In the telecom industry, we talk a lot about solutions. But cloud service providers need to know that solutions aren’t just about specs and features — choosing the right technology partner should also be about finding one who will support your success and longterm growth.
That’s where certification programs can play a significant role: providing you with the expertise and resources to build revenues through the sale of specific solutions. Certification programs can offer a roster of benefits beyond the fundamental advantages of deepening your technical knowledge. In addition to making sure you’re expertly trained, certification can be a uniquely channel-focused proposition that empowers the partner to grow their practice. Ideally, the program should help you build-out your own offering and better manage those services according to your needs.
What Certification Has to Offer for Service Providers
A channel-centric certification program can help you:
Develop private-label opportunities
Strengthen your individual brand
Fold your own professional services around the solution
Better manage and control how and when those services are delivered
Maintain more direct relationships with your customers
Find success and build revenues faster
Let’s look at these benefits more in-depth:
Building private-label opportunities: Many vendors view the channel merely as a means to an end in getting their solution to market. A true partner will take a different view, allowing the provider to sell the solution under their own brand. The focus should be on making the channel successful on a long-term basis — which is a win-win proposition for everyone involved.
Strengthening your brand: When a partner is able to offer a solution as part of its own branded offering, that MSP earns the right to take full ownership of that customer relationship. The MSP’s brand becomes prevalent in the mind of the customer, which makes the end-user more receptive to choosing that channel partner for additional products and services.
Wrapping-in professional services: Many cloud service providers take on the responsibility of administering the end-users’ network by providing key data and IT services. A certification program demonstrates that the partner is proficient enough to deliver a solution independently of the technology vendor, allowing them to add their own professional services and optimize that channel-centric model. It lets MSPs assemble turn-key offerings, with greater margins, while reinforcing their overall value to end-customers.
Building revenues faster: MSPs who are given the knowledge, resources, training, and autonomy to deliver a solution according to their own business parameters will find the most rapid and successful path to market. They can readily pursue fast-moving opportunities, and demonstrate the breadth and depth that will continue to capture business.
Use Case: Contact Center Certification
Of course, there are some essential elements that any certification program should include. In the case of cloud Contact Center solutions, for example, a certification program should incorporate the technical knowledge required to confidently deploy, configure, manage, and support a full-featured customer engagement platform.
In the case of selling cloud Contact Center solutions, cloud service providers have the potential to gain up to three times the margin compared to selling UCaaS seats alone, so the opportunity is a lucrative one. As a long-time provider of UCaaS solutions, we’ve seen our channel activate thousands of seats per month without any involvement from us as a vendor. That’s the model that the channel should look for in selling CCaaS services — to function as fully autonomous advisors to the SMB community.
This kind of certification program is a rarity in the business communications space, but as any successful channel partner will declare, it’s a program that will certainly move the needle in terms of customer acquisition, profit, and building brand loyalty. Certification programs position the partner to independently leverage the provider’s solution, allowing them to develop “stickier” relationships and forge their own path in how they fulfill business.