Guest Blog by Tim Britt, Channel Account Manager, UK
In 2014, the worldwide VoIP service market hit just shy of $70 billion. Growth in business VoIP services was a key driver for the market, resulting in a three per cent growth compared to the previous year. Hosted VoIP seats in the UK grew by more than seventeen per cent in 2014. Polycom and Gamma have jointly felt the benefit of tapping into the demand for voice as part of a complete services offering.
“The partnership with Gamma has grown strongly over the last two years,” says Tim Britt, Channel Business Manager at Polycom Europe. “We both spotted a trend that provided great sales opportunities. Voice isn’t dead, not by any stretch of the imagination.”
Global voice traffic grew 5% in 2012 to 490 billion minutes; 34% of which were VoIP. But customers want voice to be part of a unified communications and collaboration environment, and in order to derive the best value from UC&C there are three key features that end users need; quality, reliability and ease-of-use.
When selling a service, quality is the key differentiator, and Polycom’s HD voice is the best quality possible for a hosted VoIP offering. Offices are changing, we’re seeing fewer senior staff sitting in private rooms and fewer cubicles. The rise of open-plan hot-desking means that the Polycom VVX 410 is a great choice; it has Acoustic Fence built in, which means that the phone automatically lowers background noise. When it comes to phone calls and audio conferencing, end users expect to be able to hear each other clearly, no matter what their working environment might be.
From a service provider point of view, reliable endpoints are the key to a successful deal. Phones with high fail rates eat away at profit margins as they require repairs, replacements and a lot of additional customer service activity to retain the client. Polycom’s VVX 410 has one of the industry’s lowest fail rate making it the most reliable cog in the machine that is UC as a Service. That means that Gamma’s partnership with Polycom can be as beneficial as possible, as the service provider doesn’t have to deal with the costs associated with repairing and replacing broken units.
Lastly, the phone is the element of the service that is physically in front of the end users. They need to be able to get to grips with it quickly. That means a simple user interface and seamless interoperability with the rest of the UC&C environment are critical to adoption within the end user organisation.
For these three reasons, the leading service providers know that the right endpoint is the difference between a happy customer and an ongoing code red. “We include Polycom VVX 410 handsets as standard in our Horizon service because we know that they are the right vessel to deliver our service,” says Lee Mansell, Horizon Product Manager at Gamma. “The Polycom brand is globally recognised as a mark of quality and that’s a product we want associated with our Horizon service. Brand recognition is very important. We don’t want to add time and cost to the sale in trying to convince the customer of the quality and reliability of a phone from an unfamiliar company. We don’t have this problem when we sell Polycom. As our presence in the hosted market continues to grow, we have found that many enterprise accounts have a firm requirement that Polycom is part of the offer. Aside from all these benefits, the level of technical support we receive from Polycom makes them an attractive partner.”
We highly recommend our video partners work with Gamma to deliver UCaaS. Gamma’s Horizon platform is a great way of incorporating a hosted VoIP service into your video collaboration offering. According to industry analysts, the UCaaS market is predicted to continue growing at 10.5% CAGR until 2020. That represents a huge opportunity for Polycom’s partner community.
We are participating in Gamma Ball Rally IV which will see the Polycom team driving a reasonably priced car across three countries and competing with other teams to win the on-road challenges. Organised by the UK voice partner Gamma, we will be supporting two charities Action through Enterprise and SpecialEffect. A Just Giving page has been set-up to collect donations for both charities.
This year the team will be rallying from Newbury in the UK to Amsterdam in the Netherlands, where a black-tie event will take place to auction the £500 cars for charity.
While there are many adventurous hurdles to overcome, such as go-karting in a makeshift course last year, the team seems to be in high spirits and cannot wait to begin their journey on 16th September.