It's time to pay attention to the Canadian UCaaS market
This is the final post in a three-part series that explores the market dynamics that make selling UCaaS a compelling proposition for Canadian managed service providers, the inevitable competition with the telcos, and an emerging partner model that could offer the winning formula for MSPs.
CREATING A UCaaS PRACTICE - BUILD, PARTNER OR INNOVATE?
Canadian MSPs selling into the UCaaS market face a key decision — do they build capabilities in-house, rely on a master agent, or choose one or two leading solutions providers and depend on their technical and support capabilities?
Getting it right is top of mind for Canadian MSPs. In the recent channel survey conducted by TechnoPlanet and the Corlea Group on behalf of LANtelligence, over 50% of Canadian respondents said the lack of design and deployment expertise was a key roadblock to selling UCaaS. In related responses, almost one in three pointed to a lack of sales and support capabilities, and 28% feared losing a customer over a poor deployment.
Building in-house UCaaS capabilities allows MSPs to customize for their target customers and differentiate themselves from the competition. But it’s a costly and complex undertaking. Technical and sales resources need to be trained or hired. Vendor certifications, support center requirements, marketing — the list goes on, and much of the investment takes place before there’s a supporting sales funnel or revenue stream.
Partnering with a solutions provider addresses some of these issues but can limit an MSP’s technology options. Solutions providers provide limited design and engineering assistance, especially if it involves integration with legacy or competitive solutions. As for ongoing support, many providers only offer access to a bare-bones contact center and will often contract out their field support requirements to third parties.
Working with a master agent opens up an MSP’s technology options but may accomplish little else. Master agents also have constrained resources, often relying on solutions providers themselves. They generally don’t offer project management and have difficulties supporting complex integration requirements.
INNOVATIVE PARTNER MODEL CLOSES GAPS IN UCaaS SALES AND DELIVERY
A new partner category, pioneered by LANtelligence, promises to fill in the missing pieces of the current UCaaS channel delivery model and provide full support across the solution lifecycle.
Known as Master Solutions Providers, these companies provide a full suite of technical, project management and sales support to the MSP community:
- Access to top solutions - Master Solutions Providers will evaluate the field of over 70 UCaaS and CCaaS platforms to identify and partner with the most capable, stable and technically superior providers.
- Complete Engineering and design support delivered by a team of certified, dedicated engineers.
- Experienced project managers will ensure each solution is tailored to customer requirements and implemented according to a detailed and documented timeline — all captured in an automated, online project management system.
- Available 24/7/365 Technical Support, ideally US-based, providing full level one/level two support and using real-time CRM alerts to update MSP partners.
- Sales and marketing support including inside sales and lead generation to help MSPs engage new prospects and customers.
- Advanced Integration with legacy platforms and CRM systems such as Salesforce.
Canadian MSPs are eager to solve the technical and operational challenges of selling UCaaS and are looking outside their own companies to do it. According to the TechnoPlanet survey, 80% of MSPs are likely to partner with a UCaaS solutions provider that offers expert-level deployment and post-project support.
With sales, technical and support capabilities spanning the entire UCaaS lifecycle, emerging Master Solutions Providers offer a high-value alternative for Canadian MSPs and may provide them with the partnership and resources they need to compete and win in the UCaaS market.
About Chris Poupart:
Chris Poupart is a networking and IT industry veteran. As a member of the Cisco Canada executive, he led the Canadian Services team, engaging the Cisco partner community to grow sales and drive customer satisfaction. Prior positions included national sales and channel roles with Cisco, Nortel, and Bay Networks.
Now an independent B2B technology marketing consultant based in Toronto, Chris writes about technology solutions and how they have the power to transform businesses and the workplace