The ICT channel is one of the more rapidly changing sectors of IT technology, with new innovations entering the market all the time. So, it is understandable that the channel might face difficulties keeping track of these developments and selling their clients the right product and likewise, for many businesses, it is challenging to make the right purchase decisions when there are so many communications products available.
The best way for resellers to be able to successfully sell and deploy PBX/UC solutions is to do their homework first and identify the best-fit vendor and developer based on some key criteria.
The key to success is tailor-made solutions in addition to a high adoption rate of innovative technologies together with comprehensive support. Resellers should be able to offer flexible solutions that can cater to the business’ individual structure and budget needs, while never ‘missing the beat’ of innovation.
Below are some criteria that a PBX/UC solution needs to meet in order to be a successful product for the channel:
- Proven cost advantage: In today’s highly competitive business environment, selling IT solutions successfully depends on the cost savings the offered solutions are able to generate.
- Taking trends into account: There are certain technologies that have transformed our personal and work life more than we could have ever imagined. Smartphones and tablets are now an essential part of our daily routine, be it at work, on-the-go or at home. Whether on mobile or desktop, communications systems need to work flawlessly to meet mobility and productivity demands. Resellers should take trends and behavioural changes of users into consideration when choosing a vendor.
- Low administration effort: Customers always want decreasing administration efforts and then using this saved time and resource for new IT projects is possible.
- Hassle-free communication: End-users need to be able to effectively use the unified communication features in order to integrate them in their daily work routine. Go for a solution that is intuitive and easy to learn, use and manage.
- Flexible deployment options: Resellers should have the necessary tools to be able to find the right deployment option, matched to customers’ needs, for every client individually. However, this flexibility should not lead to a reduction in feature set, especially when deploying cloud versions of a software, platform or service.
Choose platforms developed with the reseller in mind
Vendors are seeing an increased demand for cloud-based solutions. It is predicted that by 2018 the Hosted PBX/UC sector will have driven over $18 billion in revenue. With this in mind, resellers should look to platforms that give them the ability to provide both a hosted and on-premise PBX, such as the latest 3CX Phone System, version 14. This flexibility is a welcome addition for resellers looking to expand their offering to include virtual PBX services.
Many business customers do not have the capacity or budget to go for an all-on-premise installation of an IP telephone system and outsourcing the infrastructure to the cloud is a cost-effective, but viable alternative. Therefore PBX systems that enable resellers hosting in their own data centre, ensure full control of the client’s data and information. Furthermore, resellers should move away from multi-account platforms and instead look at hosted platforms where each customer has their own separate virtual instance.
Vendors that drive innovation in UC is a key factor for success in terms of sales potential for the reseller. Some brands offer video conferencing solutions delivering plug-in free and client-less conferences through the web browser, based completely on WebRTC technology.
Resellers do not have an easy task in today’s highly competitive ICT market, but partnering with a strong vendor that has the ability to ensure tailor-made solutions and recognises the need to constantly innovate is a foundation to build strong sales now and into the foreseeable future.