The industry’s great obsession with driving cloud adoption lacks the direction it needs to succeed, according to VanillaIP’s Sales and Marketing Director Iain Sinnott.
He argues that cloud strategies are screaming for the critical Interaction Management and Reporting (IM&R) element that will make them truly worthwhile. And to press the go button on cloud projects that lack customer focused IM&R would be to totally ignore a red light, believes Sinnott, who says much of the industry is too slow to recognise that true cloud deployment, driven by real-time insights, is where the market is heading.
“If you are leading the charge you will gain customer loyalty, but if you resist the flow you will lose your base,” he warned. “Just because your business is built on an old world commercial model doesn’t mean the customers of the future are going to accept your terms. Suppliers have focused too much on simple bundles to make deployment and management easy, but it hides the reality of service utilisation, or to be more precise, non-utilisation.”
Sinnott says the prevailing habit is to look too hard at simple connection figures rather than service utilisation and profit. “Product profit is lost as package prices are forced down, but within those packages are unused services which represent a wasted wholesale cost,” he added. “For the customer, the blunt nature of service deployment means they can’t scrutinise feature adoption and demand a tailored product delivering a feature appropriate service per user.”
Sinnott noted that when supplying services to business clients VanillaIP always seeks to optimise the performance of their staff and customer experience. “Therefore statistical reporting of how staff, managers and the call flows perform will lead to a better performance and the removal of waste,” he added.
From a reseller perspective, profit is the most important measure, emphasised Sinnott. “If I can analyse the profit performance of my sales teams, report on secondary revenue sales, customer adoption of revenue services and churn on secondary services I can predict the value of all the business I write and target my efforts where the highest margins are made,” he explained. “We can work with our resellers to design the correct products for their portfolio and Uboss will report on both the core sales figures and also adoption numbers and profit performance of all elements. This includes products the reseller adds to the portfolio at their level as well as those services purchased from VanillaIP.”
Just because your business is built on an old world commercial model doesn’t mean the customers of the future are going to accept your terms
The reporting and self-management tools also become a factor in the end client’s buying decision as the call flow, service adoption and staff performance reports help them to extract the full technology dividend from their purchase. “If sold as a true dynamic cloud solution, resellers give their customers the chance to constantly optimise their investment making future churn far less likely,” stated Sinnott.
IM&R is especially beneficial with call and contact centre products which optimise the performance of staff and call flow management, with reporting enabling agile management of each of those tools. “This area also offers a higher revenue return for the reseller, although through the construction of ‘feature appropriate user packages’, resellers should retain a consistent profit margin from simple through to complex solution deployments,” noted Sinnott. “The lower revenue markets still deliver strong margins. For example, we have seen a massive uplift in education sector sales since the creation of a specific ‘classroom’ user.”
VanillaIP’s Uboss management ecosystem is developing and delivering greater levels of profit analysis to resellers. By better understanding a product’s profitability, and being able to understand accurate feature adoption, resellers can construct packages that fulfil the service requirement without having to carry the wholesale costs of redundant services.
“In Uboss we have made a commitment to deliver a true cloud consumption model, which means we inform on usage, allow flexible adoption and promote a dynamic live solution model,” said Sinnott. “The app store is the desired service management experience in the smart mobile world, and it will be the desired service management model in the business communications space. The concept is held back by a supply chain dominated by dinosaurs.
“If we are to be true to the potential of the on-demand cloud service principle, then a redundant application report, triggered by a fallow period threshold would also be interesting. In the short-term resellers may see it as an unnecessary loss of margin but if the customer never leaves because their costs are directly proportionate to their consumption, resellers are sure to gain loyalty.”