Xelion has burst onto the scene just over eighteen months ago and is already starting to make significant noise in the UK market by capturing a little over ten thousand seats. Now on the eve of the next iteration of their hosted platform David Reynolds, UK MD, spoke to David Dungay about how integrating the platform into the desktop is going to set them apart.
Comms Business Magazine (CBM): What are you seeing in the UK landscape right now, is hosted voice still a fruitful place for partners?
David Reynolds (DR): Even though we have launched in other European markets I still see the UK as the biggest growth market for the coming years. If I was going to start a business today as a reseller I would start in the hosted voice market. Even though it feels like everyone is selling it and there is lots of competition there is still plenty of opportunities to win business.
One thing we have seen in the last few months is resellers starting to do bulk migrations in the same way they did in the broadband market 6-7 years ago. As the broadband market matured and resellers became more confident in supporting it we started to see entire bases being shifted from one place to another. We are starting to see that now with batches of hosted customers. It’s great for competition and it enables the reseller to do whatever it takes to retain their customers.
CBM: Tell me about the new release, what is different?
DR: Xelion’s new desktop application is built upon the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) architecture that sets the foundation for Xelion’s ongoing integration within Windows and the Microsoft Eco-System.
Mobile apps have been so successful because they integrate directly in to the operating system. You download an app onto your phone and you know it is going to work perfectly. Our approach allows us to hook into the underlying architecture with Windows for a much more unified experience. We will integrate into other desktop products in the future and continue our integration into Office 365, we already integrate with the calendars, directories and those type of things. If you look at Microsoft 365 today you get a lot more for your money as they are continuing to put applications into 365 all the time. We can be incredibly agile by using UWP to plug into those products, but it also gives our partners a great USP.
CBM: How are these integrations going to help your partners sell Xelion?
DR: A big trend happening across the SME sector right now is around the Business Intelligence market. We are looking to integrate with products such as PowerBI, people are already using it for things like ticketing and management and it’s great for delivering telephony analysis and performance statistics. We know customers are going to get it because they have it in the Office 365 bundle already. It’s a huge cost saving for the customer and it gives our partners a stickier product. We will continue to integrate into products the customer is using to ensure our partners have the right tools to retain their customers.
One of the biggest pain points we get from our customers is around call recording storage. It’s a real unknown cost for many resellers and customers when they move from an on-premise solution to a cloud based service. We have developed a tool within the platform to allow customers to store those calls on their own platform, on their own servers or even on their OneDrive. With customers using the Xelion mobile app more, which also records calls, this is going to be a big pull for partners coming to us.
CBM: What can we expect out of Xelion over the next 12 months?
DR: We have just appointed out first UK distributor, Abzorb, they have spent the last year integrating Xelion into their ordering portal and management systems. For people that want to sell Xelion but don’t want to source their own equipment, do their own trunk termination, and just want a buy a fully bundled platform including handset and minutes, Abzorb now offer that for us. We expect to announce another relationship next year also which will give us presence in a different region so watch out for that.
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