Hosted Telephony - Channel Threat or Opportunity?
Hosted Telephony is still viewed as a threat, rather than embraced as an opportunity, by many in the UK comms channel.
Most experienced resellers have at very least made one Hosted Telephony sale. However, in discussions with existing and prospective channel partners, it’s very clear that many have actively chosen not to go back for more. A wide range of reasons are given, including;
- Bad initial experience
- Transition to monthly payment doesn’t suit their business model
- Deals are generally won on price, rather than value add
- Don’t want to hand over control of their customers to the service provider
- Don’t want to lose their healthy maintenance revenues
- Don’t want to lose income from lines and minutes
- Concerns over resilience
- Identified as lost system sales rather than incremental business
- No ability to move service providers during the life of the contract
- Reduces Reseller choice
- Impacts margins
- Ramifications for Preferred Partner arrangements
As a provider of soft, hard and virtual IP PBXs, sold through the channel to meet customer premise, hosted, cloud and hybrid requirements, SpliceCom are well placed to comment on the current UK telephony landscape from a position of independence.
In rejecting standard hosted offers from others, we’re seeing a definite swing towards “grow-your own” services from our business partners. Hosting their own Virtual IP PBXs in datacentres or their own premises and offering conventional one-to-many or managed one-to-one services allows our partners to address all of their concerns, including the pricing model. This is facilitated through SpliceCom Financial Services, which offers Capex and Opex options, alongside a unique Flexible Licence Programme. The latter provides a monthly pay-as-you-go scheme where the number of active licences can be decreased as well as increased. For the reseller there’s also the added advantage of being able to offer identical features and benefits across the board, totally independent of how the system is provisioned, the service is delivered and the customer chooses to pay.