How UCaaS Can Be a Gold Mine for MSPs

Resellers can add considerable value in UCaaS deployments.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

July 15, 2019

4 Min Read

Forward-thinking MSPs are tapping into the growing UCaaS market to generate new revenue streams and create stickier customer relationships.

The major UCaaS providers have significant gaps in their IT and communications portfolios and skill sets, which MSPs can address, but selecting the right solution and provider remains a daunting task.


Frost & Sullivan’s Elka Popova

During her presentation titled “Strategies for MSP Success in the Burgeoning UCaaS Market,” part of the marketing and technology track sponsored by Nextiva at Channel Partners Evolution, Sept. 9-12, in Washington, D.C., Elka Popova, Frost and Sullivan vice president and senior fellow of digital transformation, will help MSPs develop sustainable UCaaS strategies.

In a Q&A with Channel Partners, Popova gives a sneak peek of the information she plans to share during her presentation.

Channel Partners: Does UCaaS present a big opportunity for MSPs? If so, how?

Elka Popova: The North American hosted IP telephony and UCaaS market is growing steadily as the small-business customer segment gradually matures and penetration in the midmarket and enterprise segments accelerates. Evolving technologies and business models, along with increasing customer awareness of cloud communications benefits, are driving adoption across different business sizes and industries, and creating growth opportunities for service providers. Frost and Sullivan projects the North American hosted IP telephony and UCaaS user base to grow at a 23% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2017 to 2024.

We recently compiled a list of 20 top UCaaS providers offering products and services via channel partners.

CP: Can MSPs successfully compete with the big UCaaS providers? What can they offer that the big providers can’t?

EP: Today, businesses can choose from an expanding array of options as providers of various backgrounds and skill sets launch hosted IP telephony and UCaaS offerings to address growing customer demand. Providers differentiate based on: brand; technology foundation; UCaaS feature set, price and service performance; broader portfolio; network footprint; customer service and support; and other factors. However, UCaaS buyers are increasingly savvy and are applying greater scrutiny when selecting their providers.

MSPs and other resellers can add considerable value in UCaaS deployments and address customer preference for a one-stop shop for both equipment and services that are not commonly delivered by telcos and other service providers. More specifically, resellers can differentiate and generate additional revenues by providing the following:

  • Customer IT/telecom infrastructure and needs assessments.

  • Implementation and integration services.

  • Customer onboarding, training and adoption services.

  • Solution life-cycle management.

  • User devices, networking gear, gateways, session border controllers (SBCs) and other products to ensure higher cloud services performance.

  • Additional software (for example, productivity and vertical applications) that can be bundled and/or integrated with UCaaS.

CP: What are some of the the components of a successful UCaaS deployment model? Are there common mistakes to avoid?

EP: Unwavering commitment to innovation and a robust growth vision can determine a provider’s ability to address elevated customer requirements and succeed in the increasingly competitive hosted IP telephony and UCaaS marketplace. MSPs must develop differentiated value propositions and sustainable growth strategies, as well as effectively execute on their visions to withstand competition and thrive.

Hear from Spergel and a great lineup of speakers at Channel Partners Evolution who will help you improve your business. It all happens Sept. 9-12, in Washington, D.C. Register now!

IT, data and telecom resellers that do not possess the capabilities to deploy and manage homegrown or third-party UCaaS platforms can choose among several different partnership models offered by UCaaS providers, as follows:

  • Private-label resale — offers the greatest margins and brand equity.

  • Co-branding — offers solid margins and brand equity.

  • Resale under the UCaaS provider brand — offers lower margins and limited brand equity.

  • Agent model — offers the lowest margins and no brand equity.

It is critical for MSPs and other resellers to …

… select a partner that: has a solid track record in next-generation services; is financially stable and growing; and offers a robust channel partner program and various resale options.

CP: What do you hope attendees learn and can put into practice from your presentation?

EP: The goal of this session is to educate attendees about the growth opportunities in UCaaS and provide them with a deep understanding of the different strategies that can help them succeed. More specifically, the session will enable participants to:

  • Identify the key benefits that resellers can deliver in UCaaS deployments.

  • Learn about decision-makers’ UCaaS provider selection criteria.

  • Understand the pros and cons of the different partnership models.

  • Prepare to select the right partner to succeed in the UCaaS market.

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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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