By Alan Rihm, CEO, CoreDial
Channel partners are a resilient bunch. Whenever new products enter the marketplace, the channel goes to work – learning the nuances of sales and implementation so they can deliver the latest and greatest offerings to customers. It happened with VoIP and unified communications. It happened with contact center technology. And now, it’s happening once again with video – and channel partners need to take note. Make no mistake: video has become table stakes for most customers, and channel partners who don’t have video in their portfolio will quickly find themselves at a considerable disadvantage.
According to data compiled by Grandview Research, the global market for video meetings and similar services is expected to reach $8.6 billion USD by 2027. That’s nearly triple the figure of $3.85 billion Grandview reported just before the pandemic in 2019. Yes, COVID-19 certainly forced businesses into video adoption earlier than they may have wanted, but it was simply the most efficient and accessible option for remote working and social distancing mandates. And now, a year later, we’ve seen how satisfying and comfortable remote work can be, and it isn’t going away any time soon.
Case in point: Global consulting firm PWC conducted a survey in January 2021 to gauge the impact of work-from-home environments on businesses. The results were eye opening. After surveying some 1500 executives and frontline workers, PWC found that a whopping 83% of those interviewed said the shift to remote work has been successful. And many employees noted they’re not ready to bid goodbye to the office either. 87% of the frontline workers polled said the office environment is important for collaboration and team building, and only 13% of executives surveyed said they are willing to jettison their offices altogether.
In all likelihood, a large portion of enterprises and SMBs will continue to balance both on-site and remote-working scenarios, which makes high-quality video even more essential for connecting team members, managers, and customers in the coming years. It’s evident that customers have the appetite for video, and the margins for delivering these services can often be more lucrative than for those delivering legacy voice and UCaaS. The key for channel partners is finding the right video vendor that can complement the channel’s existing portfolio, provide reliable and secure technology, and do so without creating a competitive threat with traditional services.
How does a channel partner find the right video solution? Here are three basic questions that can help partners identify the right solution:
The best services are those that can be provisioned directly from the same administrative portal that manages UC and contact center services. It should be a fast and efficient process that requires a minimum of clicks to turn on video features for end users. All onboarding and set-up should take place in the admin site, which will simplify and expedite onboarding and mitigate any
Basic video meetings are a common feature, and while they are important, they may not excite every customer. However, there are some really compelling video capabilities that will draw the attention of businesses looking to improve their virtual workspace. One such feature is “Rooms,” which are virtual offices that can be assigned to individuals, departments, or any other workgroup. Employees can use a Room much like a physical office. It can be locked for alone time or private conversations, or it can be opened for impromptu conversations between colleagues. Features such as Rooms are tailor-made for modern businesses that want efficient and accessible collaboration solutions for the hybrid work environment.
The popular over-the-top, cloud-based video vendors that dominate the market would seem like an obvious fit for voice-centric channels, but buyer beware. Many of these providers also possess their own unified communications and collaboration capabilities and are already demonstrating a “land grab” strategy of using video as a vehicle to quickly expand their reach and
deliver competing UCaaS services to the customer. Channel partners need to exercise extreme caution and choose vendors that allow them to truly own the customer. It is vital to work with vendors that are comfortable remaining in the background and will not intermediate the customer relationship – from branding, billing, technical, support, and all other perspectives. Protecting the base is always paramount. Keep this front and center when selecting a video vendor.
Video collaboration is now a core part of every business. Not only will adoption rates continue to accelerate, but new and innovative capabilities and features will continue to enter the market. Cloud communications partners should actively embrace the appeal of video and place these services at the top of the list when speaking with customers. Not only will it open the door to new revenue streams and increased profitability, but it will also create a fortress to defend against competitors who can easily use high-quality video to poach a customer base.
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.