Looking to simplify complexity and also lower costs to help its channel
partners make inroads into the small and midsize business market, unified
communications vendor Objectworld will integrate its UC offering with
Microsoft’s Small Business Server/Essential Business Server offerings.
Microsoft partners already selling Microsoft Small Business Server/Essential
Business Server, the UC solution offers an incremental revenue stream that will
keep their customers focused on Microsoft-compatible solution sets and drive
more revenues, according to Objectworld’s Vincent Guihan, director of marketing
integration between the two may be just the salve the unified communications
market needs in uncertain economic times. Larger enterprises that had once
embraced unified communications projects are now cutting back their IT
spending, Guihan says.
slowed down despite all the excitement about it," says Guihan, "because
when solution providers research it, they discover that a lot of vendors aren’t
delivering solutions that are cost-effective and easy to deploy,” at which
point both interest and feasibility fizzle.
if customers remain interested, solutions often aren’t feasible for SMBs and
midmarket customers by the time they total up the cost of the hardware and
software and add in the need for four to six weeks of deployment and
integration, says Guihan.
why vendors focusing on winning unified communications deals in the SMB space—including
Cisco, Avaya, NEC Unified Solutions and Objectworld—have looked to simplify
their offerings and lower their pricing.
strategy is to deliver turnkey UC solution packages that are easy to deploy and
with much lower price points, says Guihan. He says that approach has immunized
Objectworld solution providers from slowing demand and decreasing sales.
Objectworld’s solutions with Microsoft’s
and EBS will help solution providers even more, by removing both the complexity
and cost barriers, says Guihan, and opening up access to Microsoft’s large
network of channel partners for greater market visibility.
does have its own UC solution, Office Communication Server, but that offering
is targeted to larger enterprises and won’t result in a conflict of interest
for channel partners, according to Guihan.
OCS is targeted for a desktop productivity play and is very useful for large
organizations whose employees need to work more effectively with each other,”
says Guihan. Objectworld’s channel partners are focused more on customers who
need end-to-end services that are more basic and allow them to work with
external customers, like voice mail and fax capabilities, he says.
says the interoperability will open up new opportunities both for Objectworld’s
channel to tap into smaller, underserved Microsoft customers and for
Microsoft’s channel to take advantage of the ability to reach smaller
want to make it clear to Microsoft partners that our products are out there,
they’re simple to deploy, they take 15 minutes per user to set up, and they
work like every other Microsoft product they’ve used,” he says.
says the ability for solution providers to sell very simple, end-to-end UC solutions
at a very low cost allows for much more competitive positioning and is driving
new business for both Objectworld and Microsoft.
aren’t seeing any slowdown, honestly; we’re actually seeing an uptick in
interest and sales,” says Guihan.