Posted on 09/03/2012
Keep your options open is the message for mid-market success from Nimans. “It’s a tough one to even identify where SMB ends, enterprise starts and mid -market sits in between,” explained Head of System Sales, Paul Burn. “System manufacturers have introduced such broad and scalable platforms that they are not really pigeon holed into one specific zone. The same system could easily sit across one extension or over 1,000, creating greater flexibility to open-up more reseller opportunities.”
Paul says assessing market trends can be an equally tricky process. “The hardest thing is to know what you have lost because how do you track something you never knew was there in the first place? In the past there may have been a reduction in CCU numbers but it wasn’t so much a drop but a shift. One brand would grow at the expense of another. But when you start to assess the growth of cloud-based and hosted sales, that’s a different matter, as apart from end points there’s no obvious barometer. It is happening? Most definitely yes. You can see that by significant growth in IP and SIP handset sales spread across the whole sector, from enterprise down to SMB. Here at Nimans we’ve introduced a dedicated hosted solution as part of a flourishing network services division and momentum is building on a weekly basis.
“The whole arena continues to move and diversify. There’s lots going on but for me one rival technology isn’t the death of the other. There’s room for all. The core of the market is still based on traditional PBX technologies but the impact of The Cloud continues to grow especially in the mid-market and beyond.”
Cloud-based applications attached to a traditional PBX represent a further choice for resellers and their customers, Paul emphasised.
“The most successful resellers operating in the mid market have embraced a mix of different technologies. They are a jack of all trades and a master of all. I was with one large reseller on theSouthCoasta few weeks ago. They built up their business on just one system manufacturer but they’ve now expanded this to three – taking on a second system and a hosted platform. Why have they done this? Because they’ve been asked for it from their customers. That’s the tipping point. Timing is crucial for any reseller. There’s a lot of hype around any new technology, not just in our industry. Take televisions for example where we’ve gone from HD to 3d to internet ready. Sometimes you can get too far ahead of the game too soon.
“Here at Nimans we are very adept at advising our customers on when they should embrace new markets. The advantage we have is down to the breadth of knowledge and breadth of products we have across five system brands. We don’t suffer from the bias of one but have a much more balanced and rounded viewpoint based on 30 years of service.”
Paul says mobility and consumerisation are two other important mid market influencing factors, often working seamlessly together. “They very much slip into the same category as people engaging with technology and gadgets at home, want to bring them into the workplace. These are pretty much mobile based; smartphones being the most obvious example. People don’t want multi devices any more. They want just one number. Interestingly this concept has been around for a while. It used to be centred around an office landline number but now due to the popularity of e-mail and text interaction, there’s a shift towards using mobile numbers instead. A new generation is coming along.”
Paul concluded: “Hosted and IP PBX bring more flexibility to the market. I think where the Cloud is concerned, there’s a challenge to overcome, as people can be spending a lot of money on something they can’t physically see or touch.
“From a reseller’s perspective the key to success is having a good mix of systems and solutions. It’s not all going down one particular route, no market ever does. You’ve got to have a selection of products to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.”