In a room filled with VAR's, inter-connects and VoIP resellers (and one investor), our ITEXPO panel this morning discussed making money from IP communications.
How does the indirect channel make money from IP? It is SO different from TDM. This isn't really plug-and-play services. There are so many factors that will affect a deployment, like LAN assessment and DID mapping. And as Kevin Kelleher, EVP at Iwatsu Voice Networks, remarked, it is valuable to know How NOT to Lose money with VoIP deployment.
All the panelists agreed that it is mainly about saving money. The conversation has to be around what would you like to happen with not just your phone calls but your email, your IM/chat, your conversations. It's about how do you want to interact and communicate with your customers, vendors, etc.
Robert Messer, President & CEO, ABP Technology, Inc. (a ditsributor), noted that phones aren't ringing as much any more. But email, chat, web inquiries are increasing. How is the sales team handling that activity? How is it being tracked for sales and compensation? Then David Byrd, VP at Broadvox, mentioned that FMC is device free, meaning that as we move more and more communication activity - voice, text, IM, Facebook, twitter - to smartphones, the applications that deliver on the promise of UC (unified communications) will be just that: applications, maybe in The Cloud, but riding over a SIP Trunk. So the SIP Trunk should be the baseline base for communications, but the sale shouldn't end there.