“How can I start selling videoconferencing?”
We hear this question so often, we thought we’d spend some time addressing it here. Whether the question comes from a VoIP-centric solution provider or someone whose primary source of business is outside UCC and pro AV, it’s clear that videoconference opportunities are out there and many have passed up on the business from lack of knowledge.
Identify what type of conferencing is needed
If a customer asks about videoconferencing, one of the first questions you should get answered is how they want the conferencing implemented. That is, do they want a traditional conference room setup or to enable employees to access videoconferences from their own devices.
From a revenue potential point of view, traditional conference rooms will typically yield margin from the hardware being installed in the rooms themselves. You’ll probably have some form of display, cameras, microphones and more. If the customer wants to enable users, the majority of your margin will probably come from user licenses.
Local or cloud videoconferencing?
Whether there are user licenses depends on whether the customer wants/needs a local install or is willing to leverage the cloud. Classic videoconference setups use a conference bridge to handle the rooms and connect participants. In recent years, we’ve started seeing cloud platforms that take the bridge out of the customer site and onto the internet. Both types of solutions have their merits.
For some customers with legacy bridge investments, it might make sense to add more on-premises hardware. If starting with nothing, it might be easier to begin with a cloud implementation. It’s also possible in some cases to use legacy equipment with new cloud services to get the best of both worlds.
In either case, and whatever your history with videoconferencing, know that in recent years the technologies have improved by leaps and bounds in terms of installation ease, user interface and user experience. In fact, the ease of these technologies might be the biggest reason for you to get involved.
Defend customers from competition
If you can’t fulfill this need for your customers, your competition might. And we’re not just referring to your direct competition here. Essentially every type of solution provider who works with your customers—video surveillance, pro AV, managed services and more—could look at videoconferencing as a new revenue stream and approach your customers. At that point, your core business is at risk. By offering this service yourself, you can defend your territory while boosting your revenue.
With all that said, perhaps the following is the best response to the question of how you can start selling videoconferencing—ask Ingram Micro for help. We have pro AV, unified communications and networking experts who can fill any gap you have in knowledge to allow you to confidently tackle the sales and implementation of conferencing solutions. Don’t pass this work up again.