Last week I had the pleasure of participating as a panelist for Jabra’s webinar titled, “Voice in the Cloud: How SaaS Platforms are Changing How SMBs Talk, Collaborate and Work.” I was invited to participate by Urban Gillis, Jabra’s Sales VP, who wanted to focus the webinar on how voice or “UCaaS” (Unified Communications as a Service) is making its way into our industry.
During the 30-minute-plus session, Gillis and I discussed everything from the current state of the cloud, the opportunities for VARs and MSPs, and the impact that the cloud will have on SMBs going forward. I also provided webinar listeners with resources they could look into for additional information on the cloud, and how to learn more.
What was probably the highlight of the webinar was when Gillis and I discussed the current changing landscape of how more SMBs will require services in addition to product offerings, and what that will mean for both the VAR/MSP and the SMB. During the conversation, I mentioned that many of today’s SMBs don’t want someone who is going to just come in fix their phone, headset, or conferencing devices and then just send them a bill. They want recurring revenue, they want someone who is going to guide them and be more pro-active rather than reactive with their services.
This assessment also reminded me of something I was told by Buck Baker, President, ScanSource Communications, a few years ago. At the time, he was with Catalyst Telecom, one of the distributor’s other divisions, and he mentioned to me that he was speaking in front of a group of VARs, and he said to them (though not intentionally trying to scare them) that if they wanted to continue “just selling phones” they would be out of business within a few years. While Baker wasn’t trying to be negative, he was merely trying to explain to this group that services were coming, and on their way, and that SMBs, were going to, now more than ever, require a full gamut of services moving forward—not just a simple desk phone.
For more on this web seminar, and to learn more about voice in the cloud, click here for a free report, “3 Megatrends in the SMB channel.” Also check back here soon for the on-demand link to the webinar, once it becomes available.