Customers looking for greater collaboration and hybrid working is fuelling rising interest in unified communications (UC), which should put the technology at the top of the channel agenda.
TelcoSwitch is urging more partners to join the dots and recognise that there is strong demand for unified comms as a service (UCaaS).
Now is the time for the channel to get a firm grip on UCaaS and position themselves to be seen by customers as the source of expertise on the technology and hybrid working strategy.
Sam Giggle, head of sales at TelcoSwitch, said the channel needed to take advantage of current market conditions.
“The channel is experiencing a unique period and the opportunities for growth are immense. The demand for UCaaS solutions is clear to see, with TrustRadius research reporting that 67% of companies increased spending on communications in 2021 to ensure video conferencing was included,” he said.
“The UK collaboration software market is expected to grow from £691m to almost £1bn over the next five years. This growth represents a significant opportunity to join a UCaaS marketplace where cloud-based collaboration solutions continue to gain popularity,” he added.
Giggle said those with the right knowledge could develop a customer relationship that would last through the sales cycle.
“The ability to act as consultants from pre-sales through to implementation and in-life service management is priceless, especially when combined with other managed services. We have seen over 30% growth in our partner base for back-to-back years since the start of 2020, so clearly this fact is not lost on UK channel businesses,” he said.
Those in the channel looking for a good return on investment in skills and UCaaS should note the analyst numbers around the market. The expectations are that demand will only grow further, with Global Market Insights reporting that the video conferencing market will break through the $50bn mark by 2026.
“Understanding your customers is critical to choosing your solutions and how you approach the market. Simple questions such as, ‘Does your business have a single site or do you have offices in multiple locations across the UK, or even internationally?’ can be a great way to start building a comprehensive picture of the complexities of that customer’s operations, including their existing technology investments and day-to-day service expectations. This helps foster that relationship by building confidence in your understanding of their needs,” said Giggle.
“Collaboration tools and video conferencing software are very much front of mind for business leaders looking to enhance efficiency. Now is a great time for channel organisations to embrace UCaaS and see the benefits in the months and years to come,” he added.
Most also expect hybrid working to remain a permanent feature, with firms and staff unlikely to go back to a Monday to Friday, nine to five operation.
Speaking at the recent launch of its partnership with RingCentral to boost video meeting experiences, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprises’ head of the Rainbow Office business unit, Laure Timperman, stated: “It’s clear that remote and hybrid working is here to stay.”
Sahil Rekhi, vice-president of global srategic partnerships at RingCentral, said: “Our focus is on helping organisations to support their people working from anywhere.”