For office technology dealers, staying on top of emerging market trends and exploring ways to maximize revenue is critical. Many dealers are now actively looking at expanding into managed IT to recover revenue and drive add-on copier business, and cloud communications should be an integral part of any managed IT strategy. Cloud technologies are extremely popular with customers these days due to their flexibility and scalability, making them a perfect way to add new revenue streams without breaking the bank. So how can cloud communications technology benefit your business model?
What is cloud communications?
Cloud communications solutions are simply internet-hosted communications tools encompassing a range of features including unified messaging, video conferencing, automated attendant services, call forwarding, and more. VoIP, or voice over internet protocol, is probably the best-known form of cloud communications, having become a common replacement for traditional business phone systems even before the pandemic sent organizations searching for better ways to collaborate.
As businesses become more reliant on digital communication tools such as video conferencing, instant messaging, and more, having access to reliable cloud-based services is becoming essential for success.
Is cloud better for the customer?
Cloud communications are becoming increasingly popular among businesses of all sizes. Cloud-based technologies tend to be more flexible, scalable, and cost-efficient than their on-premises counterparts, making them an attractive option for organizations looking to streamline communication processes and enhance customer experience.
In this post-pandemic era, flexibility is perhaps the most notable benefit of cloud communications. Organizations can easily connect multiple locations, enabling employees to work from anywhere without worrying about compatibility or hardware requirements. Cloud communications tools also offer the ability to scale, allowing businesses to easily add on additional features as their needs change or grow in complexity. This means they can quickly access new services and capabilities without having to invest in expensive hardware or software licenses. Finally, the nature of the cloud allows these solutions to be more cost-efficient than traditional telecommunication methods, enabling businesses to save money on setup costs, maintenance expenses, and energy bills since they no longer need physical phone lines or equipment in each location.
Cloud communications technology can also improve customer service by providing more efficient tools for automation and customization. This can allow companies to respond quickly to customer inquiries without having to manually address each one, saving time and resources that can be allocated toward other areas of the business. For example, by integrating a customer relationship management (CRM) system with a cloud communications platform, companies can track customer data to create personalized experiences tailored to their preferences or needs. Additionally, automation tools help ensure that customers receive consistent responses regardless of when they reach out or who they’re speaking with. A company could send an automated message inquiring about an issue a customer encountered in the past or offer solutions based on the customer’s purchase history. This type of customization helps build stronger relationships with customers while also ensuring that they have an enjoyable experience every time they reach out for assistance.
Is cloud better for the dealer?
The value proposition for the customer is clear, but is it beneficial to the dealer to sell these solutions? Yes, for several reasons. The cloud-based nature of these solutions makes it easy for resellers to provide tailored services that meet the needs of different types of customers. Additionally, they offer a low-barrier-to-entry recurring revenue stream, as users already expect to pay monthly for software rather than the upfront cost of traditional hardware. This enables steady income generation over time without having to invest too much capital upfront into purchasing expensive equipment or software packages that often require long-term commitments from customers. Dealers also benefit from being able to quickly provision new services without having to wait for complicated installation processes like those associated with traditional phone lines or PBX systems.
Perhaps most importantly, cloud communications solutions allow dealers to offer competitive pricing structures without sacrificing quality or reliability. With cloud-based service models, providers can benefit from lower operating costs and pass those savings on to customers while still providing reliable service with consistent uptime. And finding a partner that offers flexibility, scalability and support makes entering the market a limited-risk endeavor.
Cloud communication solutions are quickly becoming standard equipment for businesses. By selling these solutions, dealers can reap significant benefits — from recurring revenue streams to a broader customer base. Adding cloud-based communication technologies can be a wise decision for any business that wants to stay competitive in today’s rapidly changing markets.
Noel O’Dwyer is Strategic Alliances Manager at Intermedia. He has over 20 years of experience in promoting solutions to the copier channel market and he has held senior executive positions with eCopy, Equitrac and PrinterLogic. Noel is focused on building the Intermedia brand in the copier channel.