It’s easy to get overly excited about a market opportunity and dive in without proper planning and preparation. Doing so runs the risk of improper implementation, upset customers and a negative bottom line. Therefore, before you start selling UCC solutions, there are a few things you should know to ensure your first foray is successful.
#1—Expertise is no longer a prerequisite.
Thanks to many UCC solutions moving to the cloud, it’s become quite easy to get customers up and running with little specialized knowledge and personnel. At the same time, solutions have become more feature-rich and capable. The days of complicated setups and integration difficulties hampering a rollout are long gone. Today, UCC has become simpler all around—to install, use and integrate with other business applications.
#2—Recurring revenue requires patience.
Some solution providers are looking for big sales opportunities. While it’s possible to score big with a big phone deployment, the current trend in UCC is to be delivered as a service on a monthly subscription model. Bringing in $500/month doesn’t get the juices flowing like a $10,000 deal. However, get enough customers paying monthly, and the recurring revenue can get very lucrative. Expect your revenue numbers to start small, and be patient as they grow.
Additionally, if you’re an established company with a lot of expenses, you might need a transition plan to move to the as-a-service model over time. Even if you understand the long-term benefits of recurring revenue, your cash flow might need those big sales to keep everyone paid.
Finally, if cash flow challenges are going to keep you from selling subscription-based services, make sure you ask your Ingram Micro rep about how Ingram’s credit group might be able to help soften—or eliminate—the blow by covering your upfront costs.
#3—Videoconferencing opportunities abound.
Videoconferencing and video collaboration have been promised as the future of workplace communication for the past decade, but it’s actually here now. In the past 12 months, we’ve seen an increasing interest in videoconferencing solutions. AV used to be only for large enterprises and high-end applications and required an exclusive skill set. Now it’s an SMB play, customers see the value and anyone with IT skills can get involved. Complex wiring and setup have been replaced by wireless solutions that install with ease.
For solution providers solely focused on voice, video can be a very rewarding next step. Due to a higher level of complexity, competition isn’t as fierce, and margins can be higher. However, as a word of caution, assume that if you don’t pursue videoconferencing opportunities, the AV specialist your customer brings in for help will become an immediate threat to whatever IT services you’re providing.
#4—Help is a phone call away.
If you require advice on how to get started, need help with a specific customer or want to get educated on the latest technologies or trends, Ingram Micro has every resource you might need. With one phone call, you can remove any barriers in place keeping you from taking advantage of the UCC opportunity. To learn more, contact our UCC experts, Curt Vurpillat and Chad Simon.