About Bicom Systems

Laura oversees Content & Inbound Marketing, spending most of her time organizing marketing projects, editing, or immersed in Google Analytics. Her favorite part of the job is writing, so you will find her on the blog as often as time allows. Contact her at laura@bicomsystems.com

Get Ahead in the Cloud: A Case Study with The Maynard Group

the-maynard-groupThe Maynard Group started out 27 years ago in California as a small interconnect company. Today it is a comprehensive Telephony Provider with Cloud, VoIP, Unified Communications, and Mobility based solutions.

How did The Maynard Group find its success? Their mission statement is to “end the hassles of managing multiple vendors” and to save time and money by simplifying telecommunications management. We have been talking quite a bit lately about one-stop-shops and providing all of the contemporary solutions that the modern market demands. By following this strategy and offering outstanding customer service, The Maynard Group grew quickly through the referral network to several thousand customers.

But let’s take a step back, about five years ago The Maynard Group was new to VoIP and had not yet adopted the cloud. They were feeling the pressure to offer a cloud solution and began the process of updating their product models and searching for a partner that could support them in expanding to full support of the cloud.

In 2016, The Maynard Group signed on with Bicom Systems to take their business to the next level. Read their story at www.bicomsystems.com/the-maynard-group

 

 

 

 

Benefits of Selling SaaS

selling-saas

According to Forbes, the Cloud Computing Market is expected to reach $411B by 2020 and the Software as a Service (SaaS) market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 16%, growing from $58.6B in 2017 to $99.7B by 2020 (source).

Service Providers abound in today’s marketplace, however it is yet to be seen how many will successfully capture this opportunity and expand their existing offerings to meet the demand for Cloud and SaaS Add-Ons.

SaaS – Software as a Service – is just a fancy name for all of those cloud and software-based add-ons that increase the value of your existing solutions. For example, Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) or Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS).

Have your customers and prospects started requesting these new services yet? Have you had to turn down any feature requests? Turn away any prospects looking for a one-stop-shop?

As evidenced by the financial data, contemporary technologies like UCaaS and CCaaS are quickly becoming expectations rather than extras. If you do not yet provide them, you are missing opportunities to grow your business and secure your future.

Adding these new technologies to your existing offering will enable you to:

1. Reach more customers

SaaS add-ons are in high demand. Offering those services allows you to say “yes” to whatever your next prospect may request. The more services you offer, the more customers you will reach.

Not only will you win more customers in your existing niche, these additional solutions will allow you to enter new markets. For example, the Contact Center as a Service sphere is growing rapidly and offers a whole new group of prospective customers.

2. Generate more profit

Any kind of addition to your existing product line opens up the opportunity for more return on each sale. You are making your products more valuable. Best of all, customers are willing to pay for it. These softwares are powerful tools that will improve business and are worth the price.

Expanding your product line is an important step to building your brand. As your customer base grows, your brand will grow too.

3. Future-proof your business

Adopting SaaS will prepare your business for the future in a few ways. First of all, the monthly subscription models fosters a long-term commitment that reduces customer churn. Becoming a one-stop-shop discourages customers from leaving for greener pastures.

Second, in our innovation-obsessed industry, it is important to keep pace with the technological trends and evolve to meet demand very quickly. Adopting the cloud and SaaS is a step in the right direction. Partnering with a vendor of contemporary technologies ensures that you have someone in your camp looking out for the next trends.

This all sounds great, so… Where to start?

We would love to chat with you about your business and how to seize this opportunity. Meet Bicom Systems this fall at WISPAPALOOZA or AstriCon to learn all about the latest technologies and how to add them to your business offering.

WISPAPALOOZA
October 8-12
Las Vegas, NV
Booth #117
Learn more

ASTRICON
October 9-11
Orlando, FL
Learn more

Our first Bicom Systems User Group Meeting will be on Monday October 8th at WISPAPALOOZA in Las Vegas. It is a free event and open to ALL WISPS (you do not have to be or become a customer to attend). Join us from 9:00 to 4:00 for a behind-the-scenes look at VoIP, UCaaS, and CCaaS with networking and presentations from:

– VoIP Marketing Guru Suzanne Urash of CR8 Group who will share her secrets to getting your phones ringing off the hook

– ThinQ, the best kept secret in the carrier space, who will explain how their toolset has greatly increased their partners’ Quality of Service for customers

– Kris Twomey, from the Law Office of Krisopher Twomey and Carol Lisowski, who will speak on telecom compliance and the most recent regulatory issues.

Lunch will be served at noon. Space will fill up quickly, register now at bicomsystems.eventbrite.com.

See you this fall!

A History of Self-Destruction in the Telco Business

In recent years we have seen several providers struggling financially or even closing up shop. Starting with Nortel, then Avaya, next Toshiba Telecom. These were all industry giants with successful products. What went wrong?

