CBM: Are you seeing businesses turn to consumer apps during this period?
MW: In the current situation any technology means to keep the lines of communication going can be seen as acceptable, but this is not new. Most of us use WhatsApp groups despite it not being the best medium to conduct business on, but it works, and its often such consumer applications that drive the understanding and uptake in use of more advanced business applications such as Horizon Collaborate, Teams, Slack etc.
The dangers of employees using consumer applications for business is the general lack of control and visibility that is provided both from an IT standpoint and for the user. If you were managing a Sales team in the current circumstances and they were using web conferencing tools that weren’t integrated into your wider telephony solution, how could you assess their efficiency and productivity as there would be no ability to review call stats. For the user itself it is important to have control over the conference itself – the ability to mute participants if required, accept or dismiss participants on the call as an example. Also, from a QoS perspective it will be difficult to assure the right level of access on the service as it will be dependent on the users network.
Gamma would encourage Channel Partners to provide a full-blown UC solution that is already integrated into the existing customers telephony, meaning easy deployment and implementation.
CBM: What are you doing to help partners get through this situation right now?
MW: Whilst there are some elements we can’t control, like the need for payment breaks on connectivity services, Gamma has worked quickly to address what we can control individually.
Beginning in April we launched a raft of measures, immediately providing free of charge support in order for our channel partners to meet customer demand. These measures focussed on SIP Trunking, Microsoft Teams Direct Routing, Horizon Cloud PBX, Horizon Collaborate and MyInbound. These solutions provide businesses with home working, business continuity and capacity management capabilities, to keep customers operating as efficiently as possible.
We will support these measures until the 30th of June and may decide to extend this period according to the changing human and business environment. Broadly they fall into the following areas:
• Existing customers entering ‘hibernation’ – free of charge reductions to users/channels, no early termination charges.
• Helping new customers – free of charge services; video and home working, hosted PBX, SIP channels (inc Microsoft Teams Direct Routing) and enhanced cloud resilience
• Upgrading existing customer services – free of charge upgrades; to provide resilience, more features and full blown UCaaS
The support package aims to provide simple and straight forward help to Gamma’s channel partners. No contract extensions or roll overs, no reduction in bundles, services or quality. New customers can access 30 days contract terms and still enjoy the free of charge period.