Spotlight on Channel Strategies: ChannelDrive.in
At a time when enterprise customers look for doing more with less – cloud communications have evolved to offer great opportunities and deliver multiple advantages.
There is huge value for the channel too – as cloud communication is easier to manage, more flexible, and enable greater service agility than previously available options. With its comprehensive cloud enabled communication portfolio, Ribbon Communications is delivering great value to its partner ecosystem.
Kanagalu Manoj, MD India, Ribbon interacts with Zia Askari from ChannelDrive.in about the company’s channel strategy and how it is helping its partners grow in a cloud-centric world.
At a time when enterprise customers are moving towards a hyper-cloud world – there is great demand for cloudifying enterprise environments, however there are challenges too… in such scenario how can channel partners lay the foundation for a smooth cloud strategy for their customers?
Channel partners are perfectly positioned to help their customers transition to the cloud, leveraging their relationships to provide the guidance and consulting necessary to migrate from older assets such as PBX, phones, dedicated lines, and traditional contact center networks to today’s technologies.
Cloud communications deliver multiple advantages: they’re easier to manage, more flexible, and enable greater service agility than previous options while helping move from fixed capex to ‘pay as you grow’ opex models. Yet despite all of these benefits, some customers remain wary of security issues as they move to a cloud-driven environment.
To be successful, channel leaders need to be active, engaged partners and consultants. They can lead the conversation, and thus the conversion to the cloud, but in order to be credible they’ll need to showcase real-life success scenarios and be confident in their ability to provide a secure way forward.
How is Ribbon gearing up to provide its solutions in this direction?
We already offer a comprehensive set of cloud-based solutions that leverages years of investment and R&D, as well as tools that enable channel partners to set up and run multiple customer domains, securely segmented.
Our security solutions help prevent attacks on cloud based and on premise UC Solutions, including in contact centers where consumers’ private data is being shared.
And our Kandy Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) allows CSPs and enterprises to embed voice, video and messaging services into just about any platform including websites, mobile applications, e-commerce platforms and customer experience centers.
Channel Partners can leverage our portfolio and go to market in weeks with their own branded solutions — our software-based services have been white-label ready from the beginning.
How important is the channel community for Ribbon and how is the organization helping technology resellers and its channel partners move up the value chain by focusing on cloud opportunity?
We have always been cognizant of the Channel and its importance, both for revenue generation and as a way to develop a feedback loop with partners and end users to enhance our innovation. As a global company we are also keenly aware of regional differences and leverage our partners for that local touch.
We pride ourselves on working collaboratively with our partners. In addition to the solutions detailed above we offer award-winning partner programs, which include tools such as comprehensive go to market support to reach their goals faster.
What kind of challenges lie ahead in this space and how do you think these can be addressed best?
The greatest challenge is motivating businesses to take the leap from the old world to the new, which we and our partners do best with education and proven solutions.
Another one is helping businesses leverage cloud communications to the fullest, and this is an area where strong channel partner relationships can come into play. While these new solutions require less “hand-holding” since they’re delivered via the cloud instead of on-prem, it remains critical to partner fully with the customer, while understanding how these new communications can impact their business results.
Finally security is an increasing challenge as more attacks are being reported on voice systems. This is why we built Ribbon Protect – specialized security solutions for real time communications (voice, messaging, video).
In your opinion what kind of opportunities lie ahead for the channel community in the cloud space?
There are opportunities galore for both the channel and the enterprise. For example, customers can embed chat into their websites and social media sites to offer “one touch help” for customer service and product support. Businesses can excel at selling more by offering intuitive communications designed for the next generation of customers.
For the Channel, the opportunity lies in selling the integrated, digital solutions that help businesses make the most of today’s opportunities and enable productivity and collaboration. There’s much more to the cloud than just basic software and services.
What should be the best cloud strategy for technology resellers / distributors?
Technology resellers’ and distributors’ first goal should be education. Read everything you can, think critically about the options, interview competitive vendors and service providers and build in-house experts who can advise you as a company on the best paths and partners going forward, while also building “centers of excellence” customers can tap into. The Channel’s strength has always been its relationships and its ability to offer up customized solutions. That hasn’t changed.