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Counterpath ramping up channel efforts to get UCC to SME base

Unified comms player has identified the channel as the best route to a small business customer base that is currently missing out on the benefits of UCC

Unified comms player Counterpath is looking to increase its levels of channel activity as it rolls out collaboration services to the SME user base. 

The firm has developed its own softphones and collaboration tools and has been increasing its indirect sales with that business increasing by 30 to 40%. 

Todd Carothers,  EVP of sales, marketing and product at Counterpath, said it had moved to increase its channel programmes 18 months ago and had the Stretto UCC solution that would work for partners. 

“We have a channel programme started about 18 months ago," he added "When I talk about channel in this case, I'm talking about traditional VARs.” 

One of the reasons why the firm has identified the channel as one of the primary routes-to-market has been because of the opportunity in the SME space.  Carothers said that a significant number of those customers did not use unified comms and many were trying to use consumer tools without understanding the benefits that a business solution could offer. 

The firm shared numbers from IDC, which is forecasting that 72.5% of businesses with 100 – 999 employees use VoIP but only 36% utilise UCC.  Some of the reasons for the low adoption levels include concerns over costs and integration issues with legacy systems. 

SMEs are using what they're using like WhatsApp. So we're focused on that market,” he said “We're really excited about it. It's entirely a 100% SaaS business and we did it for the channel partners, they need to participate in that.” 

"We have sold UCC via our direct sales team but wanted to ratchet up our offering for the channel. We took the time to listen to our channel partners and their customers to develop a scalable solution,” he added “The early success of our channel partners has proven we have the right solution that meets these challenging requirements.” 

Carothers said that it was focused on the call centre market but there were also other verticals that were looking for UCC support, including retail and health and it would be pointing partners in that direction. 

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