IP has been the subject of a lot of hype, but there is no doubt that it is having a serious impact on resellers. Over the past year there has been an explosion of IP activity with new companies, products and services being launched almost every week. VARs simply cannot afford to ignore IP and any company that sticks its head in the sand will find that it will no longer have a business in a few years.
IP should be a serious consideration for both resellers and their customers alike. The move to IP is now a case of when, not if.
As well as delivering standard telephony, IP provides a platform for next generation unified communications, which can help a business reduce costs, improve workforce effectiveness and enhance customer care. Through IP, information can be easily shared in real-time between working teams across geographically diverse locations. It is also possible to better manage information flow, ensuring that the right people get the right information.
Shifts in communications technology do not happen overnight, but as companies increasingly adopt IP it is becoming essential for resellers, including traditional minutes and PBX resellers, to get on board.
However, the proliferation of new IP solutions has resulted in a crowded and confused market with hundreds of suppliers to choose from.
Resellers should look for IP products tailored to the channel. End-to-end IP solutions can bring PBX functionality within reach of small businesses and home offices, meaning that firms of all sizes can capitalise on connected business solutions. Requirements will change between customers – from network connections through to IP phones and routers.
Resellers should also be aware of IP products with intuitive, secure web interfaces that enable users to turn features on and off with the click of a mouse. This is a huge benefit to VARs because it reduces the resources they need to devote to processing their customers’ moves and changes.
As IP services continue to evolve and grow, resellers need to be aware of the potential it can offer them and their customers to avoid missing out on this key shift in communications technology.
Iain Shearman is sales director of partner services at Kingston Communications.
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