Unlocking the cloud 

Boom Comms MD Nick Birtwistle makes a strong point – that many larger organisations display unease over whether to adopt the cloud model. Meanwhile, the tiger's half out of the cage in the smaller business sector.

Even with aggressive growth in cloud communications, IaaS and UCaaS, some larger businesses are still reluctant to adopt hosted technology, observes Birtwistle. "There is a lack of knowledge about how a cloud PBX works," he stated. "Yet we see huge uptake among Soho and smaller companies. As businesses begin to transition to other areas of the cloud such as SaaS their confidence in wider cloud strategies, including cloud PBX, will grow." 

In stark contrast to their smaller counterparts larger organisations are clearly suffering inner demons of hesitancy, believes Birtwistle, who proposes to unclog the conduits of understanding and knowledge through the application of insight, which Boom is formerly advancing to the channel as Insight as a Service to help drive demand for hosted comms across all levels of the market. "A primary factor lies in providing clear information, insight and control over the resellers' client environment," he stated. "It is key for reseller to have control and feel secure about the services they sell, and know that the platform they use is delivering quality and capability from day one – all delivered with disruptive pricing."

To prevent a continuation of the aforementioned 'default mode' within a significant section of the reseller channel Boom has ramped up the volume on its proposition as a fully inter-operable UC solution supported by its Insight as a Service category and a focus on MiFID II and PCI compliance. "All these are key factors in our portfolio that provide the reseller with total control of their services on the platform," stated Birtwistle. 

Still we come across resellers who have tried hosted but are uncomfortable about switching their client base over to fully hosted PBXs

Basingstoke-based Boom prides itself on its pragmatism in achieving profitable hosted revenues based on strategies linked to insight and communication. And, according to Birtwistle, the power of taking something complex and making it simple for the channel remains a long underrated quality in what can be a confusing marketplace with new avenues to follow. "Introducing the concept of Insight as a Service enables our resellers to earn more via tapping into adjacent ICT markets," he added. "There also has to be clear communication, a way to take the pain away from resellers and help them with end user educational and promotional support. This could take the form of pre-sales support, regular communication and education, Dealer Days and creating customer focused examples on the benefits of cloud technology. Make it real and they’ll understand it." 

Birtwistle's modus operandi shows us that we need tools and fresh concepts to rebut cloud migration intransigence - gifts of insight towards all those who lack a cloud vision. "Still we come across resellers who have tried hosted but are uncomfortable about switching their client base over to fully hosted PBXs," he explained. "Some of this is due to a lack of capacity among resellers to impart information and exert control over their environment. As more and more businesses adopt the cloud hosted model and the move to a more multi-collaborative unified approach accelerates, resellers who don’t have additional cloud services in their proposition will surely suffer revenue declines." 

Just as certain is that in leveraging a strong and supportive wholesale proposition resellers could more readily permeate the cloud market and become a shop window for current and future ICT buyers. "Our real growth will come from having a disruptive proposition that is driven by our platform partners," noted Birtwistle. "What drives demand is always quality, capability, insight, listening to partners, market forecasting, driving innovation, maintaining the agility to adapt and delivering on your promises. 

"Forward looking resellers tell us they want a wholesale proposition with rich features such as advanced call recording and analytics, self-service usability to minimise support overheads and a single portal to manage everything. We have demonstrated how additional margin can be achieved by resellers when moving customers to the cloud and cross-selling other services that cloud-based technology unlocks."

The requirement for forward planning is plain to see along with the writing on the wall, but it is a fact that a number of traditional resellers will continue to pay a pittance of attention to the spread of a hosted market evolving under their noses. "If traditional PBX resellers are not thinking that cloud is truly a commercial proposition then I would suggest they may want to rethink their value proposition for the next five years," stated Birtwistle. 

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