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January 24, 2018
By Bob Crissman, Vonage Senior Vice President and Channel Chief
Enterprises today need business communications systems that do two things: efficiently power internal communications and collaboration for employees and improve engagement with stakeholders outside the company to deepen relationships and increase customer loyalty.
As cloud communications services move upmarket, your clients need a trusted adviser. Gartner’s new UCaaS market guide for midsize enterprises says sales reached $1.5 billion in 2017; the consultancy predicts a 19 percent CAGR, culminating in nearly $3 billion in spend by the end of 2021.
To fulfill this promise, carriers need to deliver exceptional products and supporting infrastructure, on-point service delivery and ongoing training, and marketing and provisioning guidance. Cloud providers must support partners by sponsoring training events, providing personalized sales and training support and access to engineering staff, creating fast quoting tools and following up with reliable installs, and delivering exceptional ongoing care and support for customers.
Your job? The key to happy end customers is assembling an offering that includes a comprehensive feature set with all the tools and services they need to keep staff, third-party contractors, end customers and other stakeholders on the same page.
A “walled garden” where employees are on one system and everyone else who contributes to success is on another doesn’t serve business needs.
If you’re not selling unified communications as a service, UCaaS solutions deliver seamless integration with mission-critical cloud-based applications, such as CRM software and popular business-management applications, enabling people to be productive from any device, anytime, anywhere. Providing the ability to seamlessly integrate a cloud-based communications system with a company’s existing business applications, such as G-Suite, Office 365, Salesforce, Zoho and many others, adds tremendous value to the employee/partner/customer relationship.
As BYOD remains ubiquitous, and the workforce becomes more and more mobile, your customers need an efficient way to give employees mobile access to corporate voice telephony, video calling/conferencing, instant messaging and other tools. Our partners say that a main selling point of UCaaS is that it enables mobile workers to seamlessly access business communications tools from multiple devices.
In addition to integration features, UCaaS solutions give partners, including MSPs, CSPs and consultants, tools to help keep their customers’ businesses running smoothly. From fully hosted PBX technology in the cloud and SD-WAN technology to add reliability and optimize QoS and redundancy across a company’s multiple locations; to a fully hosted contact-center solution; to provisioning and support regardless of geographical distance, time zone or budget limitations, you’ll have the tools to better serve customers.
But the fact is, that’s not enough now.
Customers are looking for …
… new and innovative ways to build lasting and contextual connections with their own customers. For that, you need to be offering a communications platform as a service. CPaaS technology is a mature and rapidly expanding sector of cloud communications; consultancy UCStrategies offers a good explainer here. These bundles provide tools for voice, messaging and phone verification services, allowing developers to embed contextual, programmable communications into mobile apps, websites and business systems. Via APIs (a technology partners need to be up to speed on) CPaaS technology enables enterprises to easily communicate relevant information to their people in real time, anywhere in the world, through text messaging, chat, social media and voice.
For partners, integrating CPaaS offerings into UCaaS solutions allows you to greatly extend the cloud-communications tools you offer. With some basic development, you can help businesses keep all their stakeholders connected, with the ability to reach customers via their preferred mode of communications (voice, text, chat), thus creating a stronger and more personal level of engagement.
A recent IDC study, sponsored by my company, shows that companies using cloud communications – particularly a combination of UCaaS and CPaaS – improve speed-to-market, boost customer satisfaction and increase profitability by more than 30 percent. We continue to look for new and innovative ways to help our partners tailor their packaged offers for each customer’s individual needs. Make sure that any provider you work with has a story around helping you transform the way customers do business and, ultimately, drive better outcomes for your own firm, too.
As SVP and channel chief for Vonage, Bob Crissman oversees the channel team, working with the company’s network of master agents, sub agents, ISVs, VARs and other resellers to help them meet the full range of cloud communications needs for their enterprise customers.
Read more about:Agents
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