Hilton: The UC Opportunity Is Probably in Professional Services

Offering unified communications as part of a larger solution gives channel partners a professional services play while catering to the productivity needs of customers, said Steve Hilton, Yankee Group Research Inc. vice president of enterprise & SMB research, who will be speaking during today’s session “Come Together: The UC Opportunity.”

UC lets channel partners expand their portfolios to “a fairly adjacent portfolio,” noted Hilton, adding “This is not like asking them to add CRM or an ERP solution.”

Also, he pointed out, the concept of offering video, voice and data as part of the same solution affords productivity increases for the end user. For example, he explained, end users as a result will be able to collaborate in new ways over video connections, and things like blogs and wikis can increase their productivity because it allows for brainstorming.

To help end users get up and running with UC, channel partners can provide the physical equipment, according to Hilton, but he acknowledges UC is probably more of a professional services opportunity for the channel.

“In the SMB world a lot of these UC collaboration solutions are tied to a VoIP implementation and most of the VoIP implementations for those customers are premises-based,” he explained. “So, for that, a premises-based UC solution is probably the best match.”

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