Nimans Is The Perfect UC Host
Posted on October 15, 2012
‘Wake up and smell the UC coffee’ is the message from Nimans’ Richard Carter who is urging resellers to adopt a different mindset - as the dawning of a ‘brave new world' in business communications appears on the horizon.
Unified Comms – and the rapid growth of hosted solutions - should be at the centre of their strategic planning according to the group’s Sales and Business Development Director – who says mimicking mobile phone cost structures is the best way forward.
In a bold visionary outlook he predicts a revolution is around the corner but concedes ‘we are still only at the beginning’. He emphasised: “We are seeing UC continue to gain traction in the enterprise arena, with tens of thousands of end points deployed. Many are PBX replacements, utilising Microsoft Lync at sites -such as in education and local government - that require simple telephony functionality.
“In SMB the big bang is still to happen, but it’s definitely coming and as a result we are having to change our own approach. From discussions with resellers it’s clear we need to give them far more support than other product sets. It’s our goal to be a total UC service provider with all the associated network infrastructure.”
Carter added: “UC is very clever when it works but there are still a lot of grey areas. It’s not a pipe dream, it’s happening, just not on a universal basis - with many deployments based only on presence and instant messaging which is nowhere near the full story.
“Moving forward the reality for us as a community is that companies wanting simple telephony won’t necessarily have a phone system. It could well be hosted. Underestimate this at your peril!
“Resellers need to up-skill and get ready for the future. What’s happening in enterprise will filter down to SMB, based on desktop and voice applications over a network.
“There’s a mindset change needed about how to price hosted – a fixed cost per month per user. It’s very much like a mobile phone tariff; manageable chunks of perhaps £15 per month. It’s about personalising the cost per month per individual.
“A mobile phone is a very expensive item when you look at the cost of ownership over five years, but people don’t tend to view it that way. In the future when companies take on staff they will also allocate a monthly budget for voice and e-mail.
“As a distributor it’s important to evolve. We will always sell traditional phone systems but that will never be 100% of our business any more. There’s growing momentum around hosted and it’s time that resellers realised this and grasped the nettle.
“I don’t think resellers in SMB are getting the message. They are not seeing it because it’s not really happening yet. Their customers are still asking for phone systems and that’s predominately what they are selling. There’s a bit of dabbling going on but nothing more.”
UC means different things to different people and from a reseller's perspective it can be confusing when discussing this technology with customers. Carter noted: "But one thing we should all agree on is how UC can make businesses performer smarter and more efficiently, ensuring people can work much more closely wherever they are, based on instant and integrated communication. People not just talking on their phones and mobiles but also via computers. The importance of high quality end points shouldn’t be under estimated as any UC system is only as strong as its weakest link.”
Carter concluded: “For me there needs to be a mental change in terms of how you charge for the use and how it is delivered. In the future if companies want to embrace UC then hosted is a very strong contender.”