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April 23, 2015 - By: Michelle Accardi

Think UC for Spring

Every spring, the channel gets together in Las Vegas at Channel Partners to learn about the latest technology innovations, vet new relationships, do business, check out the competition, catch up with longtime business partners, and trade tips and tricks.

Star2Star was there with a wildly successful St. Patrick’s Day party at the House of Blues and dozens of great meetings. Traffic at our booth surpassed the record levels of years past, and we were able to give away a $1,000 booth promotion! We could not be more excited about the new partners that we’re adding to our channel and the opportunities that lie ahead.

Channel Partners is a compass-point event for us as it offers a unique opportunity to meet with our partners and talk with the community about what’s shaping our industry.

A few key interrelated themes emerged at this year’s spring show that are worth talking about, including addressing end-user challenges, the ongoing march of cloud adoption, and what mobility and the Internet of Things (IoT) mean for channel partners.

We talk a great deal about the convergence of channel partner business models: How traditional telecom partners are developing IT strategies and vice versa, and how as-a-service options have transformed the conversations that agents and VARs have with end users. Instead of focusing the conversation around saving money on basic connectivity services, the channel partner’s role is now to support individual organizations’ business outcomes with savvy, thoughtful solutions. Improvements in “speeds and feeds” are now an assumed part of the proposal. The customer needs more than that. 

As more and more companies turn to cloud communications services, the consultative aspect of the sale becomes even more critical. For example, Michelle Accardi, CMO at Star2Star noted that channel companies looking for cloud market opportunities have a number of different touch-points to discuss beyond the actual cloud connectivity itself. These include application performance, user experience, security, and quality and management goals. 

“For instance, ensuring security requirements are met is increasingly a part of advising on purchases, as is call quality,” she explained. “Star2Star’s StarBox® Voice Optimized SD-WAN provides numerous additional features, like built-in quality-of-service and call control—and these are additional avenues of discussion with customers interested in what moving to the cloud will do for their communications.”

And what of mobility and the rising number of connected devices? The show’s Channel Partner Zone panel (which included a range of channel reps from vendors, Larry Walsh, CEO and chief analyst at the 2112 Group and Channelnomics, and Art Wittmann, content director of Channel Partners) concluded that desk phones are a dying breed as portable and mobile devices supplant them. Outside of contact center applications and the like, mobile UC extensions have made it possible to truly cut the cord when it comes to office boundaries and leverage mobility to deliver greater business value. This opens up a whole new range of possibilities for partners in terms of additional revenue streams via devices, enterprise applications, device management and connectivity consulting. 

At Star2Star, we specialize in bringing all of these trends together. Our scalable pure to on-premises cloud solutions give businesses access to a rich suite of advanced unified communications features that are designed to boost productivity and reduce costs, dovetailing with the trends that are driving channel partners’ businesses forward. To find out more, click here


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