Have You Got A Unified Message?
Posted on 31/08/2011
Richard Carter, Group Sales & Business Development Director At Nimans, assess the ever-evolving choice of comms solutions.
As the fast-moving world of communications continues to diversify, have you ever stopped to consider if there are any gaps in your sales armoury? The convergence of voice and data has triggered an explosion in different software and hardware-based technologies where a veritable array of applications and platforms generate many new revenue opportunities.
The challenge for today’s reseller is to identify the right product lines to maximise sales performance. It’s easy to become a jack of all trades and master of none of course, so it’s inevitable that many resellers specialise in certain areas of the market.
But as the whole industry pulls further away from its traditional PBX roots, it’s important that resellers move with the times and don’t get left behind. The Cloud and hosted telephony represent the dawning of another new era in a seemingly relentless evolution of our market.
The key question for many is: When do I jump aboard and which sector of the market do I embrace? It can be daunting prospect. Timing is crucial. UC is a classic example of this conundrum – but with momentum building on a daily basis, our advice is act now.
As a leading distributor, we face many of the same challenges as our customers. Back the wrong horse and our state-of-the-art warehouse will be full of stock no one wants. We rely on 30 years experience to make the right decisions as we work in close partnership with many global manufacturers. We take great pride in educating and advising our customers about which technologies they should be moving into, based on independent impartial advice. Ultimately there’s no golden rule, as every reseller if different. It’s about planning ahead and having the skills in place when required.
Over the last few years, our business model has changed dramatically. For example we are now a leading player in network services where we offer wholesale mobile minutes from O2 and work closely with leading hosted PBX telephony partner SIPCOM.
It’s all part of our ethos to be a single source solutions provider, keeping you in better control of your business. Buying from a single source brings many benefits – convenience and cutting overheads are two of the most tangible advantages from having one point of contact.
By now Unified Communications is on the radar of most resellers as an ever-growing plethora of UC enabled products, platforms and technologies, provides a powerful all-embracing sales solution. I’m sure much of this will again be in evidence at Summit South over the next few days, providing visitors with a great insight and opportunity to boost their knowledge.
For us pretty much everyone has accepted that UC is transforming the way we communicate - in the office, on the move and at home. This UC vision is shared by many key players, particularly lots of manufacturers who are investing millions of pounds in research and development. Already many big names are positioning new technology from feature-packed systems to headsets, conferencing units and handsets.
UC means different things to different people but one thing we should all agree on is how UC can make businesses perform 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. UC brings together the basic building blocks of smartphones, wireless laptops, software and connectivity. We are starting to see some big orders coming through for UC as momentum gathers pace - so from a reseller’s perspective, the time to act is now, don’t wait any longer.
End points play a crucial role in the UC process, as ultimately the performance of a sophisticated comms platform is only as strong as its weakest link. UC optimised headsets and handsets offer a great way for resellers to gather bigger chunks of business.
UC helps simplify the sales message – providing a convenient all encompassing umbrella for lots of different technologies. The way UC is evolving gives a reseller more scope to bring different things under a single banner and sell it as part of a seamless solution as opposed to it being disjointed. Systems, applications and peripherals can be put under one convenient banner in terminology that many customers will appreciate and relate to.
Integration is evolving all the time and becoming closer. UC is about bringing people and companies closer together. It’s a stepping stone between voice and data, and true convergence.
In these challenging economic times, demonstrating a quick return on investment is crucial. The days of buying a shiny new phone system because it looks good are long gone. Our most successful resellers continually plan ahead and are ready for the future – whatever is around the corner.