The communications market in the US is more diverse and dynamic than it has ever been. It is also more competitive. Interconnects, managed service providers and carriers are adding new capabilities to their portfolios to tap growing enterprise demand for communication services.
In 2013, revenue from unified communications applications grew by 31% globally, according to a report from Infonetics Research, and demand is not slowing down. Enterprises are hungry for new communications tools and are looking for a reliable partner to deliver the services they need.
In a fragmented market, new and existing players often look for any advantage they can to capture market share. The challenge for service providers is to build a solid foundation to grow their businesses while navigating a fast moving and competitive market. How you sell as much as what you sell will begin to define who wins and who loses.
When selling Cloud Communications services we offer our partners a few recommendations that we’ve seen bear fruit. The key to selling Cloud Communications is really demonstrating the value of the services you offer.
Explain the benefits of communications services in the short term as well as the long term. As Bill Gates is often quoted, “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don't let yourself be lulled into inaction.”
New business agility thanks to new Cloud Communications services can have a transformative effect on an organization in the long term. The cloud frees the enterprise from making lump sum investments in equipment and being tied to a set of services for years at a time. The enterprise can turn-up new services and adjust their approach to communications as they see fit month-by-month if need be.
Increased productivity creates value almost from day one. Decisions can be made quickly leveraging the skills of a local, national or global workforce. The scale and scope of the enterprise can be expanded without losing the connection between co-workers and unity of staff.
The conversation with the enterprise revolves around value rather than price. Price is always part of the conversation but is not the starting point. The beauty of the cloud is that it can create risk-free value for the enterprise that goes beyond simple price reductions. The opportunity is there for the growing number of service providers in the space.
While consolidation in the communications space may or may not happen, we don’t anticipate competition slowing down. The US telecoms market will be worth an estimated $406 billion in 2014, according to Pyramid Research, with VoIP alone accounting for $22 billion. The communications service pie is large and the players who sell on value instead of price will stay ahead of competitors in the long term.