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24 Seven Communications launches Pod at Channel Live!

In this interview Alex Grant, Director of 24 Seven Cloud Communications Limited, about the launch of their new UC platform, Pod, at Channel Live

Comms Business Magazine (CBM): You are launching into a crowded space, why is Pod a different proposition?

Alex Grant (AG): It is a crowded space, but it’s dominated by 1 player, Broadsoft. We know from feedback that there’s a lot of Broadsoft fatigue out there. The market has been crying out for something different for a long time now, with many Resellers expressing frustration of coming up against other Resellers selling exactly the same product. This is just creating a race to the bottom on price because that’s largely the only way they can differentiate themselves.

Pod will mean Resellers can stand out in the Broadsoft fog through a wide range of differentiators. Firstly, Pod has better crafted products that are perfectly suited to the changing ways employees and businesses work these days, as well as market leading call centre solutions. Pod also offers Resellers superior commercials, a much better user experience, and the chance to deal with a company (us!) that’s much easier to do business with.

CBM: What commercial models are you offering?

AG: From the start we want to offer Reseller partners superior commercials as just reward for the outstanding work they do growing business. So we’re offering more attractive margins for Resellers, which we’ll happily discuss when they sit down with us. And of course competitive pricing, which goes without saying.

On top of this, the different structure of our product packages will encourage more business customers to go for more than the standard package, thereby pushing Reseller revenues up further.

We’ve also kept our pricing simple, not charging where there’s no need to. For example, there’s no extra cost with Pod for unlimited soft clients, unlike other platforms.

There’s also some smaller but equally important elements in our tiered approach for Resellers, including free demo seats, and contributions to their marketing budgets to help them promote Pod in the marketplace.

CBM: How are you going to win the hearts and minds of the Reseller community?

AG: The fact that Pod is something fresh and different for Resellers will take away their frustration and nervousness of coming up against another Reseller offering the same product when pitching UC to a prospective business.

Secondly, we’re taking a very different approach for the Channel, to be the true Reseller partner. We won’t be selling Pod direct to businesses, everything will go through our partners, so we won’t be competing with them. Any lead we do get direct will be handed off to our Reseller partners.

Our approach will also be about quality rather than quantity. We’re looking to partner with a smaller number of Resellers, so the risk of them coming up against others selling Pod is much reduced compared with what happens now with other platforms.

24 Seven Cloud and Pod in particular is all about giving the Channel exactly what they need to help them do more business. We’re always listening and working to create a ‘Better Channel’, which is why we’re going to have a ‘Better Channel’ ideas board on our stand at Channel Live, inviting Resellers to have their say on what would help them do more business.

CBM: What is the underlying technology? Why did you choose that platform?

AG: Pod is powered by Metaswitch, the world’s leading cloud communications software company. We chose Metaswitch’s platform because it offered Resellers a unique combination – 1st mover advantage because we will be the first Carrier in the UK to launch this multi award-winning UC offering, coupled with an outstanding track record, with more than 25 million subscribers around the world.

Metaswitch’s track record is based on both substantial commercial success for partners, as well as the fact that the platform just works exceptionally well. It’s built from the ground up, with a suite of fully integrated components that are all designed to provide an unsurpassed and richer user experience. In contrast to other platforms that comprise multiple vendor products that are not always designed to work well together.

The platform also enjoys exceptional SIP hardware compatibility, working with any SIP compliant hardware, taking away another hassle for Resellers.

CBM: How is your proposition going to help Resellers close more deals?

AG: All of the above! We’ve made sure that we’ve packed our proposition with as many positive differentiators as possible which we know are valued by Resellers because it’s based on feedback we’ve had from the Channel.

We will be working with Reseller partners in a much more flexible way to help them close more deals. Whether it’s technical, sales or customer service support, we’re focused on being able to do what others can’t.

24 Seven Communications will be exhibiting at Channel Live (11th and 12th September) – sign up here to attend

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine