Unified communications is evolving. Vendors are transitioning towards cloud-based solutions, and value-add distributors such as Westcon are offering partners new ways to go to market. Malkit Badesha, Westcon Vendor Business Lead, offers his perspectives on UCaaS compared with traditional on-premises solutions, and how partners can leverage the cloud opportunity.

Cloud and PBX sales motions are not the same

The sales processes for UCaaS and typical PBX solutions are very different. Selling a PBX-based solution to a large enterprise can take a year or more, and even SMB solutions typically take 90+ days – but with UCaaS the cycle can be as little as 30 days.

The UCaaS environment for partners is faster paced, meaning that the sales motion is different and requires different skills. UCaaS deals typically require engagement within a few hours of first contact, and can often be won or lost within the first day based on the speed of response.

Vendors such as Avaya sell a range of UC and on-premises contact-centre solutions, but to support the growing need for a faster response, they now have dedicated units focused on UCaaS. With speed so vital to UCaaS, partners may need to reskill their teams to keep pace.

Moving to UCaaS

There are positive challenges facing the channel when moving to a recurring cloud model. With no need for investment in technical training and engineering support, partners can leverage the opportunity to reshape their resources to focus on becoming a more sales-led engine, with a lighter touch on technical support and engineering. This drives additional opportunities to attach Westcon services and support to the UCaaS solution.

With many vendors there is also an option to sell hybrid solutions. This provides a clear path for partners on their journey to the cloud while leveraging the support offered by Westcon. Whatever model channel partners choose, it’s important to consider and deliver what customers need both today and in the future.

Choosing the right path

There’s a huge opportunity for partners to choose their ideal path to cloud. Some will choose a hybrid model and some will move into selling UCaaS only. Whatever model partners choose, Westcon is ideally placed to help them navigate the transformation of UC and build a sustainable cloud-based business.

Find out how we can help you make the most of the UCaaS opportunity with Avaya.