Spotlight on Digital Transformation | ChannelDrive.in
Channel resellers and Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are reviewing market opportunities in the context of a changing technology landscape for their customers, recognizing that the new environment will bring opportunities and challenges and planning their strategies for 2020 and beyond accordingly.
This is an exciting time for the Real Time Communications (RTC) industry as we see more and more resellers and MSPs making the leap from selling voice and data services, to becoming fundamental supporters of their customers’ new business offerings, including online customer service, e-commerce and more.
When resellers and MSPs invest in becoming Digital Service Providers (DSPs) they can compete more effectively and serve their customers more efficiently by partnering with them and supporting their own digital transformation journeys.
Mobile, cloud, big data, and omnichannel Customer Experience (CX) advancements have changed the way people communicate, including the rise of over-the-top (OTT) applications and social media as customers wish to select their channel of choice for interactions – whether discovering a new product or service, buying it, or receiving support and services for it.
It’s time for all participants in the industry to plot their course towards becoming digital service providers (DSPs).
Zia Askari from ChannelDrive.in caught up with Kanagalu Manoj, Ribbon’s Managing Director for India & South Asia to get his take on the opportunities and challenges ahead for companies who wish to participate in the next wave of RTC services.
How important do you think Digital Transformation is today for your customers and your partner community?
Everything is going digital and CSPs, MSPs and resellers must embrace and, anticipate and respond to the new needs of their customers and prospects. We work with “disrupters” as partners, as with a new Everything as a Service (XaaS) mindset, we can combine our Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) and related Unified Communications as a Service (UCaas) capabilities with third-party features, including voice recording and transcription, analytics and AI, security and more to create packages that are easy to sell and easy to buy.
It’s vital for the channel to understand the new world of hyper-digital RTC and to respond with the services that business will value and use for years to come.
Why should the channel community work towards investing in digital enablement and driving digital transformation for their enterprise and SMB customers?
The digital transition is happening and unless the channel becomes an active player in that space, it will confine itself to a smaller and smaller piece of the pie, supporting end of cycle deployments with limited lifespans.
How can the Channel Partner community become a catalyst in enabling digital change?
Channel partners are incredibly important to driving innovation because they are close to the customer, and understand their business strategies. The Channel excels when it goes the extra mile to become a strategic partner, bringing customers new ideas including new ways to interact with the market. For example, when a channel partner learns their customer is planning to redevelop their website, they can recommend adding “one touch” embedded communications into the site, for chat, or to reach a live agent. This deepens the value of the relationship, while driving new revenues for “sticky services” for the reseller, MSP and now DSP.
How are you as a vendor helping the channel community in terms of educating them towards embracing digital technologies and enhancing their digital skills?
We are constantly working closely with our channels, providing them everything they need to learn about the way RTC will evolve, and to understand our software-based products and services which can be white-labeled and rolled out to their customer base within days or weeks, not months or years, and without CapEx. We offer training, though training is far less arduous given how intuitive and software-based our solutions are, which are available on our pioneering Kandy CPaaS. Everything can be provisioned and sold through a web-based system, which flows through to the channel’s own customers including the set up and management of hundreds, thousands and even hundreds of thousands of subscribers.
In addition to a great fundamental platform for RTC service innovation and commercialization, we offer support in branding and rolling out those services.
What are the key digital trends that are redefining business growth and increasing business prospects for the channel community today?
Across the range of options, digital, real-time communications is growing. Contact centers are growing, embedded communications on the web are growing, in-app communications are growing, and this is because businesses who leverage new innovations are more competitive than those who aren’t. The adoption and acceptance of chat bots, for example, the popularity of customer service delivered via social media, the increasing use of screen-sharing and co-browsing to sell to and serve customers is rising every day both because it is so easy, with the right platform, to set up and go, and also because customers gravitate to these new communications channels almost by default.
What’s the best way – a channel partner can make the most of opportunities in digital transformation space?
Study the options, understand what different vendors offer, read the success stories, and understand the risks when going with an unproven solution. Recognize that adding layers of software-based, immersive and contextual communications features is easy to do with the right technology partners – and won’t be as difficult and risky as historic shifts (from wired telephone systems to VoIP telephony). There are no physical barriers when customers have ample broadband which is another huge opportunity for resellers, MSPs and the new DSPs – the more services sold, the more broadband is needed, resulting in expanding sales of Internet capacity as well as redundant Internet capacity as customers’ come to depend on their “over the top” services more.
What are the key verticals or low hanging fruits for the partner community to initiate their journey in the digital transformation space?
Every vertical is undergoing digital transformation, but we’re seeing faster adoption in the physical multi-site retail, e-commerce, banking, insurance and healthcare industries, in large part because they are so dependent on RTC and quality interactions at a high volume, and in large part because they see the economic value of modern cloud-based and OTT solutions, as long as those solutions work and are secure. Security as a service is another massive opportunity for resellers, MSPs and DSPs and, in fact, can become an important differentiator as the channel industry moves to become DSPs with offerings that transcend traditional voice and data. MSSPs (Managed Security Service Providers) are taking off, and it’s a good time to consider adding such offerings to round out and advance value-add to attract new customers, and to deepen relationships with existing customers.