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How to Sell Cloud Collaboration to Large Enterprises

May 13, 2017

How to Sell Cloud Collaboration to Large Enterprises

Hosted unified communications and collaboration services can provide enhanced offers for managed service providers (MSPs, aka VARs) if the challenge of integration and customization is one of the VARs strengths. MSPs may need to scale hosted unified communications and collaboration (UCC) services to large enterprise clients and offer the types of customizable applications currently available with on-premise solutions. The ability to offer hosted unified communications and collaboration services provides a strong opportunity for managed service providers (MSPs) as they grow their portfolios, but there are trials and tribulations along the way. The potential demand for hosted UCC is obvious. Recent research demonstrates that fifty-two percent of organizations are reviewing the adoption of Software as a Service (SaaS), demonstrating that now is the time for MSPs to bolster their hosted offerings. Ways to sell to large enterprise clients include the following:

  • Large enterprise desiring to save money will benefit from hosted UCC services since they offer the technical advantages of on-premise UCC applications without a large capital investment. With SaaS, the hardware and applications software are provisioned at the provider's data center, where all of the management and monitoring also take place. This means customers have no requirement to purchase equipment except for VoIP phones or cameras for video conferencing, although some service providers will lease all the hardware.

  • Hosted UCC services enable enterprise users to gain the advantage of redundancy and backup that would normally be costly to maintain when installed on-premise. Service providers and VARs handle the implementation, configuration and customization, and then add-ons, updates and enhancements over time. Customers only pay the monthly bill.

  • One of the keys to better deployment of cloud and collaboration tools to large enterprises mean offering a single sign-on and application provisioning service. This allows workers to access collaboration tools on various devices and to access the network from remote locations without having to use a virtual private network; they can also set up their own information sharing links, both internally and externally. So VARs should offer this service especially to large companies.

  • Scalability and global UCC coverage are also important to large enterprises. Many firms have to need for their workers to interact with locations around the globe and some locations can have many workers and may be growing too. UCC SaaS must be able to address this need for larger enterprise customers.

  • Recently, software-centric providers began offering hosted UCC applications and asking their partners to drive sales. Microsoft, IBM and Google are examples of providers that have expanded their collaborative email and calendaring offerings to include additional communication services. In order to attract and assist partners, strong training programs have been designed and implemented in the form of on-line tools and resources, and training offers to support MSP sales.

  • Concern over security is still seen as one of the primary drawbacks to a hosted solution in  the large enterprise space. MSPs need to act as an advisor to clients as to build customer confidence and ensure the reliability of SaaS applications, while also ensuring data security and availability.

As a VAR that is new to managed services or ready to expand to sell to the large enterprise space, successful MSPs will develop the SaaS offering to provide well-designed solutions for implementation, integration, customization, growth, security and training, as well as provide ongoing management to build future revenue opportunities.

Are there issues involving UCC SaaS sales to large enterprise customers that need to be addressed? Comment below: