By Alan Rihm, CEO, CoreDial
The way businesses work has changed, and remote work capabilities have become must-haves for any organization grappling with work-from-home. If channel partners want to meet these businesses’ needs (and tap into the booming unified communications and collaboration market by doing so), being able to offer reliable, feature-rich video and collaboration tools is a must.
Though there was a trend toward adopting these solutions before 2020, the pandemic accelerated it. According to IDC, the unified communications market grew more than 25% in 2020 – having surged 47% year over year in the second quarter. At the same time, some video collaboration services reported that attendees swelled to more than 324 million in March 2020, and sales grew 370% in the last three months of 2020 – exceeding $880 million.
The immediate shift to work-from-home and social distancing ignited the need for remote collaboration. Now, a little more than a year later, the trend has become a norm.
For resellers, the old ways of selling communication – which often started and stopped with voice – are now simply not enough. Collaboration, pervasive chat, online meetings, and similar services have become table stakes. Resellers can and should tap into this change in demand and the growth opportunity it has created or risk losing customers to over-the-top video providers eager to get their hooks in.
The fastest way to get into the hearts and minds of businesses is to deliver the feature-rich services they crave. Now that organizations are accustomed to functioning with remote workforces, they recognize the need to improve their communications capabilities. In fact, Gartner predicts the global market for software that specifically combines collaboration and communication for distributed workforces will nearly double by 2023 to $4.8 billion.
The questions channel partners need to ask themselves are:
At the center of these questions are three essential capabilities. Mastering and then offering these services can radically change the financial outlook of any channel partner.
The services are:
Enterprise-scale video must be high-quality, secure, and easy to use. It must integrate well with collaboration features such as screen-sharing and whiteboarding and be suitable for both small and large groups.
Voice remains a critical service, but it is being reimagined as an integrated feature of the collaboration suite. Voice – with or without video – will always remain a natural point of escalation for customer service, support, and sales, especially when automated customer service features and artificial intelligence cannot provide a sufficient answer or resolve a case.
Always-on messaging threads with topic-based breakouts are now typical for distributed teams involved in various projects and workflows. These features elegantly keep team members on task and up to date, especially when integrated with a collaboration suite or application. If it isn’t already, persistent chat will soon be a table stake for enterprise-grade communications.
As many businesses consider new communications solutions that meet long-term organizational needs, channel partners need to reassess their portfolios, scrutinize how they align with the changing market, and consider what go-forward solutions they should offer their customers. The answer is simple: lead with the technology that is highly demanded, robust, and enables you to add other capabilities that will satisfy business needs for years to come. A video-centric strategy satisfies market needs, generates high margins, and delivers tangible benefits that keep customers loyal. It is the best go-to-market strategy for achieving success in a complex, ever-changing market.
About The Author
Alan Rihm’s 24-plus years of entrepreneurship, successful business strategy, and channel experience has positioned him as a respected cloud communications leader. As CEO and founder of CoreDial, a leading provider of high-quality and scalable cloud communications, contact center, and video collaboration to more than 35,000 businesses, Rihm has infused the company’s vision and strategy and built a winning team and culture — resulting in tremendous revenue growth and exceptional Partner retention.