Intermedia Makes Its Hosted PBX Pitch to 100 MSPs

Intermedia Makes Its Hosted PBX Pitch to 100 MSPs

For the second time in roughly 12 months, Intermedia is pitching hosted unified communications and hosted PBX services at its annual partner summit. But this time around Intermedia has adjusted its strategy quite a bit. Here's the update, including perspectives from Chief Marketing Officer Manlio Carrelli (pictured).

Back in mid-2010, Intermedia's hosted PBX strategy depended entirely on software from Unison Communications. But some partners balked, asking for integration with Microsoft Exchange. "You spoke, we listened," said CEO Serguei Sifinski. Fast forward to 2011, and Intermedia's hosted PBX system -- available as a white label service to VARs and MSPs -- now supports Exchange.

While addressing roughly 100 MSPs, Intermedia Chief Marketing Officer Manlio Carrelli said its time for channel partners to grab hold of the voice opportunity. He noted four reasons why hosted PBX services are catching on with customers:

  1. Users gain a professional front-end that they can access from anywhere
  2. Many businesses are looking to replace their legacy on-premise PBX systems, which require expensive adds, moves and changes each time the company adds, subtracts or relocates staff.
  3. Businesses want flexible support for mobile and remote employees, ensuring a phone number is assigned to a person rather than a specific device in a specific location.
  4. Hosted PBXes are part of the broader drive toward unified communications, where VoIP gain application intelligence.
No doubt, hosted PBXes are a growing trend. At the recent Parallels Summit in Orlando, Fla., guest speakers estimated that MSPs could generate up to $50 per user per month, with 35 percent margins, for hosted PBX and unified communications services. However, some MSPs continue to worry about dial tone reliability in the cloud. Intermedia's Carrelli didn't mention pricing or margin strategies during his keynote but the conference agenda includes hosted PBX technical sessions. Our team is heading to those sessions now.

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