Resellers have often been an afterthought when it comes to cloud-based unified communications solutions, according to distributor Pragma, which claims it is righting this wrong with its new IPECS Cloud offering.
Since launching in 2012, Pragma claims to have bitten off at least a four per cent market share for sole vendor partner Ericsson-LG and its on-premise IPECS offering.
But from this month, resellers can also offer customers IPECS via the cloud following the launch of IPECS Cloud.
Pragma managing director Tim Brooks told CRN that IPECS Cloud boasts a range of technology and commercial benefits over competitors, which he said have looked upon resellers as an afterthought.
"We have worked really hard on the commercial mode and believe it is the most reseller-centric cloud solution available in the market," Brooks said.
"Most cloud services are great for the service provider that's delivering it, but they are always a bit of a compromise when it comes to the reseller. We are providing four engagement models, from the point of view of a dealer that doesn't have their capability through to a wholesale reseller who wants to bill themselves. We have also created the ability for a reseller to connect their own SIP trunk to our platform so they can create and manage the call bundles and traffic themselves. There are no limitations on how they engage with us."
Brooks said IPECS Cloud can deliver "true PBX functionality" but at a price that scales down to small users.
"A lot of the competition out there either have very poor functionality or, if they do have PBX functionality, they have to create dedicated instances for each customer and the cost of that means it doesn't scale down to the 10-user market," he explained.
Ericsson-LG was little known in the UK market when Pragma took it on but, citing figures from analyst MZA, Brooks said Pragma had grown its market share from one per cent to four per cent in 2014 alone. Its share in its sub-100-user stronghold rose from three to seven per cent, he said.
Founded in 2012 by Brooks and two other former Crane executives, Pragma now has nearly 30 staff and trades with 150 resellers.
"We grew by 30 per cent last year but we actually traded with five fewer partners – our objective is to do more business with the resellers we have, rather than blindly recruiting more and more partners," Brooks said.
Despite nominally being a distributor, Pragma acts as the UK sales office for Ericsson-LG and carries no other major brands.
"We are their sole representative in the UK market so they are as reliant on us as we are on them. Happily it is a partnership that works and a model they have operated successfully around the world," Brooks said.
"There is a likelihood that in the future Pragma might do different things but we would not carry products that compete directly with them."
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