The channel is the lifeblood for the technology industry. It enables vendors to focus on R&D and gives end users a more personalized experience by purchasing through a local company (the reseller). While vendors are responsible for creating a turn-key solution that can give immediate benefit to a business, it’s the reseller who can truly build the business case and provide an extra level of value to customers.
Value-added resellers (VARs) are the perfect example of this theory. They give customers an extra level of value by providing additional services that go beyond the scope of what a vendor can offer. Many solutions require additional services to support them and customers are faced with finding another provider. However, VARs are able to bundle the service or feature with the product and sell it as one complete, value-packed solution.
Resellers not only offer value by creating a next-level end product, they are also instrumental in shaping the business case to potential customers for why they should choose a specific solution. In today’s B2B landscape, buyers are able to research different product offerings online and educate themselves. Many buyers have a clear picture of the solution they want before ever engaging with sales. While vendor websites are a great place for prospects to conduct research and narrow down solutions, it’s the local reseller who meets face-to-face with the customer and discusses exact pain points that can make all the difference in the world. By having someone present to convey exactly how the solution will meet the needs of each user, customers can feel more confident with their decision and know the true value the solution will bring to them.
Furthermore, local resellers can provide value to decision makers by giving a more in-depth financial justification for a solution. They are in a position to compare competitor pricing and give a side-by-side analysis, and they can accurately depict total cost of ownership with the extra services they offer. Additionally, as resellers are deep-diving with customers, they can frame the “cost of doing nothing” if prospects were to keep their existing solution and provide a true ROI analysis for deploying the new solution.
There is oftentimes a disconnect between how vendors market to end users and what customers are expecting to hear from vendors. Because vendors are sometimes forced to create ‘umbrella’ messaging to be relevant to as many people as possible, it can sometimes lose the personalization that customers have come to expect. However, resellers are able to take that messaging and craft it specifically to the customer and their exact needs, and, in essence, close that gap. Vendors create the solution, but it’s the resellers who are oftentimes the face of the solution and convey its value directly to the customer.
Vendors are the driving force behind a product, but they can’t be everything to everybody. That is why it is necessary to have a strong channel and partners who can provide added value directly to the customers.
At Sangoma, we treasure our channel and the partners who serve as the face of our solutions. And we are always looking to expand the reach of our channel into new and underserved markets.
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A few weeks ago, I recorded a podcast with Isha Mukherjee, Sangoma’s new APAC marketing manager. We talked about a wide range of topics, including WFH and how Sangoma has responded to it, to new products we have announced, and to APAC’s importance to Sangoma.
Regarding the first topic, Work from Home, Sangoma as a company is working from home, using our UC systems, so it’s been relatively smooth for us since we have a phone system that enables a softphone to your laptop or mobile phone with our office phone number, we have conferencing on that system, etc. We are also helping our customers by putting up a WFH / Remote working page on our website, and by putting up a support wiki as well for those customers who needed help using our many WFH features in our UC systems.
We’ve also hosted numerous webinars about how our products enable WFH. We will be hosting some soon in APAC, so be on the lookout for announcements about that if you are in APAC.
We also announced wireless headsets on March 31. These are also immensely useful in a WFH setting since you can be on calls and roam around the apartment or house if you need to.
We recently announced our Video Conferencing Service, Sangoma Meet™, which is free to all users at this time. Just go to https://meet.sangoma.com to use it. One way to help with overcoming the missing sense of community and human interaction is to utilize video more. Unified Communications, as readers know, is at the heart of what we do at Sangoma. Our UC hadn’t until this point handled video conferencing. Sangoma Meet has HD video standard, is secure (is encrypted and needs a password), can scale up to 50 users, and you can share files, chat, etc. You need to be on a WebRTC compatible browser like Chrome or Edge.
And like I said, it’s FREE to use right now. With your business or your family.
Isha also asked me about how important APAC was to Sangoma. It’s a growing region for us, and we are investing here. We expect it to grow. Most of our business in APAC is in the non-Unified Communications part of our portfolio (boards, gateways, phones), but one result of all this WFH stuff is that businesses see the importance of UC. And we provide exceptional value in our PBXact UC system. So we’re expecting growth over time here.
If you want to listen to the podcast, please go here: https://podcasts.sangoma.com/wp-content/uploads/sangoma-apac-001.mp3
We’ll likely be doing more podcasts so be on the lookout for them. And I’ll be in APAC as soon as we’re able to travel again.
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