Learn tips on how partners can create a solution for future growth and revenue opportunities.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

February 25, 2020

5 Min Read
Unified Communications

Unified communications (UC) adoption is accelerating, particularly in the cloud, and the pace is expected to remain brisk through 2020.

So what’s driving today’s UC adoption? Changing workforce dynamics, growing prominence of unified communication as a service (UCaaS), and virtualization of data and devices all are driving factors.

Collaboration, AI, meeting services, connectivity and contact center are all key components, and the ability to integrate them is what separates the winners from the losers.

During this presentation, “The Future of UC,” March 10, part of the technology conference track at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo, Raymond Nelson, Intelisys’ vice president of solution sales, will lead a panel discussion on how to do UC best. You can learn tips on how partners can create a solution for future growth and revenue opportunities.


8×8’s Jamaal Savwoir

Panelists will include: Jamaal Savwoir, 8×8‘s director of channel sales engineering; Scott Kinka, Evolve IP‘s chief technical and product development officer and founding partner; and Mike Wolfington, Intelisys‘ director of sales.

In a Q&A with Channel Partners, Savwoir and Kinka provide a sneak peek of the information they plan to share with attendees.

Channel Partners: What is driving today’s UC adoption?

Jamaal Savwoir: The way people work has changed and legacy, premises-based solutions are not keeping up. Businesses have to operate at the speed of the consumer, empower distributed teams to collaborate, and gather the communications data analytics to drive business insights.

Join Savwoir, Kinka and 100+ industry-leading speakers, more than 6,400 partners and 300+ key vendors, distributors and master agents at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo, March 9-12. Register now!


Evolve IP’s Scott Kinka

Scott Kinka: Workstream collaboration is what is driving UC adoption. Ninety one of the Fortune 100 are using Microsoft Teams. Cisco Webex Teams is growing dramatically. Slack continues to have its base and it is growing. Consumerization of IT is forcing us to start with a topic and work backwards. So phones are important but are honestly just one of the channels that employees expect. And the data that goes into workstream collaboration apps are coming from email and documents that used to be backed up and portable. That is not the case any longer.  Businesses will choose a workstream product and talk with UC providers about how to integrate enterprise voice features to it.

CP: What’s the best way to integrate all of the key components to maximize demand and profitability?

JS: It starts with reducing the silos and leveraging suppliers that can deliver the most functionality from a single platform. Businesses that invest in UCaaS today will grow tomorrow, and the solution needs to grow with them. That could mean out-of-the box integrations alongside an integration framework that can power the next generation of customer engagement solutions. It could also mean the ability to add on contact-center-as-a-service (CCaaS) seats without losing the critical connections to the rest of the business that operates outside the contact center. Once that customer is yours, the right solution can help you capture future spend and maximize profitability.

SK: Decide on the application that is not voice that is most important to the business, and start there. You’ll never integrate to everything well, so pick the app that matters most and integrate your apps to it. Is it Microsoft Teams? If so, integrate voice to it and …

… integrate Salesforce to it. Is it Salesforce? Similar strategy.

CP: What are the do’s and don’ts of creating a solution for future growth and increased revenue?

JS: Work with companies that value partner relationships in every opportunity. Ask critical questions about experience not only selling to the customers you care about, but delivering the solution and providing world-class, global support. Live demos, proofs of concept, and opening your customers’ eyes to the art of the possible can all play key roles in growing your revenue.

Some pitfalls to avoid would be creating solutions around technologies that don’t scale, don’t meet stringent security and compliance requirements, or rely on third parties for features and benefits that are critical to your customers’ success.

SK: Do understand what your business is trying to accomplish (besides replacing legacy technology). Do consider your user base and what they want. Do write a requirements document before engaging vendors and adjust it as you learn more. Don’t replace any communication technology individually without considering the entire strategy even if you’re not going to do it all at one time.

CP: What do you hope attendees can learn and make use of from your session?

JS: UCaaS is not just about cost savings. There are many opportunities to integrate data, empower distributed workforces, and help companies remain competitive in the customer experience economy.

SK: I want attendees to learn that the sales discussion around communications has intrinsically changed to an application-centric, collaboration-driven conversation. It used to be that meetings and chat were the things you got with your phone system. Now your collaboration decisions will dictate your phone system discussion.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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