Hosted IP PBX and SIP: Offense beats Defense

Brian Twomey, President, TNCI

Its a virtual certainty that over the next several years IP PBX technology is likely to dominate the commercial services market and with it the revenue growth opportunity for us all. One camp would have us believe that we need to drop everything that were doing and make it our primary focus today while another camp tells us that selling data and good old reliable TDM service is making money for us today and if it aint broke dont fix it. How to choose between the two?

Take a hard look at what weve each done to be successful and consider how this should factor into our decision-making. The opportunities that technology has presented are what have enabled us to sell, grow and prosper. Todays winners are those who have developed and implemented an effective offensive sales strategy. Weve been able to get in front of the technology and deliver solutions that enable customers to gain greater value at a reduced cost.

Why alter a strategy which has proven to be so successful? This doesnt mean that continued success requires an immediate focus on conversion of customers onto a hosted IP PBX platform, or that SIP is for everyone today. Customers will be ready based on their individual positions, attitudes and needs, and we should each know them well enough to recognize that balance our attitude should be no one before their time.

To maintain credibility with our customers we need to be able to present them with options. To resist the IP/PBX wave is to commit ourselves to a defensive strategy one in which the focus is on how to hold onto customers that are being offered alternative solutions from others. Weve all played offense against this type of defensive strategy and we know that our offensive position wins business every single day what customer can take any of us seriously when we object to a solution theyve been presented without the ability to even discuss a viable option?

When our objective resorts to a defensive strategy, its not a matter of whether or not well lose, but rather a matter of how much well lose. I would submit that the winning offensive position is to have a solid technical IP/PBX solution in our bag, understand how it works and when it makes sense for customers to move to it. Its time to be asking the right questions, qualifying the options, taking the test drives and becoming prepared to put a winning solution in the hands of our customers.

Brian Twomey has bee president of TNCI since 2000. As president, Twomey oversees all strategic direction, product management, technology development, sales relationships, marketing, finance and business operations.

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