your internet accesses in your language with a single point of contact.
One support team: VNOs usually offer a centralized support team for any issues or incidences that may arise. There is no need for a company to communicate with local support teams abroad either.