Partnership for profit

Partnership for profit

Adrian Hughes
Adrian Hughes

In 2007, as the new CEO at Inclarity, Adrian Hughes had a clear vision for the company and quickly developed a strategy he wanted to deploy within the first 75 days to set the company on a path to achieve that vision.

“My priorities were to set the strategy and one of the first steps undertaken was to visit customers and survey the channel. Pleasingly this revealed that Inclarity was being successful in the hosted telephony market but we were

just not well known for what we did. It was apparent that we had been hiding our light under a bushel.

“2007 saw some big changes being implemented within Inclarity. Following significant investment in previous years in the development of our hosted network and applications, the company was now ready to move from a development phase into being sales and marketing led. With the hosted market then showing real signs of emergence Inclarity felt very positive about the future.”

A new management team was also appointed with the key position of Sales Director being taken up by Enzo Viscito.

 

Sales Direction:

“I recruited Enzo in June 2007 to transition and lead our sales strategy. His initial actions were to bring on board a new business sales team to support our short-term direct sales and long term eventual channel play.

“Enzo and I had enjoyed great previous successes in customer acquisition and support and with over 20 years’ experience in the industry, Enzo is renowned and acknowledged for building successful sales teams with a track record of over exceeding expectations.

“And so he has proved the case once again. Two years on Inclarity has grown its customer base by more than 500% and significantly this has included winning orders with many blue chip companies.

“Tasked with transitioning our business into an indirect sales organisation Enzo then recruited channel veteran Steve Day and Comms Business Magazine’s 2008 Channel Sales Person of the year Gill Earle to drive our new channel recruitment programme.”

As a result of these investments 2008 saw Inclarity make great strides in leveraging its successful brand awareness programme and undertaking a highly successful new channel launch. Today Inclarity has over 50 active partners.

 

Real Partnerships:

Hughes says that his channel ‘partnerships’ are truly delivering ‘profit’ both to Inclarity and its partners through taking advantage of the great opportunities the hosted evolution is bringing to the market.

“Education and awareness remain the key components today as they were in 2007 in creating the pull through business for channels.

“Our key focus in 2007 was to build brand awareness and take market share – through a combination of direct and indirect sales but as our channels grew Inclarity scaled back the direct sales activities as a proportion of our business.

“2008 saw Inclarity refresh its channel proposition and position our products and services in readiness for the increased take up of hosted telephony we were anticipating in the market.”

 

Channel Program

Inclarity recognises that there are a number of elements to a channel programme that need to be successfully put in place to achieve success both for their resellers and themselves.

“Our Channel Programme addresses the three classic demands of the channel.

“How much upfront investment will a reseller need to make to become a channel partner? The answer to this is minimal investment.

“How long a time period before the reseller moves in to a profit – very short, and what is the longer term ROI? We have to make the observation – do resellers want to miss out altogether on the hosted telephony opportunity?

“Is Inclarity easy to do business with? “This last point is especially critical for new resellers entering new markets with technology they are not entirely familiar with,” says Hughes.

“Inclarity therefore developed a number of tools for our channel partners that made life a whole lot easier for them starting with our Business Partner Portal.

“This portal includes an updated library of products and resources which our 50 plus partners have access to.

“Also launched is a Proposal Tool which allows resellers’ salespeople to create customisable pre-priced proposals for customers.”

 

Hosted is Happening!

According to Adrian Hughes the time for hosted telephony has definitely arrived with many resellers reporting that customers are calling them with enquiries.

“Inclarity recognises too that for many resellers this is a time of transition and that it is up to companies like ourselves to help channels through the process of moving to a hosted model including the commercial realities such as financing support to help smooth out cash flow. Resellers from a traditional PBX background for example are used to a model that provides a big lump sum on completion of the sale.

“At the same time Inclarity will continue to be selective of the partners that join our channel programme – we are not going to swamp the market but at the same time resellers will be aware that they have some competition.

Enzo Viscito
Enzo Viscito
 

“Now is a good time to begin a discussion with us; our reseller proposition is to be flexible, facilitate growth and integrate our products and services in to our channel partners’ existing portfolios. At the same time we undertake to provide all the training, marketing support and pre and post sales support that is required for a channel partner to become successful.”

 

It’s Happening for Inclarity

The move to the channel model has seen sales growth exceed 50% as a company. At the same time costs have fallen by 20%, all this results in a very PROFITABLE business which Hughes is extremely proud of.

As they entered 2009 Inclarity have launched more applications to drive further channel profitability that complement their awardwinning customer interface tools. To name a few, enhanced call centre capabilities, market leading hosted voice recording and a uniquely packaged conference bridge offer, which does away with traditional per minute billing.

Inclarity Sales Director Enzo Viscito commented, “Building on our successful channel growth, we have great expectations and optimism for the year ahead. Our awardwinning technology combined with the hosted telephony OPEX model, means our channels are taking full advantage of delivering great ROI solutions to their customers.”

 

VoIP in a Box

For the smaller customer Inclarity has created an innovative VoIP in a box offer to enable partners to sell their hosted VoIP solution up to the 10-user market – a market sector where it has traditionally been very expensive, in terms of cost of sale, to address.

“There are over one million organisations with less than 10 employees in the UK. This represents a great opportunity for increased sales.

“We have created an easy five-step, ‘Amazon’ type, web-based buying process that enables our channel partners’ customers to select a pre defined bundle of features and handsets. They can then customise their requirements to suit their own needs. Inclarity VoIP in a Box supports number porting or the supply of new numbers, multiple sites as well as electronic payments.

“There are also four branding options, links to the resellers own web site, and email notification of orders. It’s a very unique way of getting in to VoIP and offers great margins for our channel partners.”

 

Ed Says

Inclarity has a passion to improve the way people communicate through their hosted telephony solutions and is the only telecoms operator in the UK operating on a platform that currently supports over six million dedicated VoIP lines. Whilst size is important for critical mass it is their support services and innovation that will continue to keep Inclarity ahead in this increasingly competitive market. Their transition to a channel model has clearly been successful and the management team look set to guide the company to a very bright future.