Managed Services: A Major Shift

Phillip Toms, Partner Sales Manager at InTechnology, says Managed services are now seen by many channel partners as the next business imperative, primarily because they provide a real opportunity to move to a new more sustainable and profitable business model which provides monthly recurring revenues – a major shift for many resellers.

Comms Business Magazine: What evidence do you have that resellers are turning to managed services to change their business model?

Phillip Toms, Partner Sales Manager, InTechnology. The recent Convergence Summit North was evidence that as a vendor, InTechnology Plc is ahead of the curve when it comes to managed services. Channel partners – for example the traditional PBX and telco resellers – are choosing to work with companies such as InTechnology because they can then procure multiple managed services from one single vendor. With its own UK MPLS network, a wide portfolio of voice and data solutions, its own state of the art data centre and wholesale rates, InTechnology is enabling resellers to layer services across the network and offer them to the end user as and when the demand arises. It’s less time intensive, hassle free and much more attractive.

Resellers can now white label Unified Communications solutions and drive them out to market. And there’s no doubting the demand from end users. A Hosted Unified Communications Service can provide businesses with integrated e-mail, instant messaging, presence, shared calendars, shared desktops, video calling, conferencing, and integrated hosted IP telephony on a pay-as-you-go basis.

The goal of managed services within the Unified Communications/cloud environment is to reduce the time, cost and frustration associated with unnecessary delays in decision making – to bring together all the tools of communication which we use, thereby allowing users to make decisions on how to communicate with each other based on the presence status of their contacts.

Comms Business: Are voice services an integral part of that UC offering?

Phillip Toms: Last year InTechnology launched the UK’s first hosted Unified Communications service with fully featured voice on demand. Until that point, fully featured voice had been the missing link. As a result of the company’s partnership with Microsoft Gold Voice Specialist Partner POSTcti, customers can now take advantage of a hosted Microsoft Office Communication Server service which is integrated with hosted enterprise class IP telephony service at the desktop. This results in a reduction in unwanted email and voice messages of 50 per cent, in addition to cost savings and a reduced carbon footprint.

It’s welcome news to many staff that are overloaded by the sheer number of devices and applications and associated messages and calls. A typical office worker may have a desktop PC or laptop, mobile phone or PDA, office desk phone and instant messaging, all of which are managed separately with multiple contact lists and inboxes. Add to this the constantly increasing quantity of e-mails, phone calls and voice messages to both fixed and mobile devices every day, and you are left with an overworked and frustrated workforce.

Comms Business: Is video communications at last finding a market within the UC applications umbrella?

Phillip Toms: High definition online video and conferencing features allow businesses to save costs, time and carbon emissions by offering a high enough quality alternative to face-to-face meetings and conferences. It is estimated that regular business travellers spend eleven days a year on avoidable or unnecessary travel, wasting at least £1,700 per person. InTechnology’s hosted Unified Communications service now offers a viable alternative.

Key benefits of Unified Communications:
Eliminating 50% of unwanted emails and voice messages

Greatly reducing communication latency

Speeding up the decision making process

One inbox, one contact list

Speeding up and simplifying your communications

People centric and collaboration

Cloud Computing is revolutionising IT in the following ways:

Implementation: Quicker, smoother deployments

Fiscal planning: Predictable, transparent, and simpler costs

Prioritisation: Less time on operational, more time on strategic

Reduce Risk: Leverage the technical expertise within your service provider

Cloud computing and the potential of both fully managed and SaaS solutions are now clearly on the radar and if clients are keen to move down this route then providers must be able to offer them a safe and painless journey. Partnering with InTechnology, resellers can allow their customers to benefit from the flexibility of a centralised solution that integrates with their day-to-day business processes, with minimal upfront investment and full 24×7 support.”

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