MSPs and resellers in telecom are going in three directions. The first is business as usual. They continue to sell boxes and/or cloud services. Sometimes they’ll just refer the business to the UCaaS provider and other times, they’ll do the install themselves.
Another direction is the reseller becoming an MSP. They install software in the cloud – which could be their own data center, AWS, etc. They then sell the service and become the UCaaS provider.
The third and most interesting trend I’m seeing in the market is groups of resellers pooling resources to deploy a UCaaS solution which they all benefit from. This further reduces costs.
Recently, I sat down with Nick Galea, CEO of 3CX about the company’s UC solution. He emphasized they want to focus exclusively on the software side of the business and be best-in-breed across platforms from Windows to Linux as well as cloud. They have a strong channel focus and they are differentiating by adding features such as WebRTC conferencing and a leading smartphone client.
They have been focusing more global solutions as of late and their sweet spot is between 20-1,000 extensions. He says his customers want more control. They don’t want upgrades and changes made without their consent.
Perhaps the most fascinating area of discussion was savings. Assuming a company pays a cloud vendor $25-$30 per month per seat, one month of cloud spend is about what you’ll pay for a 3CX solution for a year.
He says business is growing and they’re seeing a lot of ex-resellers from Toshiba/Mitel and Avaya.
In fact he said optimistically, the company aims to be in the top three over time.
Other benefits include a hybrid solution allowing a branch to have an SBC which runs on a mini PC. The extensions can then use the SBC to communicate and RDP traffic from calls can be routed via the internal network instead of traversing the internet. This increases security and reduces bandwidth needs and potentially cost. This also allows older phones which don’t support STUN to be used.
3CX doesn’t only challenge the OTT UCaaS providers, they also give Broadsoft a run for their money as they provide a less expensive solution which is easier to manage.
The final pitch for the reseller/MSP according to Nick is going with 3CX allows you to make money more quickly and you only pay for the customers you have. There is a serious arbitrage opportunity here for the reseller who is looking to boost margins and can manage a cloud communications system on their own.