I’d be lying if I said I know what’s next for any of us: channel partners, business owners, technology experts, and others. Today is about coming to terms with the fact that we simply do not know what’s next – and embracing that. The pervasive feeling of the unknown means we can’t predict what our next smart move should be, but we can certainly learn from what’s happened thus far and make deliberate decisions with that knowledge. I’ve got a couple of thoughts on what partners should consider as 2020 becomes 2021:
Shift Your Focus Away From the Office
One of the biggest lessons we’ve learned is that work-from-home operations are here to stay. What was once a nice-to-offer work perk is now a fundamental way to run as a business. For partners, this means you need to be engaged in solutions that are integrating with the consumer market. You are not just solving for technology at the office anymore.
Workers are struggling with cable modems, video conferencing solutions, and other technologies they never had to consider at home. Residential networks are oversubscribed and overtaxed. As a remedy, providers such as Bigleaf and Comcast are devising business-grade solutions folks can put in their homes to get better work-from-home experiences. These are the technologies partners need to be aware of and have in their arsenals.
A common question when discussing bringing business-grade solutions to the home is the price point. How should partners begin to think about talking to customers and selling them business-grade technology for at-home users? My advice is to target executives. While, at first, it may seem financially unjustifiable for an executive to implement business-grade technologies for every employee, partners don’t have to sell every seat like they used to. These solutions can initially work for executives themselves and team members such as sales people who require superior collaboration solutions. Any executive knows that the right ability to communicate can be the “make or break” moment for a sales person’s success, so those staff members are a shoe-in for business-grade communications technologies. Start with the C-suite and the sales department, and wait for price points to adjust.
You Absolutely Must Lock in a UCaaS Solution
If you think the UCaaS train has left the station, you are sorely wrong. And any partner that neglects to lock in a collaboration solution that they intimately know and can sell, distribute, and support will grievously lose out on business in the coming year.
User adoption of collaboration solutions is still low – especially in the mid-market and the SMB world. There are still millions of companies out there that are on exchange servers and using archaic technology. Unified communications remains an enormous opportunity for partners, so become deeply familiar with a collaboration solution now. Whether it’s Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Ring Central, or other, the work world is living on these platforms right now, and you need to enable your customer to take part in them.
If you need help getting on that UCaaS train or want to learn more about the business-grade technologies coming out, reach out to Innovative Business Solutions. My team and I are here to help partners successfully navigate the unknown, and we’re invested in the growth of your business.