Certainly the issues were complex and there were many contributing factors that we will not discuss today. But one overriding point catches our attention as a vendor:

The failure to adjust to meet contemporary market demands.

Innovation is everything. There is no doubt that our industry has embraced The Cloud, SaaS, and other software- and Internet-based technologies with vigor and certitude. The Cloud PBX market is growing at an Compound Annual Growth Rate of 14.9%. The UCaaS market at a rate of 25-30%.

This leaves providers with two choices: adjust to meet demand or get left behind.

telco-trends

Nortel

Nortel was one of the best in the world of telephony; an industry giant. Nortel on-premise systems were well built and long-lasting. The quality of their product is not in question. However with the emergence of the Cloud, the industry as a whole began to evolve. Consumers no longer wanted expensive hardware and physical telephone systems. The advantages of VoIP, the Cloud, and other modern software-based technologies are simply too enticing.

While Nortel did make the initial transition from PBX to IP-PBX and even developed a Business Communications Manager (BCM 50), that was as far as they went in evolving to meet customer demand.

Sadly it was not enough and well, we all know what happened next.

Read our other posts about what happened to Nortel. 

Avaya

Avaya, another industry giant with a solid product, came to the rescue and bought out Nortel. However their success quickly turned to a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Their mistake was similar to that of Nortel – a failure to evolve with current trends.

The Wall Street Journal puts it best:

“Avaya illustrates the potential pitfalls of buying big, established technology companies at a time of near-constant innovation. Private-equity firms often use borrowed money, or leverage, to buy a company with the hopes of juicing their gains on an eventual sale of the investment. But if economic conditions worsen or the competitive landscape changes, the buyout debt can become difficult to manage.” (Wall Street Journal)

Avaya’s corporate telephone systems worked great and scooping up what was left of Nortel only strengthened their offering, but when VoIP and other internet-based services hit the market the competition became overwhelming.

“The [Avaya] bankruptcy underscores the challenges telecommunications companies face as they transition to software and services from hardware” (Retuers)

Toshiba Telecom

Along the same lines as Nortel and Avaya, we can all agree that Toshiba’s telecom products were stable and functional. The issue has never been about the products themselves, but rather their failure to adjust according to market demand.

To be fair, Toshiba did make attempts to evolve with the industry, but unfortunately it was too late. By the time Toshiba released an IP product, the cloud was already beginning to trend. Despite their best efforts, it was just too late to catch up.

Read more in our blog post What Happened to Toshiba Telecom?

We keep seeing this pattern of legacy and on-premise providers either shutting down, going through financial trouble, or ultimately doing a major overhaul and switching to the cloud.

But our concern goes beyond that. These companies failed because they were not prepared to adjust as soon as the cloud hit the market. So the question is – what is next?

Everyone is abuzz about the cloud, but technology is certainly not going to stop innovating now. The cloud is the top technology of today – what about tomorrow?

Success in this industry is dependent on the ability to anticipate future trends and adopt them as soon as – or before – they hit the market.

What about your provider? Do they offer the latest trends? Do they have a plan for the future?

DOWNLOAD OUR FREE EBOOK:
7 Reasons You & Your Customers Should Switch to Hosted

hosted pbxTransitioning to a hosted model will enable you to sell more, earn more, and enter the future with peace-of-mind.

And you will not be alone – the value of the global Hosted PBX is expected to double from $4.73 billion in 2018 to $9.5 billion by 2023.

7 Reasons You & Your Customers Should Switch to Hosted will take you through the top seven benefits of a Hosted PBX for both you and your customers including more sales, more profits, and a secure future.

Q&A with Stephen Corrigan, former 3CX Director of Sales

3cx3CX has a great product. That is how we want to preface our discussion of 3CX and its changing business practices. There is no point in beating around the bush or denying the obvious. Their Windows-based PBX fills a unique need and seems to work well.

The 3CX business model is another story. But we will leave the telling of that story to Stephen Corrigan, former Director of Sales for 3CX.

stephen-corrigan-interviewQ: What was your job at 3CX?

SC: I began my career at 3CX as a Channel Manager, responsible for the UK market, rising to the position of Sales Director with global responsibility for growing the VAR channel. Latterly moving to the USA as General Manager and Vice President of Sales, tasked with establishing a direct local presence and opening the 3CX office in Dallas, TX. Tasked with managing business in the USA, recruitment and training of staff, and revenue growth.

Q: How long did you work there?

SC: I enjoyed six and a half successful years at 3CX.

Q: What was the 3CX business model like?

SC: Interesting question. The business model changed over the years, from exclusively 100% channel-focused to a mix of channel and direct engagement.

Q: What do you mean by “direct engagement”?

SC: There seems to be more of a focus on the end users today than there ever was before.

I am a firm believer in the channel and work to provide the channel with the tools, technologies, support and services to make their business a success.

