Resellers, Dealers, Partners – What’s the Difference?

resellers

Resellers, Dealers, Channel Partners, VARs, Distributors…

These are all words that get thrown around in our industry, but what exactly do they mean and what is the difference between them?

Resellers, as their name implies, purchase a product or service from a parent company and sell it to end users for a profit. Of course the words “purchase” and “sell” are used loosely here; in today’s cloud world, this could really mean “rent” or “host”. Typically a reseller will brand the product as their own and not reveal the parent company to customers. The benefit of a reseller relationship is profit and business growth for both the vendor and the reseller.

Dealers, on other hand, have less involvement with the product itself and focus more on making sales. They do not assign their own brand to the product as they are simply selling it on behalf of a parent company. They may provide support and upgrades to their customers, but it will be no secret that they are acting on behalf of a third-party. For this model to work, the parent company must only sell through dealers with no option for direct sales.

Channel Partners are similar to resellers, but have a deeper, bilateral relationship with the parent company. A partner program will lay out the expectations and benefits of such a relationship. The parent company will be more invested in their partners and more dependent on their success. Together, they may expand the products and solutions to become a one-stop-shop that encourages long-term commitments. The partnership will involve consistent communication, shared marketing materials, ongoing involvement in the product, and more.

VARs are Value-Added Resellers that add their own services to a third-party solution.

Distributors are similar to dealers but maintain an even looser relationship to the manufacturer.

OUR INDUSTRY

Many of the parent companies in our industry work with resellers. They are white label and give full control of the product to their resellers, but do not necessarily form a close relationship.

Other parent companies choose the dealer strategy and sell their solutions with their brand still attached. Unfortunately we have seen some of these well-known companies selling through dealers while also selling directly to end users – a very sticky situation to be sure.

Bicom Systems chooses to work with partners. Our business is all about relationships and helping you grow your brand. Our motto (and part of every blog piece lately!) is your success is our success. We believe a partner-centric model is best because it grows our business, grows your business, and ultimately grows the market.

DO NOT GET CAUGHT UP IN THE TERMINOLOGY

When shopping around for a vendor, do not get caught up in the terminology. A so-called “partner program” could actually be a dealer network in disguise. A solution advertised for “resellers” may actually be part of a true channel partnership. Bicom Systems often uses the word “reseller” for the sake of recognizability, even though our selling model is strictly based on partnerships.

The point is, the words that the vendor uses do not matter as much as their actions. Pay attention to what the vendor expects of you and what you will get in return.

Is their product white label? Do they offer marketing materials and other tools to grow your business? Will they require you to meet quotas? Will they ask for your end user details?

All of these things are more important than the terminology.

If you are interested in learning more about what it means to partner with Bicom Systems, please contact us today.

 

The Benefits of Multi-Tenancy for Resellers & Users

multi-tenancyAs our industry continues its ongoing shift to the Cloud, one decision that many vendors are facing is whether to continue selling a dedicated solution or upgrade to multi-tenancy.

Multi-tenancy is a type of architecture where one single instance of your software and its infrastructure supports multiple customers (tenants). True MT solutions are only available in the Cloud.

Similar to housing, a dedicated solution is like owning a home – the whole thing is yours to occupy, finance, and maintain. A multi-tenant solution is like an apartment or townhouse that has a rented space in a shared structure.

Both scenarios have benefits and drawbacks. Owning a home may seem ideal, unless you are tired of being responsible when things inevitably break, are concerned about intruders, and wish you did not have to shovel your driveway on those cold winter mornings. In the same way, real-estate agents may crave the consistency of collecting monthly rent checks rather than always chasing the next big sale.

Getting back to technology, the benefits of multi-tenancy can be summarized in three big categories:

1. LOWER COSTS

Multi-tenant architecture is more cost-effective for both the vendor and the customer.

For the reseller:  On your end, you need only to develop, maintain, and support one solution to serve all of your customers. This will be less expensive than selling and supporting multiple dedicated servers and solutions.

For the user: Consumers like the multi-tenant pricing model of paying a set monthly subscription rather than a hefty up-front investment and unexpected bills down the line. There are no hardware or maintenance costs and they do not require IT expertise on-site.

Sharing the financial burden is a benefit to all parties involved.

2. MORE FLEXIBILITY

Despite the lower costs, multi-tenant architecture actually opens up more possibilities than a dedicated solution.

