In the mid-nineties as the CTI market stormed onto the scene a slew of new unified messaging companies came onto the scene looking to sell systems which integrated voicemail into corporate email repositories and later IP-based phone systems. The biggest challenge of the day was the traditional interconnect or telephone system reseller didn't understand data and the data guys didn't get voice.
A new breed of reseller was born and the data and voice VARs who couldn't adapt were at a huge disadvantage which forced many of them to close up shop.
The agent market too is evolving as core products are being sold today through call centers and the Internet and if you are still doing business the way you did a decade ago, you are in deep trouble. One of TMC's writers most well-versed in the agent and channel space is Peter Radizeski and in a recent post titled 3 Reasons I Get a Rash from my Industry he expresses his dissatisfaction with the pace of change in the agent community.
He argues that ISPs who didn't evolve died and he is right:
At one time, there were over 7000 independent ISP's in this country offering Internet Access to a majority of America. The Independent ISP's were the ones who introduced dial-up to every corner of the nation and then foisted DSL on to the marketplace. Once the ILEC's got in the game, it started changing. But no one was really paying attention. Business models didn't change. New skills weren't added. Strategic partnerships weren't made. Instead, many sold out. The remaining ones today just got a swift kick in the groin by the ILEC's, but instead of getting mad and changing course, have simply said, "Thank you sir. May I have another next year?"
And this is exactly why his final words should be resonating with agents and resellers:
I fear Agents will be doing the same thing, since carriers don't need you to sell stuff that they can sell via a website or a call center.
I have made a living in-part bringing new ideas and business opportunities to resellers worldwide. CTI, IP communications and contact centers are a few areas I have focused on in my career and resellers who followed what I wrote and came to conferences sponsored by my company TMC were able to get a solid jump on the market and lock up exclusive territories with a slew of hot companies which became the must-have products of their time.
I'd like to say I can predict which companies will be the next surefire success but sadly I can't. What I can do is have my team of writers focus on the hottest prospects and that is what we do day on TMCnet and our various magazines day in and out.
In just over a month we are bringing together the largest collection of communications and technology thought leaders and companies together under a single roof at ITEXPO a show which had its humble roots serving the IP communications market. At this show you will find the latest communications products such as SIP trunking which are selling like wildfire (bad pun for those of you with a bit of telecom history).
In addition, you can come and find the latest in IP fax and also IP video and collaboration. Moreover, we have numerous collocated events the same week designed to help agents and the channel stay AHEAD of the curve. The value of finding out about the next new thing after the resellers are in place is fairly low - ITEXPO is the only in-person place there is in the world to see the hand-picked companies my team has put in place to help make you rich.
The first event is CVx or ChannelVision Expo - a partnership with TMC and experts in the channel space Beka Publishing. This is the newest channel show in the world and already has a solid following from the industry and we expect it to be a can't miss opportunity for the channel to come together and learn everything they need to know to stay ahead of the game.
Other can't miss opportunities for resellers include FtOCC Trixbox training, MPLS University, Cloud Communications Summit, SIP Tutorial, and the very popular SIP Trunking Summit which is now the Ingate SIP Trunk-Unified Communications Summit.
In short, as a reseller of any kind of service you need to evolve... Markets are changing and margins are being squeezed in traditional areas. All the while the opportunity to generate large amounts of a revenue reselling products and services from new entrants has not slowed down. Cloud computing is just one of the reasons for the new opportunity - how do you think hundreds of new cloud vendors will reach their markets? Through resellers of course! You must be at ITEXPO October 4-6 in Los Angeles, CA to learn more about the enormous opportunities which ahead. Register now and add to your calendar.