For hardware/software resellers, a new sales strategy is in order with selling cloud-based federation. "Partners need to understand how to position themselves and be a trusted adviser," said Ron Myers, senior vice president of worldwide channels for Polycom. "I think they have to understand how to sell a service."
They also need to be less brand-centric when recommending endpoints, evaluating instead the appropriate cost/value for the user and application.
"The biggest thing partners have to get over is the size of the deal," said Mary Friel, senior vice president of business development and channel sales for Glowpoint. This could prove difficult for resellers used to making quota quickly on large hardware deals. Federation services are sold as subscriptions with smaller monthly payments, which takes longer to build, but also can lead to additional services revenue. "You enable the customer, get them to buy into video as an effective business tool, then they start to realize, 'I don't have the capabilities to manage this environment,'" Friel said. That's where you come in with managed services, creating another recurring revenue stream that, subsequently, expands the initial deal size.
Indeed, most end users don't have the time for or interest in managing their video conferencing systems themselves. "The growing market for video communications and services spells opportunity for channel partners who can offer installation, integration, configuration and maintenance services," said Henry Dewing, principal analyst at Forrester Research.
Hear more about video conferencing federation in the session, "Desktop Video Collaboration," at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo, Feb. 27-March 1, in Las Vegas.