Telarus Banks on Hosted UC Sales

UC Panel at Telarus Partner Summit

TELARUS PARTNER SUMMIT — Master agent Telarus is pushing its partners toward sales of hosted unified communications services in a climate where uncertainty around cloud UC remains an issue.

The opportunity, however, is clear. A recent MarketsandMarkets report puts the UCaaS market at around $25 billion by 2020.

Roger Blohm, president of VXSuite, Telarus“I’m convinced that the uncertainties of that market are slowing the rate of adoption of these technologies that are so popular,” said Roger Blohm, executive VP of VXSuite, at Telarus. “As we alleviate the uncertainties, we will be able to sell more.”

The first and most significant of these uncertainties surrounds the sheer number of providers out there, even with recent headline-making acquisitions by Vonage, Mitel, ShoreTel and others. Many agents and business customers find themselves struggling to decide which one is the best fit.

That’s a big reason why Telarus said on Thursday that it’s adding hosted VoIP to its GeoQuote pricing tool. The tool spits out a recommendation for a provider after an agent selects various criteria that fit the client’s needs.

Another barrier to adoption, Blohm noted, is the “fear of the IT guy.” As he pointed out, “We all hate the idea of cloud-based support. No one wants to call.”

A panel featuring representatives from hosted UC providers tackled that topic at this week’s Telarus Partner Summit in Deer Valley, Utah. They offered agents tips on how to increase the adoption of these types of services.

“The feedback we’ve gotten … it’s really been about education and doing discovery with those potential clients, seeing what their challenges are, and being able to provide a solution that meets those challenges,” said David Dixon, vice president of channel sales, Broadview Networks. “… How do we go as sales folks and help a businesses’ employees be more productive and effective? That’s what a C-level person (often the target of cloud sales discussions) is going to respond to.”

Partners might want to consider revisiting businesses that turned them down only a couple of years ago.

“Across the board now, if you look at who’s adopting VoIP … the industry continues to grow at breakneck pace, but that being said, it’s time to go back and look at it and see if those companies with 100-150 employees I approached a couple of years ago; it’s worth revisiting those,” said Roy Jackson, VP, Channels, Jive Communications. “It’s become more viable because [those sizes of companies] are adopting cloud services as a strategy.

UC is one of three services – along with bandwidth and network monitoring – that Telarus has included in its new Triple Crown Award. Partners who successfully sell those so-called “advanced services” have lower revenue requirements in order to become members of the master’s President’s Club.

“When [businesses] finally see the value, they can’t live without it,” noted Doug Tolley, Telarus’ senior VP of Sales, the panel’s moderator.

Follow senior online managing editor Craig Galbraith on Twitter.

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