by Louis Hayner, CSO, Alteva
Not too many people argue that cloud communications and hosted solutions are the next wave of adoption, so how do you, the channel partner, get out of being perceived as a “typical telecom guy or gal”? It’s quite simple – embrace the power of the cloud.
The easiest way to do this is to team up with hosted service providers who are already versed in positioning and selling their own cloud solutions such as hosted VoIP and Microsoft Communication Services, including OCS, Exchange and SharePoint. By choosing a seasoned cloud or hosted solution will give your customer access to a tremendous amount of development components that have already been done. These pre-developed components can be easily adapted to work with any business process to get businesses integrated and realizing efficiencies in a fraction of the time and expense of what a premises based solution costs.
As a channel partner, you might have some concerns such as how can I embrace the cloud if I only have limited resources? How do we rebrand ourselves as solution specialists? Or how do they keep me selling their product as opposed to supporting? When looking at service providers, take time to learn about their channel program and its components. It should include information about how their program works, education about how to position your services properly, commission plans and a marketing plan that details what’s coming next, so you can future proof your business. Giving the wrong advice could potentially jeopardize your relationship with the end user. You want to make sure you represent a quality product, so you have more time to focus on what you do best – value based selling.
Education is crucial if the channel partner community is ever going to fully leverage the cloud. Revenue is only revenue if the cloud is sold, so it’s important to find the right solutions and applications to sell, but also partner with experienced and reliable service providers because your reputation is on the line.