ChannelTrends: Dial P For Profit: Why Telecommunications is Still a Growing Market
Thursday, January 10, 2013
When Alexander Graham Bell got together with two other investors to form AT&T in 1875, it signaled the beginning of a communications revolution. His invention, the telephone, was a major improvement over previous forms of communication such as the letter and telegraph, allowing voice communication between individuals in their own homes and businesses. No longer did they have to wait for others to deliver messages and place orders, so the risk of misplaced or lost information was significantly reduced. The telephone offered a faster and more efficient line of communication, connecting more people, places and companies than ever before.
While Bell’s invention would take decades to reach from coast to coast and continent to continent; today’s communications advancements move at a more rapid pace. Perhaps the most critical factor in any company’s success is how well connected it is to clients, prospects and supporting communities. Regardless of industry or geography, an effective communication system is crucial to the long-term success of almost every organization today.
While the telephone is still a key component of any communications system, in the business community it rarely resembles the devices used by our parents. Rotary phones transitioned to push buttons, and the majority of handsets are no longer attached to cords. In just a single generation, wireless and mobile communications displaced the equipment our ancestors used for more than 100 years and the technological advances continue to accelerate.
Solution providers who fail to note the significance of these changes may be missing out on a considerable opportunity. The latest communications technologies allow businesses to stay in closer contact with their customers, employing a variety of media to freely exchange information and collaborate on projects and presentations. IT companies providing unified communications and mobility solutions help their clients gain an edge over the competition and develop deeper, more interactive relationships with both consumers and suppliers.
The following are examples of services and solutions that provide those types of benefits:
Mobile Device Management (MDM): Gartner Research predicted MDM sales would surpass $500 million in 2012, with continued strong demand opening up a variety of opportunities for value-added resellers (VARs) and managed service providers (MSPs). Industries and organizations with a high number of remote workers see the most benefit from MDM, with healthcare, financial services and legal firms leading the way. Successful MDM practices typically offer a variety of services, from device wiping and password management to security consultation and policy development.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): A great complement to MDM, this specialty allows businesses to effectively merge/manage employee-owned devices and data with their corporate systems. According to the Forrester Forrsights Workforce Employee Survey, more than two-thirds of North American and European workers select their own smartphones and tablets for use on the job, and 46 percent utilize laptops that are not on their organization’s pre-approved list of devices. In order to provide secure systems access to a horde of disparate devices, businesses either have to hire or train their own BYOD professional or contract with a qualified solution provider. With many organizations looking for the most efficient option, outsourced partners who can offer comprehensive support, consultation and planning services for BYOD are likely to see their practice revenue escalate in 2012.
Integration of phone, email, video conferencing and instant messaging systems: Providers who can help their clients design the proper system to fit their organizational goals can command a higher rate than standard installers. With broad communications system integration capabilities, solution providers are likely to find more unified communications projects than they have time for. As long as they can identify the right prospects and create a compelling pricing strategy, their success will be practically assured.
Brian Sherman is founder of Tech Success Communications, specializing in editorial content and consulting for the IT channel. His previous roles include chief editor at Business Solutions magazine and industry alliances director with Autotask. Contact Brian at Bsherman@techsuccesscommunications.com.