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CounterPath preparing for UCC battle in SME space

The unified comms specialist is competing in a crowded SME market and the expectation is that customer segment will continue to be fought over

CounterPath has continued on its mission to increase the penetration of its UCC offering into the SME market via the channel with that market remaining a competitive space.

At the enterprise end of the market some of the big brands are slugging it out for dominance, with Microsoft pushing its collaboration tools and Cisco also in with those customers pitching its offering, but at the SME level there are more opportunities for a wider number of vendors and their channel partners.

"In the SME space it's still pretty much a free for all. The major change is that people are trying the Microsoft Office 365 experience, but we're getting a lot of feedback though that users want a bit more flexibility," said Todd Carothers,  chief revenue officer at CounterPath "SMB market is very strong. There's a lot of opportunity there and it makes up most of the business."

"We see UCC as the battleground application to lead the next evolution of the SMB and enterprise communication space. I really think that's where, where the battle is going to happen," he added.

He said that SME customers were looking for options that avoided tying them into a specific roadmap and many had built their approach on open source compatible offerings.

"Some vendors are taking technology products and services and giving it to the customer and saying, 'Put this in your workflow'. the customers are actually being much more demanding, as they should, and are saying, 'No, I want you to put my workflow into your product. The subtlety there is very critical to be successful in the market," he added.

The firm has spent the last quarter improving its screen sharing technology and providing a zero download approach to those users that face restrictions on work equipment.

In addition, CounterPath has also ramped up the vertical market offerings to provide those channel partners that sell into specific areas, like healthcare and retail, with a more tailored pitch.

"We are going to drive more and more demand for the workflow to be implemented into the product so that's where we win in the market and we're able to address that capability into the solutions into these various verticals," he said.

After following an ad hoc approach to the channel the firm took the decision 18 months ago to increase its indirect support with formal programmes and Carothers said it had continued to see an interest from partners looking for a UCC solution.

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