Twenty-first century networks are taking over from traditional fixed-line telephony infrastructures and profit margins from voice minutes are eroding.
Channel partners should change their approach, and this must be supported by training, information and support from network operators. At the moment, many are not adequately communicating the opportunities in next-generation networks (NGN). And many players see NGN as too complex.
End users now employ many media at home and at work, including mobile phones, email and voicemail, many of which are getting smarter and more complicated. Voice has become just another application on the data network as demand increases for fully integrated data, voice and video.
We all know that you struggle to grow in a mature market. The key to expanding your bottom line is to sell more products to the customers you already serve, and NGN can help you do this.
For example, if you bundle session initiation protocol-enabled devices with a broadband connection offering 1Mbit/s upstream, you can support 10 lines. Additionally, there are opportunities to provide security, hosting, anti-virus, firewalls and so on.
Businesses want to manage expenditure and scale up in a cost-effective way. NGN supports voice and data on a single interface, reducing communication and infrastructure costs. This is more efficient.
Refined connection choices mean fewer telecommunications and IT suppliers are required, helping simplify operations and cut procurement costs.
Applications such as VoIP and hosted offerings are available over a resilient NGN. A more sophisticated way of working is enabled, without the user having to learn a new way of doing things.
For example, through fixed-mobile convergence you can cut costs by putting mobile calls over the fixed network rather than the mobile one.
Resellers and dealers need to start asking for more support from their network provider, and should expect to work with it to deliver NGN.
Choose a provider with a well-developed, resilient network and a channel offering.
We think NGN technologies are the most viable source of revenue growth. To understand and communicate the business benefits of NGN, new tools and IT skills are required, but it is not a complicated sell.
Andy Hollingworth is director of wholesale at Opal
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