Let me give you one example. While I was at 3CX, it was not possible for 3CX end user customers to order directly from 3CX. All sales transactions had to go through a partner. Yet we see today that 3CX end user customers can directly order maintenance, upgrades etc. from 3CX. Anything except new licenses, as of today.

Q: How does this affect 3CX partners?

SC: People have started recognizing that 3CX is not very partner-friendly and that 3CX will take their business away from them.

There are any number of channel parters selling 3CX in your local area right now. These are all competition to you as you have to promote the 3CX brand to your opportunities. You work hard to win over a prospect and then have to tell them the product is 3CX. That prospect is going to walk out of your office and go look up 3CX. He is going to find out he can get a free license for a year and wonder why he should pay you for something that is free.

Worse yet, all of your competitors are listed publicly on the 3CX website. So when you introduce 3CX into the opportunities that you have worked hard to nurture, what is the first thing they are going to do? Research a bit more about 3CX and uncover your competitors on their website. This is not a smart move!

Wouldn’t it be much better to build your own brand, deliver advanced Voice and Unified Communications services to your customers with your own brand, promote your own brand, not that of the manufacturer? This is what builds loyalty and value in your business.

Let me give you one more example: To receive free updates your customer has to have a valid maintenance contract with 3CX. To activate the maintenance contract you are obliged to provide full end user details, including contact details. Why? These are YOUR customers, not the manufacturer’s. Working with your customers is what pays your bills and adds value to your business. And as we see, your customers can now upgrade and renew their maintenance directly from 3CX. This is a threat to your business.

Q: Did anything else contribute to your decision to leave 3CX?

SC: 3CX was, and is, predominantly architectured for on-premise deployments

But the market is always changing, with new pressures and challenges faced by our biggest resource, our channel partners. Back in late 2013 the signs were obvious that their was a seismic shift in how Voice and Unified Communications were being delivered to the market. We were seeing the advent of Cloud Telephony, and I was being lobbied by the channel to provide our channel partners these options.

My aim was to provide our channel partners with a fully managed Cloud infrastructure upon which our partners could build their sales and business. Unfortunately this approach was not accepted.

Voice and Unified Communications have many unique requirements and demands when delivering over the Cloud. And as good and useful as services such as Amazon AWS and Google Cloud are, they are not well equipped to deliver the real-time services demanded by Voice and UC.

Ultimately 3CX were not willing to make the investment necessary for our partners to compete successfully in this new space.

Q: When you speak with 3CX customers now, what do they say?

SC: By and large 3CX partners still like the product. The issue that the overwhelming majority have is dealing with 3CX and their business model.

3CX is all about 3CX. All about building the 3CX brand. That is okay, but how does this help their partners build value in their own businesses?

Q: Do you know of any 3CX partners that have left? Why?

SC: Yes, many of the friends that I speak to have stopped providing 3CX.

There is a growing uneasiness in three areas:

1. 3CX is unable to deliver the robust, high quality Cloud solution that the market is demanding. We are seeing Cloud services growing while on-premise is stabilizing, if not declining.

2. The changing business model of 3CX with direct end user customer engagement is seen as a threat to the partner’s own business.

3. The lack of being unable to brand the 3CX product with your own brand image is akin to acting as a sales agent for 3CX, building value in the 3CX brand, not yours. Surely it should be the other way around?

Q: Looking back, was leaving 3CX the right decision?

SC: Yes, for sure. I get real satisfaction from working with partners and seeing their business, their brand, becoming more successful and seeing their value growing.

Q: If you could give one piece of advice to 3CX customers right now, what would it be?

SC: Look beyond the product. Given the maturity of technology today, there is really very little difference in what different products deliver. Look at how easy working with your provider is – are they willing to go that extra mile? Look at the business model – is it all about the manufacturer? Look at how the company can help you grow, help you succeed, and help you!

To hear more from Stephen, read his blog post: Reasons to move from 3CX (and other IP PBX systems) to Bicom Systems… I did

Or contact Stephen directly at sc@bicomsystems.com.

 

Why We Don’t Publish Our Prices

publishing prices

Why don’t we publish prices on our website?

This is a question that we have heard time and again over the years. We are more than happy to explain.

Bicom Systems is a committed and active participant of the Reseller Channel. Our business mentality has never been “us against the world”, but rather “your success is our success”. Rather than focusing on selling products to consumers, our focus is developing top-of-the-line solutions for our partners to sell.

That said, our reasoning is simple:

Making our prices public information would compromise the ability of our partners to earn a higher margin.

While we are confident that our partners set fair prices based on the current market, it would be unfair for their customers to have access to the base price. We have seen what happens in that situation through other companies. The consumers abandon their vendor and go straight to the source for a discount. We have no desire to take on our partners’ customers.

Of course there is another aspect to consider. Our solutions are highly customizable and scalable, so pricing tends to vary based on unique needs. However this is secondary to the reasons listed above.

If you are interested in partnering with Bicom Systems and need to know base prices, please contact us for more information.