Often times I am asked to provide advice to our partners on how they can increase their sales. In addition to the basic blocking and tackling that must be done to develop a sales force and educate our prospects, we need to evolve our solution offering as well. So, if a VAR has trained his personnel, developed collateral, has a successful lead generation program and is protecting the integrity of his pricing, then he is blocking and tackling well. Given that, I have asked them about their web efforts. Do they have an effective website? Have they practiced either Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or Search Engine Marketing (SEM)? Normally, the VARs do not see improving these things as driving new revenue. I beg to differ but I understand their desire to perform a more concrete action to move a sale along. As I sat working at the Cleveland airport yesterday using my wireless 3G card, I considered the progress that I have seen in wireless over the last 25 years. I remember the early days of cellular when carrying a cell phone required a shoulder bag and the idea of connecting a computer to it was unimaginable. I stopped working to consider how many of our VARs now include a wireless strategy as part of their TDM to IP transition sales effort and I developed an actionable answer.
With the advent of nationwide 4G, Android, the iPhone and the ever-reliable BlackBerry, what wireless products and services are the natural complement to selling VoIP/SIP Trunking? How do we position the value proposition behind these products? By developing a wireless strategy to complement your current IP offering, I believe you will see an improvement in closing new business. Unified communications as a term does little to motivate SMBs to purchase new equipment or upgrade existing infrastructure. However, augmenting the cost savings of VoIP/SIP Trunking with the added mobility of phones that can move from the office, to the car, to the prospect's site delivers the productivity benefits to potential buyers.
As an industry, our focus has been on IADs, media gateways, IP PBXs and, of course, the service offering provided by Broadvox and other ITSPs. Now we need to evolve and understand that the emphasis on the technology of IP communications must change to the improvement in productivity. Mobility has been identified by AT&T, Verizon and Sprint as the cornerstone of their future business strategies. It is also viewed by Google, Apple and I assume RIM as a major revenue growth area. At Broadvox, we have tested several wireless implementations both in our R&D labs and in the field.
I'll discuss some of the potential equipment and application areas for leveraging wireless and IP communications in my next blog.