Speaking at a preview session ahead of November’s Comms Vision Convention, Telavox partner sales manager Andy Brunt outlined his company’s view that simplicity is the most vital element when exploring UCaaS [Unified-Communications-as-a-Service] and CCaaS [Contact-Centre-as-a-Service] solutions and taking them to market.
The 15th Comms Vision convention is due to take place over November 10-12 at The Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland, which will see the UK’s leading IT professionals assemble in one place. Telavox - which will appear at its first Comms Vision Convention this year - is one of the event’s silver sponsors, alongside leading Software-as-a-Service provider 8x8.
In the run-up to the convention, Comms Dealer magazine’s Nigel Sergent hosted a preview session in late July, in which Brunt featured as Telavox’s representative alongside 8x8’s regional vice-president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Keith Jackson.
With the event still four months away, Brunt was already relishing the prospect of the IT and services business community coming together in person after a challenging year.
Brunt said: “I think everyone’s excited to be out of lockdown and we are looking forward to being at the event for the first time. We are really excited to be silver sponsor at the event, and after a long 18 months we are excited about going to Gleneagles, meeting the partner community face-to-face, and having a beer together!”
During the session, Brunt was quizzed about the Telavox philosophy of simplicity in the supply of cloud based UCaaS solutions, and outlined how a simplified approach was reflected in the business’ partner and engagement strategies.
“Our company core values are ‘simple, relevant and fun’ and that is bred into all we do at Telavox. We build and design these solutions ourselves, and we work with our partners and their customers and are always thinking about keeping simplicity at the centre. The way in which we do that is by offering our partners a fully inclusive UCaaS licence which covers voice message, SMS, audio, video-conferencing and live chat services, which are essentially bundled into a single licence offering. This is where the simplicity lies from our point of view.
“When our partners then engage with their customers, what they only really have to focus on is the minutes. So, it is simple to overlay that licence on top of that customer and that very simplicity means that our marking engagement strategy is simple, and we are focused on delivering a true UCaaS offering to our partners that helps their customers consolidate all their communications into a single provider.”
Addressing the need in the marketplace for simple ICT procurement joined up with communications fuelled by the demands of the pandemic period, Brunt added: “In the new Covid or post-Covid era especially, partners and their customers just want simple, easy to use solutions that are affordable, reliable and scalable. During the pandemic, companies have gone out and bought products and services overnight and are now looking to stabilise and futureproof them.
“There are so many VOIP and UCaaS solutions in the marketplace today, and endless optional add-ons and bundles, which makes the selection process complicated and time consuming for customers. We want to be different by working with our partners to deliver a simple and transparent licensing model with easy-to-understand pricing. This then takes that complex decision-making process away from customers.”
Brunt also took the time to discuss Telavox’s transparent and lenient pricing structure geared toward giving partners a financial safety net in challenging economic settings.
“Simplicity is the way forward. The simpler we make our solutions, the easier it for them to be taken to market for the customers. From a simplicity perspective, we do not simply keep our licensing and prices as transparent as possible, but we also work with our partners on a 30-day rolling contract. From the partner’s perspective given all of the economic uncertainty at the present time, not having that pressure from a vendor to be a two, three or even five-year contract is a real safety net.
“We try to make everything about Telavox right the way through our market scheme as simple as possible and make it an easy as possible route to market for our partners.”
Speaking on behalf of 8x8 during the session, Jackson highlighted his company’s innovative idea which involved unifying its UCaaS and CCaaS solutions under a new banner known as XCaaS [Experienced-Communications-as-a-Service].
“This strategy shows that we listen to what is coming out of the marketplace. Partners were asking us to simplify the value propositions and make it easier for customers to understand and consume. We have had CCaaS and UCaaS on the one platform but bringing that experience together so that end users can recognise and relate to it makes it easier for our channel partners to bring customers on the journey to XCaaS with us.
“With XCaaS, we are looking to bring UC and CC elements together under one message for our partners to then take to their customer base. Everything now is APR [Annual Percentage Rate] driven and the wider industry is seeing the market going this way. It is therefore up to our partners to understand what their customers want and then take that information and concept and then execute it to deliver what the customer needs. Every single customer is going to be different, but the data in the background is where there is a massive opportunity for our partners to go to market.”