By Edward Gately
In addition to launching new educational resources, ESI is offering its partners multiple programs to migrate their installed base through hands-on campaign development, management and sales support. The new resources will enable resellers to deliver differentiated and affordable VolP communications, the company said.
George Platt, ESI’s CEO, tells Channel Partners the company has more than 600 active resellers and “our objective is to continue to build our existing partners as well as bring on new partners focused on selling all aspects of our solutions portfolio.”
“Interest in the cloud is at an all-time high, and resellers need to view cloud PBX solutions as an equally viable product as traditional, premises-based phone systems,” he said. “With our portfolio of products and solutions, ESI can help resellers expand into cloud services without abandoning their core customer base.”
ESI points to three main challenges resellers face as they look to sell cloud services: lack of education and training for telecom partners; fear of a lack of control in customer relationships and value; and the need for knowledge to market new cloud services in the digital age.
“With cloud-based services, many partners are uncomfortable with the new level of relationship between the vendor and the end customer,” Platt said. “In most cases, the resellers don’t provide first-and second-level support to customers as they have done in the past. Typically, with legacy solutions they have had full control and contact with the customer.”
With new cloud offerings, customers call into the vendor’s technical support teams for technical needs, he said. This often cuts out the partner and can create concern that their position within the customer relationship may be devalued.
“Solution selling requires much more interaction with the end customer and truly understanding their business goals for the company now, as well as in the future,” Platt said. “It is also about a long-term relationship with the customer that can be nurtured to grow throughout the term of the services. It is not a one-time deal.”
Last year, ESI launched its Cloud PBX service, which “ushered in a new era of cloud solutions that are friendly to both the reseller and end user.” The web-based dashboard offers a real-time view of each customer’s system performance, allowing resellers to examine for troubleshooting or to provide proactive support.
“Our goal is to invest in our partners and help them make the transition to selling cloud-based services and increasing their recurring revenue model,” Platt said. “We truly partner with our resellers to educate and equip them with the knowledge and tools to make this transition as smooth as possible.”
The company also restructured its channel program in 2014.
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