Neil Watson at Viatel belives that the key to providing telephony communication systems to businesses with a large number of users is flexibility.
“Companies can be complex and may have one or two central HQs and a number of smaller satellite sites, each with their own voice needs.
These sites often need different communications systems – for example, larger offices may require an in-house IP PBX due to the volume of users, and ability of the in-house team to manage and monitor the VoIP system. The smaller satellite sites, on the other hand, may suit a hosted VoIP solution as the number of seats will be considerably smaller and the in-house management capabilities limited. The implication for the reseller is that they need to be adaptable and have the capability to provide to both large and small sites simultaneously in order to offer a complete, tailored voice solution, giving them a much higher chance in winning competitive tenders.
The PBX market today is also very commoditised. Larger resellers have no problem competing on price, making it hard for smaller resellers to keep up. As such, these resellers must offer other services to differentiate themselves. By partnering with a vendor who can support them and allow them to offer a full portfolio of voice and data solutions, they can position themselves as a convergence provider rather than just a voice or data reseller.
Furthermore, in the current economic climate, resellers also need to be able to cater to both larger and smaller companies. With many smaller companies being acquired by larger organisations, resellers may find their customers vanish, or become much larger than before very suddenly – and consequently find themselves in a tender process against much larger resellers or integrators when their contract is up for renewal. Consequently, it is important that resellers choose their vendors very carefully, so that they can provide both large and small solutions, taking on as little or as much responsibility as needed.”
“One of the most important advances of this year has been the launch of SIP trunking services. SIP trunking really marks the explosion of VoIP services, which can be run over data lines without the need for ISDN PRIs. SIP trunking services can be run over uncontended broadband, Leased Lines or Ethernet, and so offer the flexibility to enable many more businesses to adopt VoIP easily in both their large HQs and smaller satellite offices. With SIP trunking, resellers no longer need expensive IP gateways to provide their customers with VoIP.
SIP trunking also presents additional opportunities to the channel because it runs over a VPN, and so allows resellers to cross-sell products and services such as Software as a Service (SaaS) or other data products, and up-sell as company needs grow. It also allows companies to simplify their voice and data infrastructure, cutting costs and streamlining the company.”