Platform Thinking and Solution Wise Selling as the new Standards in Telecom2. July 2018 Published by Raphael Doerr
Almost every SME uses the cloud one way or another these days, whether it’s for mobile working, data backup or sharing information. This also applies to their business telephony, with the rise of technologies like VoIP and SIP. In Sweden for example, we noticed an important trend of SMEs switching from on premise systems, including a PBX system and hardware, to telephone functionalities in the cloud. Not surprising, since the cloud offers businesses important benefits, like reducing costs, flexibility and user-friendliness. However, in their cloud communications solution, SMEs still need some kind of equipment – whether this is mobile, desktop or cordless telephony. And to serve companies in an optimal way, these hardware devices should be interoperable with their cloud solution. What does this mean for the telecom sector?
Other communication demands
First, let’s take a step back. In former years, most businesses used traditional on premise PBX systems combined with telephones from the same supplier, to ensure interoperability. Nowadays, it’s quite a different story. Companies depend on various providers for their software solutions and hardware devices. In addition, they have other expectations from their devices. Previously, the business telephone was mainly used to make phone calls. These days it’s more than that. Think about advanced call routing, audio and video conferencing, the use of business applications or even Computer Telephony Integration (CTI).
End customers in focus
For telecom manufacturers and cloud providers this means they need to collaborate to meet the needs of business end users. They need to invest in interop testing to ensure the interoperability and certification of hardware for cloud platforms. For years, cloud providers relied on various third-party hardware manufacturers with certified devices for their platform. In Sweden, a new trend is emerging: cloud providers and hardware manufacturers are uniting through acquisitions and mergers. This way, they link cloud platforms and hardware devices, to jointly serve the end customer. It’s almost like going back to the 90s, when end users were supported by one single party for their telephony. This kind of ‘platform thinking’ is the new standard, and offers end users a complete communications solution.
From reseller to service partner
For telecom manufacturers, collaboration means serving the end user optimally, with guaranteed end-to-end functionality and the stability, credibility and quality of a well-known partner. However, it also requires another way of sales and service. It’s no longer a matter of resellers selling a solution and setting-up the required devices. On-site set-up is history, thanks to functions like auto provisioning. We are working towards a service provider model, for example with companies paying a monthly fee for online and offline service by resellers.
Solution wise selling
It also means that telecom companies need to be aware of the fact that they are expected to offer comprehensive communications solutions. At Gigaset for example, we offer a combination of traditional desktop phones, DECT systems and smartphones. All our products are certified for large and small cloud and software platforms, to ensure optimal interoperability. For that purpose we collaborate closely with local and international premium partners. It’s our way to respond to the developments within the market, and to ensure continuous availability, optimal coverage and the right communications features for all business end users worldwide. Because we should always remember, it’s the overall service of the provider the end customer needs for his business and this service has to come to life via the perfect hardware solutions – preferably ours. That combination is what we call ‘solution wise selling’ at Gigaset.