Distributor Nimans has claimed a sharp spike in demand for portable devices and says the emergence of ‘huddle-style’ meeting rooms compared to more traditional boardrooms is fuelling growth – and creating significant reseller success.
However Head of Conferencing Sales, Ian Brindle says too many traditional telecoms resellers are still ‘missing a trick’ compared to Systems Integrators offering a more universal ‘solutions driven’ kit bag.
“From an audio conferencing perspective there are two huge areas of growth,” Brindle highlighted. “The traditional analogue desktop market is steady however portable devices are literally flying out the door. These are more personal and very flexible, connected via USB or Bluetooth and all the major manufacturers are heavily involved in this sector. We shipped thousands last year and even more are being sold now.
“The adoption of Skype for Business audio conferencing is also on the rise with some big deployments taking place. I think one of the main reasons for this is that it’s a natural extension of Skye for Business desktop telephony.
“The final piece of the jigsaw is where end users are migrating from analogue desktop conferencing devices to IP replacements, that could be hosted or an on-premise PBX solution.” Brindle says Nimans can now offer resellers specialist support for larger auditorium room systems too, so all angles are covered.
Turning to the video world he highlighted: “It’s a very changing market in terms of the impact of the cloud. In the past enterprise businesses would have heavily invested in their infrastructure to facilitate their video estate. But all the major vendors are telling us that hardware infrastructure sales are declining because it’s more cost effective for customers to take their services via a cloud proposition – OPEX or CAPEX. This is a huge growth area as it’s a more cost effective, feature rich and flexible solution. Mid market and SMB sites are also following suit because it’s easily accessible now. Today resellers can deploy a simple video end point in a small business and provide the capability of integrating with Skype for Business and other video end points in a seamless way.
“We’ve realised that more and more traditional telecoms resellers will embrace video technology if it’s simple to deploy. So we’ve developed a strong portfolio of plug and play devices combined with the additional functionality of the cloud which has had a dramatic 38% increase in sales this year .
“We’ve taken a ‘least path of resistance’ approach. The barriers have been removed. For example we have a team of specialist Business Managers in place to help resellers with entry level certification. Historically they also had to invest in demo units etc but all that financial outlay has been taken away.”
Brindle concluded: “Conferencing has become much easier to sell. If they are already selling hosted telephony or even on premise, there will in the majority of cases be an audio and video requirement. It should be part and parcel of the overall discussion; not a peripheral sale. The main people that get it and are very successful are the Systems Integrators. But with the support mechanisms we have in place, a considerable additional revenue stream is available for all resellers. The opportunities are there. It’s not just new business; they should be revisiting their existing customer base too. Low cost of entry, plug and play technology and a more intuitive ‘meeting room culture’ is changing the conferencing market.”
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