The telco (telecommunications) market today is more saturated than it’s ever been, brimming with potential solutions for connectivity, collaboration and call-centre management. While that might seem like a good thing from the perspective of end-customers who want plenty of choices to browse through, vendors and resellers are beginning to struggle when it comes to showing their audience what truly makes them special in this newly flooded environment.
As always in the business world, if you want to get ahead of your competitors, then you need to know how to stand out. TelcoSwitch is some of the leading specialists in the industry when it comes to delivering unique hosted telephony solutions to the channel. With years of expertise to share, Paul Gibbs, the sales director for TelcoSwitch, sat down with me for a conversation about differentiation in the new telco world.
White Label Cloud Telephony
Perhaps the primary lesson to learn from TelcoSwitch if you’re looking to add value to your company as a telco brand in the modern market is that you need to have a powerful USP. For TelcoSwitch, their key differentiating factor comes in the ability to offer their customers a unique white label strategy for success. I asked Paul to tell me a little more about the white label research package, and how resellers can use it to make their companies shine:
“Our white label package is something I’d call “True White Label”. That means that resellers get their own server within the TelcoSwitch cloud, that’s fully white labelled at an URL level. If you look at Overline, for instance, they’re one of our resellers that use TelcoSwitch to run a product called Sync for their customers. The URL-level white label strategy means that everything from email to voicemail is branded, allowing them to build loyalty among their customers, and set themselves apart as a new feature in the marketplace.”
Paul went on to say that resellers can use the white label product to penetrate verticals by showing customers that they have a “bespoke product” to deliver, featuring things that other vendors simply can’t offer.
Are You Offering Multi-Tenanted Options for Your Resellers?
I was keen to learn more about the versatility and simplicity of the white label package for resellers in the TelcoSwitch community, so I asked Paul to describe a little more about how the system works:
“We can deliver a fully multi-tenanted white label solution for resellers to offer their customers, already adapted and optimised to provide the best results. You don’t even have to go out and find your own SIP solutions because it’s already bundled into the package that we’re offering.”
In other words, TelcoSwitch doesn’t only give their resellers a chance to access a “Create Your Own” experience when it comes to differentiating themselves in the marketplace, but they also make the resources those resellers need as simple and accessible as possible too. I asked Paul whether it takes resellers long to get up and running on the TelcoSwitch platform, and he said:
“No, we’ve made it incredibly easy to get on board as a partner. As with most things, it’s a three-stage process, where we offer sales training, portal training, and tech training. The tech training is just the start because we also offer deep-dive sessions for our resellers, where we teach them to make the most out of the clever tools and systems that we’ve integrated into the CallSwitch service.”
So, How Do TelcoSwitch Differentiate Themselves from Big Players in the Market?
It was obvious to me that TelcoSwitch has a lot to offer their resellers and channel partners, but I wondered whether the company had any distinct strategies in place for making sure that they out-shone their competitors in this complex environment. Paul noted that, as is evident on his LinkedIn page, he’s very focused on differentiation, because he knows how important it is to carve a space for yourself in a flooded market:
“Today, there are countless people seemingly offering the same thing to the same customers. While you can claim to offer better customer service and experiences, most end-users will end up making a decision based on price, unless you can establish some kind of brand loyalty. At TelcoSwitch, we differentiate ourselves by offering channel partners and resellers that white label strategy, that allows them to step outside of the price battle, and build a more distinct branded experience.”
Paul explained that the white label option allows companies to create a product that’s entirely their own, so that they can approach the market in a way that looks, and feels different to the other copy and pasted solutions out there. Additionally, TelcoSwitch is fighting back against the vendor swapping issue, by giving their partners and resellers different licensing options.
“I think vendor swapping is happening because when the 36-month agreements end, people expect their providers to give them a lower price. However, many resellers simply can’t afford to do this. That’s why we offer a popular lifetime licensing option alongside our recurring seat prices, to give resellers more versatility. Not only is the strategy cheaper, but at the end of the term, the partners revert to a very low-cost maintenance fee, which means they can offer their end-users a lower price while maintaining a high-profit margin.”
What Do You Predict for Telcos in the Next 3 to 5 Years?
Today, it’s fair to say that we’re experiencing a significant shift in the telco world. Most vendors are beginning to offer cloud options first to end-users because they know that’s what they want. For Paul, and TelcoSwitch, the reign of on-premises options is over, and new, more versatile hosted solutions are beginning to take their place.
“There are about 97+ cloud communications vendors in the UK right now, and I think if you want to succeed in that space, you need to find a way to be disruptive, and different. Hosted markets are growing, and I think there’s going to be some consolidation in the next three years or so. During that time, people will have to start growing their expertise and thinking about integrating CRM verticals into their strategy. In fact, most of our seats are now being integrated into CRM platforms, because people see the value of that solution.”
For TelcoSwitch, versatility is the name of the game for the future. That means that dime-a-dozen telcos could begin to see a serious decline.