For the reseller: As a vendor, having all of your users on one instance makes it easy to customize individual preferences. Your MT interface will put all users in one place so it is quick and easy to add or remove customers, select the features one individual wants, or change the number of seats for another. Experience has shown us that selling dedicated platforms can lead to growth, but the work involved will become too much to manage. The scalability of multi-tenancy is the key to sustainable growth.

For the user: Your customers will love the flexibility offered to them as well. Rather than buying a one-size-fits-all solution with some features they do not really need and missing others that they want, they can pick and choose what to include in their solution and pay accordingly.

3. LESS WORK

Cutting out busywork and saving time is a top priority in our busy industry. Multi-tenant architecture does both.

For the reseller: Selling multi-tenancy is extremely easy. On-boarding new customers is quick and simple. Once you have your software instance and first customer set-up, adding new users will be mostly automated. The process will be the same for each customer and takes little more than a few clicks of your mouse. In the same way, software updates and upgrades can be done one time for all users. Forget the days of lengthy set-ups and updates for each and every user. Leave that headache in the past.

For the user: Your multi-tenant customers will enjoy less busywork as well. They do not have to worry about any: installations, maintenance, support, upgrades, or security. You will take care of all of those things, so they are free to focus on running their business.

Ready to upgrade to a multi-tenant solution?

Our Multi-Tenant PBX gives Telecom Service Providers a powerful platform to serve the IP PBX market in the cloud as a VoIP switch. Unlimited Hosted IP PBX Multi-Tenants, Unlimited resellers, user/company self-portal, and LCR are just some of the advanced features included with desktop applications to support. The system may be used as a Class 4 or Class 5 softswitch/voipswitch with multi-tenancy architecture. Learn more about Multi-Tenant PBX here or contact us today.

The Benefits of a White Label Provider

white-label

Offering White Label products is very important to us here at Bicom Systems. Why? Because we want to help grow YOUR brand and YOUR business

In the absence of White Label, service providers are left with two options: develop their own platform or sell someone else’s. The first requires an investment of time and finance plus enough staff to develop and support the product. The second robs you of the ability to grow your own business and secure a future for yourself.

White label products, on the other hand, give you the best of both worlds. The platform will be fully developed and supported so you can take it to market immediately without much technical work. But it will be free of any branding so you can sell it as your own product. Your own platform without the work or stress – what could be better?

Benefits to partnering with a white label provider include:

You advance your name, brand, and logo
A white label product allows you to put your brand onto a pre-developed product. You get all of the glory and can build your empire on a firm foundation.

You have complete control of your customers
Your name and business is the only one customers will know. There is no risk of losing them to your provider or being forced to share details and control.

You set your own prices and margins
In the same way, your customers will not know the base price so you can set your margin however you wish. As far as they know, it is your product and your price.

You can market it however you want
White label products free you to not only use your own brand, but also your own marketing messages. After all, who knows your audience and prospects better than you?

You get a solid product without the work
Developing a a full communications suite takes a significant amount of resources: time, money, staff, expertise, etc. Save yourself the headache and dive right into selling.

Your product is backed by someone else
In the same way, a white label platform gives you the support and backing of a third party. If something goes wrong, there is someone else to fix it.

You will get upgrades without the work
Finally, your white label provider will take care of upgrades so you do not have to. This includes not only bug fixes and improvements, but keeping up with trends and new technology that your customers will surely want.

This is all great, but we know some SMBs will still have doubts. If marketing and supporting a product that is not your own sounds daunting, don’t worry, we are here to help. The product is yours to brand and sell as you wish, but that does not mean we disappear altogether. We will be behind-the-scenes supporting you with marketing materials, support for installations and upgrades, and whatever else you may need.

We have said it before and we will continue to say it: your success is our success. We want nothing more than to see our partners grow and thrive.

Learn more about Bicom Systems and our products at www.bicomsystems.com/products.

 

Why to Sell CCaaS Part 2: It Will Grow Your Business

contact center as a serviceLast week we introduced you to the idea of CCaaS and talked about a few reasons the market needs YOU to start selling it. Today we will shift our focus to the direct benefits to your business if you starting selling CCaaS.

In case you missed the last post and introduction (read it here), Contact Center as a Service is an add-on that improves the customer experience for nearly any kind of business. No longer just for contact centers, CCaaS is a simple, cloud-based, feature-rich service that most modern businesses now require. Selling it will increase your revenue and help you build your brand.

