Flourishing Partners

Flourishing Partners

Davis Dadds, Managing Director, VanillaIP & Mike Wilkinson, Director of European Marketing, Broadsoft

US-based Broadsoft has established a footprint in the UK with a number of their IP telephony platforms being adopted by local suppliers seeking to gain momentum in the hosted telephony market with resellers.

 

Mike Wilkinson, “On the back of potential growth we are seeing Broadsoft has committed resources to Europe in the form of a new operational centre in Belfast together with offices in Amsterdam, Madrid, Milan and Stockholm. The market is strong and whilst we are set to announce a 100k lines customer shortly we are seeing a lot of business coming in at around the 50-user mark.

“Last year we carried out research both here and in the US which indicated that if the incumbent carriers did not step into the market early there would be a lot of fragmentation, Today, in the US, incumbents have less than 20% of the hosted market and here in the UK the incumbent (BT) does simply not have sufficient mind share with the SME. The lesson to be learnt is to get into the market early.

“The state of the hosted market varies throughout Europe. The UK is more developed than most and many countries still have TDM-based centrex scheme – though they are transitioning. The UK is a technology led market and so many tier 2 and 3 resellers are creating the awareness of VoIP and the market is starting to respond positively. France on the other hand has five times as many VoIP users in the residential market and there the market is progressing for triple play.”

The hosted PBX market is now truly up and running according to Wilkinson. “We here to help resellers grow their business. SIP trunking and mobility offerings help to increase the focus on our applications in the SME market and provide a fixed mobile convergence play though I don’t see this market really taking off for another 12-18 months.”

Dadds sees the strong Broadsoft feature set as being one of the keys to driving the market with resellers and in turn end-users

“For example, the shared call appearance feature which allows a user’s Extension number, Direct Dial and personal settings to be configured on up to 5 IP Handsets at the same time means that all devices can ring simultaneously without having to set up diverts and follow-mes, this also includes WiFi-enabled mobile handsets like the new Nokia E series. Calls out from any device register back to the single extension number and the simplicity of the service is fantastic. We are providing applications now that are almost impossible to set up on traditional PBX systems whether they are IP-enabled or not.

 

Barriers to VoIP?

Dadds says much is down to the awareness being created in the market, “You have to make sure the messages remain positive and it is important that endusers are sold to by resellers. Unless the reseller takes on board VoIP they will continue to sell the same old solutions.

“Technical barriers are now all in the mind but there has to be a reason for the reseller to change to hosted solutions – it’s a slow burn but will change quickly.”

More case studies will help but as Dadds points out, resellers are a cautious bunch, “VoIP vendors that went to the reseller too early were not successful.We have to work closely with the resellers with their initial sales, to make sure the promise is delivered.”

Dadds estimates that there are around 25 hosted telephony platforms deployed in the UK, these are based around a number of different vendor’s platform, “we chose Broadsoft due to their proven track record with over 200 Service Providers worldwide and a proven ability to go above 200,000 extensions.We try to keep things simple for the reseller; we do specify Polycom handsets as this allows for automatic provisioning of handsets on the customer site and customers like them but we don’t insist on a certain broadband supplier.

“Some people regard voice as a barrier to mobility but Hosted VoIP removes the traditional set-up of tying Phone Number to ISDN/Analogue circuits. This means that as long as the IP handset is registered on the network, where ever it is in the world and however connected it will work and receive calls on whatever phone number(s) are set to ring it. This provides the kind of flexibility that is required by business today.”

Wilkinson points out that Broadsoft has a proof of concept. “Some users have more than 100k lines in use and the Broadsoft platform has been deployed by more than 220 operators worldwide. In Europe a few of these operators have passed the 15-20k lines deployed mark and I believe we are lagging the US market by some 12-18 months in the take up of hosted telephony.”

Dadds concludes that for UK resellers the opportunity is there to be had. “Of course there is a threat to the traditional reseller from other suppliers coming into the market. There is no need however for lengthy training courses or for holding maintenance stocks or even to employ your own engineers. Resellers can become a Hosted Application Service provider within 30 days and enjoy the benefits of great recurring revenue streams that will build strongly.”

 
 More information visit: www.broadsoft.com
 More information visit: www.vanillaip.com
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