Cloud opportunities for resellers

Are cloud-based services a key to building business value for the reseller?
Is the OPEX based deployment model best for the customer, the reseller or both parties?

According to Tony Martino, Managing Director of Tollring, the Cloud is changing the way customers are buying their telecoms services so providers must adapt fast.  The big opportunity is that the Cloud opens up access to a host of new online services that providers can exploit to increase revenues and deliver greater value to end customers.

More and more end customers are reviewing their business processes and communications strategies as they consider migrating to Cloud based offerings.  The availability of business intelligence solutions, with the same level of functionality that is present in premise-based offerings, is one of the key factors behind their move to cloud telephony.

For the industry, Cloud technology has been and continues to be extremely disruptive.  The channel is being forced to embrace cloud services to remain competitive and they must now focus on the business value of every solution that they sell.  Understanding customer requirements is imperative so that they can deliver the most appropriate solution for each and every customer.

The OPEX model delivers recurring revenue to the reseller and no up-front capital investment to the customer – a win win.  As customers move to the cloud they minimise their risk. They can now pay only for what they use, switch solutions if they don’t see the value and monitor the performance of their chosen technology.   Customers can also demand working pilots before committing to a company-wide roll-out with the supplier having to prove a return on investment before adoption.  And once the customer contract is signed, the supplier has the same vested interest as the customer to monitor usage and drive business value.

Although the risk element has increased, the Cloud has created opportunities for all tiers of channel partner to sell a wider range of solutions that add value to their product portfolio.  The most successful telecoms resellers are those that deliver phone systems that are integrated with call management services, enabling customers to access centralised call analytics via a single secure web portal.  The best results are achieved when providers sell this intelligence and the value of the information before they sell the PBX and technology.

Partners can choose to create their own Cloud, offer services hosted in their supplier’s Cloud or simply to offer Software as a Service without the risk or cost of maintaining their own.  Hosted call management delivers valuable analytics to resellers and service providers across multiple customers, providing valuable insight which was not readily available through premise-based solutions.  It is quick and easy to provision, support and manage with no on-site installation. The Cloud means you can on-board customers in seconds.

Customers benefit from 24/7 access to call analytics from anywhere on any device.  The latest features are automatically made available so there is also no requirement for involvement from IT departments.

As quoted in Comms Business May 15.