You will earn more from contact center customers

The retail price-per-seat for contact centers is nearly double that of a hosted seat. And your customers are willing to pay for it.

Many service providers incorrectly assume that their customers want VoIP for as cheap as possible. This notion is detrimental to both your business and that of your customer. Never forget that your customers and prospects are running businesses and are aware of their need for modern features and tools to achieve continued success.

VoIP is not a commodity. It is an indispensable business tool that has evolved to include new technologies like CCaaS. Your customers are probably just waiting for you to starting offering it.

CCaaS will increase your stickiness

CCaaS reduces customer churn in two ways.

First, as mentioned above, your customers probably already want these features. They may already be looking for them elsewhere. Start meeting that need before someone else does.

Second, anything that stimulates customer interaction and commitment is good for stickiness. CCaaS is one more piece to connect your business and that of your customer. The relationship will deepen and they will be more likely to stick around long-term

CCaaS will help you build your brand

Add-ons like CCaaS transform your individual products into bundles and packages that strengthen customer commitment, increase your product value, and help you continuously add emerging technologies and trends.

Nowadays we are all short on time, so one-stop-shops are very appealing. Your customers will appreciate a company that meets all of their needs with just one monthly bill.

Finally, CCaaS could be your first step into many new markets and niches. Starting with Cloud technology and expanding to UCaaS and other services, the opportunity to expand your business is yours for the taking.

Would you like to start selling CCaaS? Bicom Systems is partnering with ThinQ to create an ideal CCaaS solution.

Cloud-based, built for VoIP, award-winning Toll-Free Least Cost Routing… We are so excited about this partnership that we decided to host a webinar together to tell you all about it.

Bicom Systems + THINQ
A CCaaS Product That Will Fly Off Your Shelves
Tuesday August 28th at 1:00 PM EST
Register now

 

Learn more about CCaaS and the Bicom + ThinQ solution at www.bicomsystems.com/ccaas.

Why to Sell CCaaS Part 1: The Market Needs You

ccaasAdding CCaaS to your telco product line will enable you to meet a pressing demand in today’s market. The communications industry as a whole is moving toward cloud computing and your customers probably need these features and tools. Not to mention the competition is still low.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, what exactly is CCaaS?

Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) is a simplified, cloud-based, feature-rich service that improves customer experience with no hassle.

Despite its name, CCaaS is no longer just for contact centers. CCaaS improves customer service, a key aspect of nearly all businesses.

80% of the market cannot access traditional contact center solutions

80% of the market is comprised of SMBs, a population that has historically been unable to access premise-based Contact Center offerings. As a result they have been missing out on the advantages of Contact Center software such as call monitoring, call analytics, and other daily business operations.

This all changes with cloud-based Contact Center as a Service. Feature-rich, easy-to-use, and affordable, CCaaS products level the playing field for small and medium businesses.

Your customers are realizing they need contact center features

Selling CCaaS will not only bring you new customers, but also more business from your existing customers. Whether they realize it or not, most of your customers or prospects do have some form of contact center need.

For example, a small business with inbound order taking. CCaaS can automate the order process. Or any company with customer service. CCaaS improves customer interactions and opens up more options for communication.

The whole comms industry is moving toward the Cloud

The overall trend is toward the cloud and we recommend jumping aboard before the ship sails. The global Cloud PBX market, for example, is expected to double in value by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 14.9%.

The cloud brings sought-after features and flexibility that the market has come to expect. Cloud-based CCaaS follows suit with features, scalability, and ease-of-use.

The competition is still low

According to the Gartner Magic Quadrant for CCaaS in North America, there are only ten CCaaS solutions on the North American market today.

In such a rapidly growing industry this space will surely fill up quickly. Seize the opportunity while the competition is still so low.

Stay tuned for Why to Sell CCaaS Part 2: It Will Grow Your Business

Are you interested in adding CCaaS to your offering? We have good news! Bicom Systems is partnering with ThinQ to bring you the ideal CCaaS solution.

Cloud-based, built for VoIP, award-winning Toll-Free Least Cost Routing… We are so excited about this partnership that we decided to host a webinar together to tell you all about it.

Bicom Systems + THINQ
A CCaaS Product That Will Fly Off Your Shelves
Tuesday August 28th at 1:00 PM EST
Register now

 

Learn more about CCaaS and the Bicom + ThinQ solution at www.bicomsystems.com/ccaas.