As much as I grumble often about the VoIP/UC providers and their lack of differentiation, SD-WAN is going to be just as bad. It is almost a commodity out of the gate.
Since most product markets are flat (think broadband, cellular, voice, TV), the race is on to take customers away. Without a better mouse trap, it is all about price.
In an industry (ours), where technology is painted as the product and we mainly sell replacement products (SIP Trunks for POTS and PRI, Ethernet for T1, 4G for DSL), the price compression happens quickly. This means less commission and less income for the partners (agents).
Despite this dilemma and the revenue decline it has caused carriers that has resulted in industry consolidation, carriers have not done enough Product Market/Fit testing. Once again they go wide instead of deep. (At least EarthLink went deep into Retail.)
Money is only left in verticals and specialization. HIPAA and other compliance allow for a discussion about business needs, not cost savings. Talking about business needs, outcomes, and pain points are how you move away from the RFP process.
Selling into verticals means that you can speak their language; bring best practices (or at least anecdotes); and word of mouth is louder in a silo.
This is just part one of several to come on how partners can make more margin.