Parallel Lines: Adapt quickly, or die

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Spend on fixed-line networks in the UK dwindled last year and analysts are predicting the trend will continue this year. However, partners who have thus far only been selling traditional voice minutes have new growth areas to exploit by moving into the provision of unified communications (UC) services that link fixed-line, mobile and computer-based communication tools.

As opposed to being a threat, UC represents a great opportunity for channel partners to grow their businesses. The move towards UC technology has been bolstered by the significant increase in the number of individual communication points of contact which we have at home and at work, and the increasing demands of UK businesses for fully integrated data, voice, video, mobile and broadband.

UC services offer clear benefi ts to UK businesses, particularly those operating in the SME space. Channel partners need to recognise the opportunities that exist in evolving their offering to include UC, giving customers scalable solutions and enabling partners to adapt quickly to customers’ changing business needs.

The benefits are further enhanced when UC services are provided in a cloud-based or hosted solution. Simply put, hosted UC combines the
power of IP telephony and hosted applications, providing businesses with voice-enabled applications that can run in the cloud as a hosted service. Instead of just making money from minutes through the provision of traditional telecom services, partners can offer customers a prepay service that enhances opportunities to not only create recurring sustainable revenues, but to provide a suite of valueadded services. This offering is particularly attractive to SMEs as they do not have to take on the expense and time investment required to set up an in-house converged solution.

Full article in Mobile News issue 456 (February 1, 2010).

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