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Many of your customers have a vacancy they need to fill, and your channel practice could be just right to fill it!

It’s a professional vacancy.

Most businesses have legal needs, so they have a law firm on retainer whose lawyers help them with those needs. Similarly, they have financial needs. They have an accounting firm whose partners and associates perform various accounting activities for them. They also have financial consultants and bankers who help them invest successfully. They have an insurance broker, doctors, and other professionals to help them with various other needs.

But who helps them communicate?

Communication is a Very Big Deal

What do companies and their people do most? They don’t litigate most, and they don’t count their money most. But they have specific professionals engaged to help with these.

The one thing everyone does more than they do anything else is communicate.

Certainly, we communicate when we speak. We also communicate with the look on our face. Where we gaze with our eyes communicates. Gestures communicate. We communicate in writing. We communicate face-to-face. We use various media to communicate.

We’re even communicating when we remain silent. What does it say when you complain bitterly to your boss about something that’s really bugging you, and they just look at you without saying a word. How long do you stand there until you get the message, turn around, and leave the room? And that communicates that you got their message…

We are constantly communicating.

Data! How does data sitting in storage make money? It doesn’t! Data never makes a dime sitting still. It only begins to make money when data is communicated from a provider to a customer.

Truly Unified Communication

Before there was Unified Communication there was the Universal Inbox. All email arrived in the inbox. Now voicemail messages would arrive there too, and faxes. This meant users only had to check one place instead of three! Huge.

Then Universal Communication incorporated more. Text messages, voice calls, video conferencing, application sharing, simultaneous editing, whiteboarding and more were possible all from a singular interface. Fantastic!

Then came Covid-19.

In March of 2020 everybody who could went home to work. Companies around the world were called upon to create miracles. How could they keep everyone communicating, collaborating, and getting things done?

Suddenly everyone was using videoconferencing to gather their teams together. Ad hoc communication became the standard. We texted more than ever. We emailed. We messaged on various platforms.

Silently, everything was incorporated into our communications. From a single platform we all sent and received everything digitally. Truly unified communication of everything.

The Big Surprise

In 1994, Novell Netware was still the networking operating system of choice and Robert Frankenberg was the Chairman of Novell. Telecommuting had been introduced. People could work from home and still access their corporate resources and communications using Netware!

Frankenberg declared, “Work is no longer a destination. It’s an activity.” Getting to work no longer required going to work. You were already there.

Yeah, not so much.

Executives didn’t like this work-from-home (WFH) so much. It made them nervous. How could they know their people were actually working? After all, they reasoned, the farmer’s shadow is the best fertilizer.

A quarter-century would have to go by, and Novell would fade away, before Frankenberg’s pronouncement became fact by necessity. Executives had the choice between people working from home, or not working at all. WFH was suddenly acceptable.

Then came the surprises!

Suddenly, executives noticed that their people were even more productive working from home than they were in the office. They soon found that people were starting work when they would ordinarily begin their commute. And they were working until they would ordinarily arrive home, and later! And nobody was asking them to! The constant “tap-on-the-shoulder” kind of interruptions we all live with in the office were completely absent at home. People were more relaxed having not struggled through a commute, and comfortable in the familiar surroundings of their home.

WFH turns out to be a good thing. Who knew?

Further reading: The Key to Channel Growth: Working with Vendors to Create New Services

What Does This Mean for the Channel?

This change hasn’t increased how much we communicate, but it has shifted far more of it to the need for digital support. The networks we all communicate over have become far more complex, with everyone connecting using residential internet connections instead of the corporate network. Much harder to secure. Much more complicated strategy needed to keep it secure and sustained.

Unified Communications has become ubiquitous. Unified Communications as a service (UCaaS) has been facilitating everything, making it far easier for widely dispersed teams to get together virtually. Everything we communicate we now communicate over the network. Never before have your customers needed you so much.

The key to success for you is all in the packaging. You need to survey the various UC and UCaaS offerings available for you to sell. How well will they integrate with other platforms you offer to your customers? How can you offer a completely integrated singular offering that makes life as simple as possible for your customers while making you as indispensable to them as possible?

Look for vendors who strive to make integration easy, who deliver their services as a comprehensive platform with plentiful APIs ready to connect to anything. Look for messaging that talks to customers about cost savings, operational simplification, reduction and minimization of use of the public switched telephone network (PSTN), preferring to conduct as much traffic as possible across the internet.

You have the opportunity to become your customer’s preferred provider when you build new expertise in making UC or UCaaS the core of a complete platform that supports all communications and all computing.