John Carter, MD of Cloud Telephones, tells PCR about some of the biggest benefits to resellers using hosted voice services.
What cloud services do you offer?
We have a really a strong focus on hosted voice services, because that is the first and most obvious service that most SMBs will be comfortable putting into the cloud. It’s also very easy for resellers to sell and to manage, so as an entry-point into cloud services, it is perfect.
It is important also, to focus on connectivity as the starting point for everything. Businesses need a good broadband connection to make use of hosted voice and any other cloud service for that matter. This is an opportunity in itself and one that we can help resellers address every day. Win the connection, and you can sell the hosted voice and other services on top of it.
One vitally important area for resellers is billing. They don’t have the systems and processes in place to monitor usage and collate and send bills to customers every month. Cloud Telephones has an automated billing system that takes care of all that.
Who do you work with?
We only work with resellers and we have a strong focus on the SMB market. Our partner base is expanding and we’re eager to sign more resellers in 2016 as we’re expecting another year of very substantial growth in sales of voice services and further expansion of our other cloud services too.
There is also a lot of connectivity business out there – especially with the fibre roll-out continuing across the UK. Now that more businesses have more bandwidth, they can adopt hosted voice and other services with real confidence. The blue touch-paper has been lit – and it really is time for resellers to get on board. We can help them sell the connection, the hosted VoIP service, and manage the billing, so they can concentrate on building their business up.
How do your services help collaboration and remote working?
One of the major benefits of Hosted VoIP is you can work from anywhere in the world. Even your customers won’t know you’re not in the office. Your home workers are part of your network so you can transfer calls. It’s absolutely perfect if staff can’t get to work because of ice and snow. They can be at work at home. If your office lines go down, calls automatically transfer to another office or mobile phone.
How has the cloud market evolved over the past few years?
It has taken time for users, and indeed resellers, to start trusting cloud solutions. That is happening now though and more resellers are starting to make the switch from business models based on selling more and more products at lower and lower prices, to one based on subscriptions that offer consistent, recurring income every month. The evolution however, is only just beginning; Gamma estimates that the installed user base for hosted or cloud-based voice this year is around 2.3 million, but by 2020 that will almost double to 4.2 million; the opportunity to grow is colossal.
What are some of the biggest benefits to your customers who have got on board with the cloud?
For many of the resellers we work with, it has been a revelation. Hosted voice especially is helping them to move towards having a solid base of subscriber customers that provide a good, regular monthly income that keeps on growing with every new customer they add. This is much more consistent and stable and a much firmer foundation on which to build a long-term business. We really are seeing reseller businesses that are being transformed.
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