It has been more than ten years since Internet protocol (IP) telephony lines became the majority of total telephony lines sold each year. Frost & Sullivan research finds that IP lines accounted for percent of all lines sold in 2014.
A similar inflection point looms as OPEX-based cloud unified communications (UC) services seats promise to take increasing market share from the CAPEX-based customer-owned systems market each year.
However, while demand for cloud services is rising, demand for premises-based platform support remains strong. Many organizations will require a mix; integrating customer-owned assets with cloud services is an increasing requirement.
Partners are essential in the changing information and communications world. It is often partners that own the technology relationship with customers. Thus partners are critical to help identify and prove the value of UC for each individual customer.
Software advancement, mobility and information technologies (IT) integration with communications technologies have shifted UC value propositions and solutions capabilities toward productivity and business efficiency.
In selling both UC products and related services, channel education remains a key issue that determines partners success. Therefore, vendors must connect with their channels and increase their efforts on partner training and education.
As buying patterns shift toward hosted and cloud services, vendors must help channel partners to build up their business practices and recurring revenue streams. Going forward, vendors must help channel partners to sell and support a wider range of deployment and consumption models. Access to premises-based, hosted/cloud and hybrid solutions is a necessity.
About this report
The enterprise communications market is transitioning to a blended ecosystem of services and software-centric platforms deployed on the customer premises. The range of components that can be part of the UC stack is also expanding. Partners are vital to expand vendor reach and to foster close customer relationships needed for higher-value UC sales. Developing a framework to support a diverse partner network is essential to achieve partner-led success. Vendors must recruit partners from UC adjacencies and help existing partners expand their skill sets.
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