Effective telecommunications are an integral part of almost any business operation, being the easiest way for companies to speak to their customers, and for employees to collaborate internally. This makes being a white-label telecoms reseller a financially rewarding prospect, and a chance for channel businesses to deepen existing relationships with their customers.
Furthermore, the rise of cloud services and the impending 2025 ISDN switch-off have seen VoIP products (Voice over Internet Protocol) such as hosted telephony become increasingly prominent. Even more recently, UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) has become the most in-demand cloud communications technology, combining telephony with other channels of communication including video meeting, instant messaging, file sharing, and more.
This has seen an increase in channel businesses, including IT, print and other managed service providers making UCaaS a key part of their portfolio, meaning that while profitable, it is fast becoming a competitive market. So, what steps can channel businesses enhance their prospects of being successful as a UCaaS reseller?
1. Know your customers
This is critical to choosing your solutions, and how you approach the market. The size of the businesses, their industry type, and the deployments they require will affect which products may be suitable for them, how much they might be prepared to spend on their chosen solution, and how much support they require.
Here are a few examples of considerations that may help in your planning, but it is by no means an exhaustive list:
Are your customers working in an office, or do they have remote workers? This is important because remote workers may not need desk phones but finding a vendor who offers free mobile applications might be preferable.
Do your customers have a single site or do they have offices in multiple locations across the UK or internationally? This is essential to know because it means that either you or your vendor must be able to deliver services across regions. This might include having engineers able to travel, the ability to offer local or international numbers, or offering flexible support.
Do your customers operate in regulated industries? Regulatory compliance is important for sectors such as finance, healthcare, government, or education. There may be requirements for how data is processed, how call recordings are captured and stored, and how financial information is protected.
2. Choose your solution
Choosing the right solution means finding products that address any of the needs outlined above that might be unique to your customers, but also considering product specifications and commercial viability at a more general level.
As telecoms is so visible to a business and their customers, you only get one chance to impress so getting it right first time is vital. Common telephony features include PBX functionality including call queues, hunt groups, voicemail, hold and transfer functions, call recording, plus lots more. For UCaaS solutions, these may include video conferencing, instant messaging for colleagues or teams, and online presence settings. You should find that most leading solutions offer a similar and broad range of features.
What sets some products apart are things such as how they integrate with third party products such as CRMs and Cloud Office platforms, as well as Microsoft Teams, which is now hugely important. solutions may also vary on whether they offer applications, allow users to make calls from within their browsers, make use of desk phones, or a combination of all of these. Consider what hardware your solution is compatible with, whether applications are included as standard, and if all features work across all platforms.
As well as features, consider the commercial structure of your chosen product. Some questions to ask, but again, not an exhaustive list:
Are features included as standard, or will you be charged for each one individually?
If sold as a monthly subscription, are there different licence types, or is pricing uniform?
Is integrating with Teams or CRM solutions a chargeable feature?
How are you charged for hardware?
Are their competitive call bundles included?
Lastly, think about the underlying network and back-end of your solution:
Where is call data being stored and processed?
Are data centres secure and resilient?
Are there network failover systems in place?
How do administrators access the system to make changes?
Is the system easy to manage and maintain, 24/7?
Are there necessary levels of encryption to protect data handled by your business?
3. Find the right provider
Finding a good product to take to market is essential, but there are more considerations to make in terms of how the provider operates, how they support you, and the white label facilities they offer.
In terms of operations, you should find out whether your provider is offering reseller or agency agreements, as this defines the commercial relationship you will have. Agency agreements can seem tempting, as you can receive an upfront payment and recurring revenue from a sale. You may only need to offer minimal support, and most of the sales process will be managed by the vendor. However, you will most likely have no value-adding part to play within the service, and instead, there will be a direct relationship between the vendor and your customer.
If it’s important to you to retain the client relationship, add value to the service, and make yourselves more valuable to the customer, then this isn’t for you. More likely you’ll require a reseller agreement, where you own the relationship, with your solution purchased at a wholesale rate, and your commercial agreement with your customer is totally in your hands. This is likely to be more profitable and generate longer commercial relationships.
How your provider supports you will affect how successful you are at selling your solutions. Important areas of support include during pre-sales, with demos and building specific solution specifications, when onboarding your newly won customers, and during in-life with everyday issues or bugs. Look for solution providers who offer these as standard with no added cost.
Your brand is an important part of your business, so you need a vendor with a track record delivering white-labelling for their products and services, as well as marketing literature. In terms of the product, they should be able to offer branded server dashboards, login screens, desk phones, and administration consoles, while their marketing literature should include assets for all stages of your customer’s buying journey – from blogs and white papers to product sheets and brochures. If you can find a vendor with white label automation, this is ideal.
Lastly, your provider should be able to offer dedicated training to your employees to ensure you are effectively resourced and confident at selling and supporting their services. By having a well-educated approach to selling, you will find it easier to secure those tricky first few orders.
Find out more
TelcoSwitch is a leading provider of unified communications, contact centre, and compliance solutions, headquartered in London, with offices across the UK, US, and South Africa. Recently the business was ranked 25th in the Sunday Times Sage ‘Tech Track 100’ league table of the fastest growing UK technology companies, as well as featuring on the 2022 Financial Times FT1000 list of the fastest-growing European businesses.
Our solutions enable teams to connect and collaborate through voice, video, chat, call recording, screen sharing, and more, and as a channel-led business, all platforms include advanced white-label services, pre-sales resources, in-life support, along with a comprehensive training program, provided free of charge to all partners by the TelcoSwitch Academy, and offering both sales and technical focused certifications.