One of the biggest challenges that businesses have faced during the pandemic is maintaining efficient communications with partners, customers and colleagues working remotely. Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) gives teams reliable ways to interact, including voice, video conferencing and collaboration tools.
Brian Cuppett, Vice President, Supplier Organization for ScanSource, says his organization has seen increased UCaaS adoption as a direct result of the pandemic. “The flexibility, centralized management and remote nature of UCaaS have certainly expedited decisions on moving to UCaaS offerings,” he says.
The increased interest in UCaaS is creating opportunities for managed services providers (MSPs) and value-added-resellers (VARs), and Cuppet shares his insights to help you grow your business by offering this service.
How can offering UCaaS grow a VAR or MSPs business?
Cuppett: UCaaS provides MSPs with more to offer in their customer’s monthly subscription solutions, and it should fit right in with their current strategy of increasing their wallet share of monthly recurring revenue (MRR) with their end-user customers.
For the VAR, this is a great opportunity to help pivot their business to increasing their MRR business because the market is driving more adoption with these UCaaS offerings. In both cases (MSP and VAR), increasing monthly recurring revenue with UCaaS deals is a positive for the long-term profitability of the business. UCaaS typically allows the MSP or VAR to be stickier with their end users, as well and has the potential to lead to additional services opportunities during their contract periods.
With the wide range of UCaaS offerings available, how well do MSPs and VARs match solutions to their clients’ business needs?
Cuppett: Many MSPs and VARs are becoming more familiar with UCaaS offerings, and the pandemic has certainly accelerated the learning curve. This is where companies like ScanSource and Intelisys play an important role in working with the MSPs and VARs to figure out which UCaaS offerings fit their end-user profiles or end-user customer needs. There are a lot of players in the UCaaS market, and there are clear differences in their offerings. Most UCaaS offerings have significant differentiators depending on the vertical markets or business applications that are incorporated into the end users’ communications and business processes.
What are some of the factors that MSPs and VARs should consider when choosing UCaaS provider partners?
Cuppett: VARs and MSPs should look for a partner that is going to fit their end-user customer profile the best and has teams to help them get started and accelerate their business together. I also don’t think it’s a one-size-fits-all UCaaS market. There are different offerings from UCaaS providers that target different outcomes with end users. The VAR and MSP will typically have two to five partnerships in this space to make sure they can match the UCaaS offering to their end user’s needs.
What advice can you give MSPs and VARs as they plan for 2022 with regard to providing UCaaS solutions?
Cuppett: My advice would be to do your research and to get started now because MRR and UCaaS solutions grow over time. And the big value to the business owner is building that book of business over time. Most end-user engagements start out small and then grow into larger opportunities with additional seats, etc. Be sure to partner with UCaaS solution providers that understand your end customers’ profiles and solution needs and offer support to help you be successful.