Rami Houbby, managing director of NFON UK, talks about the huge benefits of selling cloud-based services.
The argument on shifting to the Cloud has been well and truly won – you’d be hard-pressed to find any UK IT reseller that doesn’t have a significant cloud product offering.
But that’s not to say the transition was easy – I recall the resistance about five years ago when the traditional IT resellers struggled to understand how they could move from a mostly hardware based business to one that was predominantly driven by software to enable cloud services. Many took too long to capitalise on this shift in technology and their profits and businesses suffered.
But now in 2016 there is industry-wide consensus on cloud technology – in fact, according to MarketsandMarkets, the global cloud computing market now has an estimated worth of more than $120 billion, with a compound annual growth rate of 26.2 per cent a year.
With this acceptance and the fact the market is growing, it stands to reason that IT resellers should be actively looking at how they get an even bigger piece of the proverbial cloud pie.
A new technology that is growing apace is cloud telephony. For IT resellers, cloud-based telephony provides them with a fast track entry into the world of voice, which some historically shied away from. This is because previously the entry barrier into voice was extremely high, as there was a high level of investment required – cloud based telephony just requires investment in personnel training.
There is a huge market appetite for the streamlined delivery of cloud-based telephony, which are out-of-the-box solutions that IT channel partners can easily train themselves on.
The market opportunity is huge – Illuma Research indicates that the cloud telephony segment is increasing by 50 per cent to 100 per cent year-on-year; currently five per cent of the UK business telecoms market is cloud-based and this is only going to increase.
Obviously from a reseller perspective, the priority is how easily they can sell the product. The key is communicating the benefits to customers – firstly there is the OPEX vs. CAPEX benefit as it’s a subscription-based service; plus it is fully scalable and thus can easily accommodate the changing dynamic of the business.
As it’s cloud-based, it enables much simpler automated management, deployment and provisioning. Plus, there are huge operational efficiencies – updates can be applied across the whole customer base, whereas an on-premise solution updates required on-site updates, which would mean delays and increased costs.
Ultimately for IT resellers, cloud-based services offer huge benefits in terms of building customer loyalty and enabling long-term predictable annuity revenues for minimal investment. Plus, not only does this perfectly complement the existing cloud product set, it’s also incredibly easy to deploy and maintain.
The present is cloud computing – the future is cloud telephony – the sooner that IT resellers make the shift, the sooner they can reap the rewards.
Rami Houbby is the managing director of NFON UK
Cloud Telephony image via Shutterstock